Well here goes: My first film review! It’s been a crazy first week of school, and I decided to escape for a few by going to the movies. I chose We Are Your Friends.
Just so you know, I am going to format my review as a report card. Everything featured will be subjects that I find the most important. Story: Was it interesting? #Aesthetics: Was the movie appealing to my eyes? Is it nice to look at? Ear Porn: Did the score and/or soundtrack give me a complete eargasm? POC Reppin’: How many people of color were represented on screen? How many were in significant roles? Girl Power: How are the women portrayed? And last but not least- Box Office: How is it performing? And if it is not performing so well, what could have been done to save it?
I went to a matinee showing and I was in the theater alone. As in no one else in the audience but me- alone. I was able to kick my feet up, recline my chair, and take in everything I was viewing without distraction. What a great feeling for me, but a bad thing as far as box office numbers go.
We Are Your Friends
Starring: Zac Efron, Wes Bentley, Emily Ratajkowski
Director: Max Joseph
The plot was pretty simple and easy to follow, and pretty predictable at times. It kept me entertained, but I wish there was more to the story. I wanted to know more about Cole (Zac Efron), Sophie’s (Emily Ratajkowski), and James'(Wes Bentley) backgrounds, and I wanted to see what became of their relationships. So the story is a typical coming of age/ boy-meets-girl story. Boy has a big dream. Boy meets right person to help achieve dream. Boy meets girl. Boy gets distracted. Etc. To be honest, I can’t entirely remember the plot too well.
Zac Efron. Emily Rajatowski. If that’s not enough, I don’t know what is. Ms. Blurred Lines herself is a favorite in the Tumblr-verse. The entire movie, all I could think of was Tumblr and (dramatic voice) #aesthetic. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if the images of WAYF are splattered all over Tumblr within the next few months. I was in love with the beautiful shots of the Valley, the Los Angeles and Las Vegas nightlife, and the animation in the PCP trip sequence. Being alone in the theater made the visual appeal all the more magical. As a crazy artsy type, I am obsessed with contrast- and there is a lot of it in this film. One of the most notable shots is a group of pink flowers resting in front of a bleak field of transmission towers. Sadly, at times I was too distracted from the imagery to notice what the characters were saying. In the future, it will be one of those movies I watch so just so I can look at it.
Ear Porn: A
I can’t say I’m an expert in EDM (Electronic Dance Music), so I wasn’t disappointed with the music in the film. The music, paired with the imagery, almost made for an extended music video- which might be what the director was going for? There’s a lot of high-energy club joints in here, and I (almost) wanted to dance in my seat. I mean, I could’ve considering I was the only one there!
POC Reppin’: D
Not a lot of POC’s in this film. At all. With the exception of Ollie (Shiloh Fernandez), WAYF presents a very white-washed view of the Valley, which in real life is 41 percent White, 41.8 percent Latino, 4.6 percent Black, and 12.7 percent Asian. The only other POC’s in this film were either featured in the voice-over dance sequence in the beginning of the film, or as random people in the background.
Girl Power: D-
Overall, this movie isn’t very female-friendly, which is the majority of Zac Efron’s core fanbase. With the exception of Mrs. Romero (Alicia Coppola), almost all the women in this film are presented as sexual objects. They’re conquests, and almost none of them have names. Besides the main characters, the majority of the other women in the film are faceless. The camera almost always pans in on their bodies, and they rarely have speaking parts. They merely fade into the background. The only reason I didn’t give WAYF an F in this category is because I give kudos to Sophie for leaving James in the end, and deciding to finish her education.
Box Office: F
I was the only one in the theater. That’s definitely not a good sign. Checking out the trades this morning, WAYF is only projected to crack 2.6 million this weekend, when it was originally projected to make 10 million. Why is that? Did the marketers not do their research? This past week a lot of students returned to school, especially college students. They are more likely out partying or going to sports events rather than the movies. WAYF would have been better off being released either in May or June, where students are fresh out of school and looking for something to do. The marketing of this film also had no clear direction. Is it for college students? EDM fans? Or impressionable young girls?