How do you become a millionaire electronic dance music (EDM) superstar such as David Guetta or Calvin Harris? Step one: “Get your head out of that laptop and start listening to what the real world is trying to tell you.”
Similar advice can be given to viewers who are looking to go see “We Are Your Friends,” the new EDM inspired movie that premiered on Aug. 28. An open mind is needed to fully enjoy this film.
“We Are Your Friends” follows the life of aspiring EDM superstar Cole Carter (Zac Efron, “That Awkward Moment”), who is trapped in the San Fernando Valley. Carter, alongside his band of childhood friends Mason (Jonny Weston, “Taken 3”), Ollie (Shiloh Fernandez, “Evil Deed”) and Squirrel (Alex Shaffer, “Win Win”), is waiting for his opportunity to make it big in the deejaying world. His shot comes when an old DJ who also happens to be Carter’s idol, James Reed (Wes Bentley, “Interstellar”), offers Carter an opportunity, taking him under his wing by bringing him to parties, allowing him into his home and helping him hone his skill.
Reed also introduces Carter to Sophie (Emily Ratajkowski, “Gone Girl”), who causes Carter to make some hard choices regarding love and loyalty to his friends.
Although the majority of the movie is filled with typical Hollywood cliché, it is so much more than just a high energy, bumping soundtrack and the incredibly attractive actors running across the screen. Instead, it is about a way of life that should be embraced more openly.
The purpose of the movie is to live in the moment and to react to whatever life throws at you. It’s about making mistakes while you are young, about staying up all night and having unforgettable moments that can only be had at a certain point in life.
This movie portrays the idea that living in the moment can uncover the key to the future. Focusing on a specific way, much like how Carter continued to use only traditional DJ sounds in attempts to find his sound, will only get you so far. It wasn’t until Carter was exposed to Sophie and told to “listen to what the real world is trying to tell you” that he came to this realization. “We Are Your Friends” shows that someone can still strive to get past all of the trappings in their life while also having fun and living in the moment.
It shows that an idealistic desire to succeed can still be upheld even while not focusing every fiber of one’s being on that desire.
The movie does have some downfalls, the main one being its failure to truly dive into the EDM culture. The film had potential to delve into the EDM phenomenon and express what the big deal regarding it really was. Instead, the movie took a turn toward mainstream consumption, drawing people into the movie with its catchy rhythms, easy dramatic hooks and emotional entry points that capture the viewer and allow them to relate more to the characters.
Another downfall of the movie is how easily it can be compared to “Entourage.” Both movies feature a predictable group of friends who desire nothing less than the big time, thus sending said group into various interactions that cause them to learn and eventually grow up.
“We Are Your Friends” is a movie that had potential to be bigger than it was. An open mind is needed to fully appreciate how good the movie truly is, given the route that director and co-writer Max Joseph chose to take. Had he taken the route that truly broke down the barriers regarding the EDM movement, more people may have been satisfied.
Despite that, “We Are Your Friends” is a highly recommendable movie that young adults should make an attempt to see to grasp a message that isn’t conveyed enough in this culture.
Rating: 4 out of 5