The end of the summer is always a toss-up in regards to films. Most of the summer movie season is over, and yet there are still some smaller films which try to capture some of the attention this time of year can bring. "We Are Your Friends" falls into the realm of the general end-of-the-summer movie in that it's not terribly memorable, but it's still a good time.
Zac Efron, in a tie with maybe Kristen Stewart, continues to surprise me with his performances. As with most people, I had assumed that this guy would have died out by now as an actor, but his performances in last summer's surprise hit "Neighbors" and now in this film show that he certainly has some future potential. Efron plays a small-time DJ who is trying to get his career off the ground. After a show one night, he runs into Wes Bentley, a washed-out DJ who ends up tutoring Efron and helping him to create a track unique to his own style.
Bentley, like Efron, gives a good performance. The chemistry which these two characters share seems genuine and I bought into it pretty quickly. This is more evident with the inclusion of Emily Ratajkovski, assistant and girlfriend of Bentley. Her interaction with both of these characters works nicely as well, and I bought all of the performances in this film.
One of the biggest things in this film is the music and I really like how the film dealt with it. There's a point in the film in which Efron is explaining the psychological aspects of being a DJ, in that you have to get the crowd into a certain heart-rate zone in order to truly capture them into the music. I liked this because, while I don't know how much this idea is actually used by real DJs, the concept seemed interesting. There's also the concept of how to create music by using various sounds around you, essentially creating a reflection of your self, your life, and your surroundings. This comes to fruition within the film and its quite neat when it does, as it's a reflection of what art should ultimately be.
The problems with this film are as such. There are times in which it feels like two different films are going on at the same time. There is a storyline with Efron and his friends, and then there's one with him and Bentley creating music, which ultimately felt like the dominant one. It created a strange feeling for the film as it bounced back and forth between different parts of Efron's life, neither of which really connected.
There's also the matter of the romance aspect of this film. It's said to be a romantic film, and that does happen, but its not at the forefront of the plot at all. Romantic events happen (mainly an hour into the film itself) and then don't really get touched on much after that. It's not a film about boy chasing girl because love or something. That idea is in the background for most of the film, only to be brought up when nothing else is going on and it feels convenient.
Despite this, and for reasons I can't quite pin down, I did find myself enjoying this film. I was able to be invested for most of the 90 minutes and enjoyed the musical ideas and actor's performances. Check it out. It's not the best film to come out this summer, but it's definitely not all that terrible.
But those are my thoughts. Let me know yours in the comments!
Check out my video review here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c45CWPrfsHU