Electric Dance Music (commonly known as EDM) has grown hugely popular these past few years with the style of music played across nightclubs and festivals all over the world. EDM does not refer to a specific genre, but serves as an umbrella term for several genres, including techno, house, trance, dubstep etc. EDM is generally used in the context of a live DJ mix where the DJ creates a seamless selection of tracks by slipping from one recording to the next. We Are Your Friends picks up on the popularity of EDM and follows young aspiring DJ Cole Carter (Zac Efron) as he tries to break into the DJ-ing world.
Cole, along with his three friends Mason, Olly and ‘Squirrel’ are stuck in dead-end jobs in the San Francisco Valley but all dream of one day escaping into the bright lights of Hollywood. Cole has an (un-paid) gig DJ-ing in a side room of their local club every week and it is there that a chance meeting with older DJ James (Wes Bentley), who is still a big name but past his prime, that things start to change for Cole. James decides to take him under his wing and gives him access to his own studio in order to produce the track that could break Cole into the industry. Things get complicated however when Cole starts falling for James’ PA and younger girlfriend Sophie (Emily Ratajkowski), and his friendship with his school friend’s start unravelling. Soon Cole must choose between love, loyalty and the future he is destined for.
Ultimately this film is about a group of lads trying to get rich and famous but it has quite a serious take on this, there’s no real comedic elements, instead director Max Joseph has decided to show the real struggles of these lads trying to make something of their lives. There is a very nice underlying bromance between the lads – although they mostly comes across as being idiots with their drug dealing and excessive partying – there is a very touching moment towards the end of the film that shows their connection towards each other. However, the overall message of this film seems to be that sometimes moving forward in life means leaving some things, and some people, behind.
All of the cast are very good, Zac shines as the lead – though this film is a step away from his previous movies as it’s slightly edgier than what we’ve seen him in before. Wes Bentley (American Beauty, Hunger Games) is great as the older DJ who is spiralling out of control with his constant partying and drinking, and Cole’s mates Mason, Olly and ‘Squirrel’ are all played brilliantly by relative newcomers Jonny Weston, Shiloh Fernandez and Alex Shaffer. The only girl in the film is Sophie who holds her own in this man driven film. Sophie is played by Emily Ratajkowski who is most famous for her role in Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines video. She is still new to acting but she is very good at it, even if there are quite a few scenes that focus on her body more than anything else.Overall We Are Your Friends is a simple coming-of-age story, nothing much really happens but there is one moment that will give the audience a deeper storyline and makes you see these lads differently. You will definitely have to be a fan of EDM music as it’s constant throughout the film, the soundtrack is great though with songs like Sunlight by The Magician, I Think I Like It by Fake Blood, Desire by Years and Years (by favourite band of the moment!) and of course We Are Your Friends by Justice Vs Simian. There is also a lot of explanatory text over the screen to help us process all the EDM jargon that is given to us throughout the film. I’d say this is probably more of a lads film but not so much that girls won’t enjoy it too (particularly if you like Zac Efron as he is often topless or in vest tops showing off his impressive arm muscles…!).