We Are Your Friends
Running Time: 136 Minutes
Director: Max Joseph
Starring: Zac Efron, Wes Bentley, Emily Ratajkowski, Alex Shaffer, Johnny Weston, Shiloh Fernandez, Jon Bernthal, Vanessa Lengies
Plot: A group of irredeemable douchebags from the valley tries to scrape by a living by promoting a shady dance club and peddling drugs while one of them does his best to break into the elite ranks of famous DJs by mixing aggressively awful house music.
Review: The trailer made this movie look like Step Up, if they got rid of the visually interesting dancing and replaced it with soundboards and shitty house music. I half suspect that that is what the elevator pitch was, actually. It’s the kind of absurdly awful premise I can get behind. However, what I witnessed in this movie was not the hilariously terrible movie I felt I was promised. This was, not to put too fine a point on it, joylessly awful. Do you know how hard you have to work to make the stars of a movie seem less likable than the Entourage crew? The answer is pretty fucking hard. A good jumping off point is repeatedly using the phrase, “don’t bro me ‘til you know me.” The only circumstance in which it’s okay for someone to say that is if James Franco is doing so ironically.
I was surprised at how many of the cast members I recognized. To say that this movie is beneath them is an understatement. What are you doing here, Bernthal? You’re better than this. Ratajkowsiki, on the other hand… this is her wheelhouse, so I’m glad she’s aware of that. This was the first time I’d seen Alex Shaffer since watching Win Win so it’s nice to know he’s still finding work. I was also surprised that Vanessa Lengies wasn’t a bigger role in this film after her transcendent performance in Stick It (I might be alone on that one, and I’ll accept it). I impressed myself while watching this movie for noticing anything past Wes Bentley rocking Wolverine’s facial hair while playing a shitbag DJ who takes Efron under his wing. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to picture Wolverine as anything other than a smarmy asshole scratching a turntable ever again, so thanks.
There was really little of interest happening in this film. It’s mostly the group of guys partying irresponsibly, doing a lot of inadvisable drugs, and failing upwards. I would honestly be a little worried about the extent to which heavy drug use is glorified in this movie if I thought for a second there was a chance of anybody watching it. They do tack on an overdose somewhere in the fourth act, but not much time is spent on it and it doesn’t carry much weight. When it comes down to it, We Are Your Friends fails to be anything more than a blasé movie about people you don’t like making music you hate.