We Are Your Friends 2015 ****

Film Review-We Are Your Friends

‘Secret success’ is a phrase the critic Nathan Rabin coined for his excellent My Year of Flops project; while Zac Efron vehicle We Are Your Friends fell pretty hard at the box office on release, it’s probably a better film that it’s unheralded nature might suggest. Efron plays DJ Cole Carter, who is trying to make a name for himself in the electronic dance music scene, and gains a mentor in James Reed (Wes Bentley), who encourages him to use real sounds rather than computer-generated ones. Reed does not like Carter’s friends, and Carter’s relationship with Reed’s girlfriend Sophie (Emily Ratajkowski) only complicates matters. That’s not the most compelling story for a feature, but Max Joseph’s debut film uses a loose Star is Born structure to hang an ambient rave simulator on. It’s kind of fun to compare this high-gloss, super-slick production to the Scottish movie Beats, which has a black and white, gritty aesthetic in its consideration of rave culture. As entertainment, We Are Your Friends has plenty to recommend it, including an animated sequence in which Cole starts tripping in an art gallery and the paintings come to life, plus lots of montages overlaid with well-chosen music. And the ending, which reveals that Cole Carter has been secretly following his mentor’s advice all through the picture, really packs an emotional punch. Like the central character, We Are Your Friends has a bad reputation, but if you’re prepared to shut up and enjoy the music and blissed-out visuals, it’s a surprisingly smooth ride.

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  1. Pingback: We Are Your Friends 2015 **** — The Film Authority – Site Title

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