“We Are Your Friends” Catches the Rhythm of Dreaming Big in Hollywood


Dig Electronica & Hipster DJ’s? Then You’ll Like “We Are Your Friends.”

While falling short of achieving the status of this generation’s Go, Max Joseph’s and Meaghan Oppenheimer’s We Are Your Friends is a potential thematic anthem of today’s Millennial generation.

The movie is packaged along with an infectious, electronic soundtrack and a reminder for us old folks of the carefree, wistful days of cruising the club scene by night to offset our daily boredom with the grind that we not yet ready to accept. And, if nothing else hooks you, there’s Zach Efron. It’s a story of big dreams, even bigger parties and the complexities of friendship, love and expectations – and surprisingly it’s done quite well if not worth of any further accolades.

Unlike some of his other sophomoric roles, Efron literally hits a chord as talented yet self-doubting young DJ Cole Carter, who, along with his three best friends, hustles to make ends meet till the next big soirée, and chance to hook up with some young groupie. The four of them, together will make it big and out of the San Fernando Valley and to Hollywood. That’s the plan, anyway.

There’s pretty boy Ollie (Shiloh Fernandez), the club promoter/drug dealer/wannabe actor who aspires to be this entourage’s fearless leader, as they all seek to escape their mundane Valley existence for the glory land of Hollywood, where off-the-hook parties await, along with gorgeous or simply good-enough women who congregate there. To supplement their Thursday nights, the best night of the week to hit the clubs if you don’t recall, as well as Cole’s music endeavors, Ollie is always seeking get-rich schemes.

But Mason (Jonny Weston), the shaved head, tank-top wearing enforcer, wants the same thing: To be the man. He strives to finally move out of his parent’s house and to the other side of the hill, where his bravado works with the bouncers and list girls. Meanwhile, Squirrel (Alex Shaffer) is the quiet one who doesn’t seem to do much of anything yet is always around. But the guys accept, trust and love him for it.

More importantly, Squirrel provides some of the movie’s best lines that pave the road for the film’s climax; namely “Are we ever going to be better than this?” Doubtful, guys, but at least pondering the question sure seems like a hell of a lot of fun.

The plot unfolds with Cole set to play a big set at a Hollywood club as Ollie and the guys cozy up to local tycoon and playboy Paige Morrell (John Bernthal) so they can get make some big money in the real estate game, aka swindling unexpected single mothers out of their mortgages, when the trajectory of his life changes. Across the dance floor his eyes catch those of Sophie (Emily Ratajkowski), a gorgeous Stanford dropout who is now both the personal assist and love interest to James Reed (Wes Bentley), a famous DJ who’s spinning on the stage above. But of course, Cole doesn’t know that, so he approaches Sophie and makes the observation that James used to be pretty good but he has since sold out.

Later that same night, Cole meets James outside the club. The two share a joint and start talking music. James invites Cole to a party, and away we go. James opens up Cole’s mind, with a little help from the PCP-laced joint they two shared earlier, and the young protégé enters the world of the Hollywood elite.

The next morning, Cole awakens at James’ Hollywood Hills compound and meets Sophie in the kitchen. She fesses up, but it’s too late. Cole is smitten, and the sexual tension is palpable. James becomes Cole’s mentor and gives him the big break he so desperately wants, but what about the woman he also so intently desires?

If I have a problem with We Are Your Friends, it’s that it ultimately teaches the millennial set that you can have your cake and eat it, too. Anyone over the age of 40 knows better. But the music is good and, while filled with themes of love and then betrayal, this coming of age flick is fun and an easy watch. More so even, it’s an enjoyable one.


About Ryan Gray

An award-winning, professionally and academically trained journalist. I'm a reporter and editor of news, business, sports, and entertainment and manager of the entire production process for print, online and multimedia/interactive for my company. I drive our brands and those of our clients via storytelling and audience engagement. I also direct curriculum development for related conferences and provide quality assurance on all projects and facilitate teamwork throughout the company and convert traffic and readership into dollars. In my spare time I enjoy music, playing with my daughter, blogging and consuming great TV shows and films. Specialties: News/feature reporting, editorial direction, editorial production management, video direction, multimedia, blogging, content marketing strategy, social media, editing/proofreading, page layout, HTML, public relations, photography/videography

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