Accidental comedy lifts objectively bad ‘We Are Your Friends’

Accidental comedy lifts objectively bad ‘We Are Your Friends’

The movie “We Are Your Friends” is kind of like college.

“Ninety-nine percent of people in the world just want to party. The other one percent are the party!”

That’s the kind of earnest dialogue that permeates every scene in the movie. It is a trashy tour de force so accidentally enjoyable that I could justify putting it on my five-star review scale.

Zac Efron is Cole, a southern California lay-about whose only ambition is to make his mark in the world of electronic dance music (EDM). If he can just put together one hit track, he can make it big and buy his way out of the San Fernando Valley.

In the meantime, all he has is a group of dopey friends to take on odd jobs with to make ends meet. Each one looks like he has his own unique, terrible stench.

My favorite is easily the guy who looks like a skinhead and who has an almost erotic reaction to watching nature documentaries about apex predators.

The cast is complete with Wes Bentley as the famous DJ (with a penchant for heavy drinking) who takes Cole under his wing. He’s dating his personal assistant (played by Emily Ratajkowski), who becomes Cole’s love interest because the young, attractive male and female leads can’t just be friends.

You’d be forgiven for thinking “We Are Your Friends” is simply about breaking into the world of EDM, but you’d also be wrong. This movie picks up subplots and throws them to the ground like a hyperactive child going through a basket of toys.

It ruminates on the lack of economic mobility for millennials, the social insensitivity of privileged Stanford students and the predatory housing loan market. It also comes to a somber halt in the final act as one character suffers a random, fatal drug overdose.

Even with the best script in the world, it would be tough for a movie to juggle all of that in under two hours. “We Are Your Friends” does not have the best script in the world.

However, it does have a lovable belief in itself. Everything is taken so seriously that I found myself enjoying things that are crap.

I love that so much of the story is told in music video-esque EDM montages. The best one comes early as Cole unknowingly takes PCP at a party in an art gallery, which makes him imagine the art coming to life.

I also love that Cole is functionally the same as a silent video game protagonist. He has dialogue, but his personality is empty and things constantly happen to him only because he’s the hero.

Finally, I adore how the characters are drinking or doing drugs in almost every scene without many visible hangovers. These people are pros.

“We Are Your Friends” is sort of a disaster, but I couldn’t help but have a great time watching it.

It feels like the crass result of a man in a suit demanding a movie about the beepy boopy music the kids love so much, but its overwhelming sincerity makes it unintentionally hilarious. If that’s your thing, I highly recommend it.