We Are Your Friends

Like its protagonist—a 23-year-old DJ from the San Fernando Valley—the coming-of-age story We Are Your Friends is sentimental, eager to please, and full of energy. It trades in tried-and-true melodramatic complications, yet the charismatic players deliver them with disarming conviction. Director Max Joseph and editor Terel Gibson keep the movie pulsing with a glut of eye-catching stylistic strategies: Gibson sets much of the action to the rhythms on the soundtrack (the movie often feels like a musical), while Joseph incorporates animation, onscreen text, and extreme high- and low-angle shots. The movie communicates the emotional rush of making music—specifically, electronic dance music, the center of the characters’ lives—and it’s admirably serious in how it depicts the creative process, illustrating the production of EDM songs with the sort of curiosity and reverence that other films grant to painting or writing. Continue reading >>