'We Are Your Friends'
(Zac Efron, Wes Bentley, Jonny Weston, Emily Ratajkowski, et al / DVD / NR / 2015 / Warner Bros.)
Overview: Caught between a forbidden romance and the expectations of his friends, aspiring DJ Cole Carter attempts to find the path in life that leads to fame and fortune.
DVD Verdict: Contrary to the film's title, the story's mainly about an EDM (electronic dance music) DJ named Cole Carter (Zac Efron), his mentor, James (Wes Bentley), and a love triangle involving James' personal assistant – slash – live-in girlfriend, Sophie (Emily Ratajkowski). Sure, Cole has a group of friends, but they're mainly relegated to background roles. Cole lives in the pool house of his buddy Dustin (Jonny Weston) and they hang out with drug-dealing Ollie (Shiloh Fernandez) and quiet, unhappy squirrel (Alex Shaffer).
These four San Fernando Valley California buds get together to enjoy "the world's greatest sushi", talk about their dreams and hopes for the future, and party – a lot. In a half-hearted effort to make bank, all four of them go to work for a suspiciously rich real estate investor (Jon Bernthal), but that move feels to most of the guys more like a step backwards in pursuit of their goals.
Throughout the movie, Cole spends a lot of time with his friends, but his pursuit of his dreams and his relationships with James and Sophie occupy the vast majority of the screen time. James is a rich and in-demand EMD DJ who takes Cole under his wing. James is an arrogant alcoholic, but he does give Cole some good advice – and access to his impressive home studio so Cole can perfect his sound. (Cole's convinced that he just needs one great track to make it big.)
Meanwhile, there's a growing sexual tension between Cole and Sophie, who's also unhappy with her life. When Cole and his friends take a trip to a big rave in Las Vegas, where James and Sophie are also headed, certain developments change the equation for some of them. Those characters then have to make decisions that will change their lives.
You know, you can often tell when a studio knows it has a stinker on its hands. The signs include giving it a title which isn't representative of the story, giving the movie little publicity and making drastic changes to the movie poster late in the game. These all apply to this film, as does the suspicious timing of the movie's release.<>
I mean, seriously, WHY release a youth-friendly made-for-summer movie at the very end of the summer (after many teens have already gone back to school) and in a weekend with very little competition in the way of other feature film releases? Put all that together and you have the movie 'We Are Your Friends,' sorry Warner Bros. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
- How Zac Efron Learned To DJ - Watch the actor prepare for his role as a world class DJ!
Warner Bros. on Blu-ray!