Hey, remember Magic Mike? The heartwarming tale of a young entrepreneur looking to make it in the world on his own terms…except he has to get out of the male stripper industry first? If you liked Magic Mike, then you’ll be happy to learn that there are TWO sequels coming out this year! There’s the direct sequel, Magic Mike XXL, set to hit theatres on July 1st, and a spin-off movie called We Are Your Friends, set to be released August 28. It’s another inspiring tale about good-looking guys and hot girls trying to make…….wait, this isn’t a Magic Mike sequel? Oh….it’s about DJs in California trying to make it in the world on their own terms. Well yeah, that makes it TOTALLY DIFFERENT, GUYS!
We Are Your Friends is the feature film debut of writer/director Max Joseph, who you may have seen working the camera on MTV’s Catfish: The TV Show. It follows Cole (Zac Efron), a young man who thrives on promoting and DJing parties with his three buddies for the pretty and the wealthy of Hollywood. He barely makes a living on his own, so he has another odd job fixing up houses. One particular show has him meeting up with Sophie (Emily Ratajkowski), who basically just stands in front of Cole, looks hot, talks while looking hot and gets Cole hot and bothered enough to “amp it up.” For those unaware, “amp it up” in DJ terms means “crank up the bass,” or “turn up the volume,” or something, I left my copy of “The DJ’s Guide to the Galaxy” book in my other pants. Anyway, Cole notes how he keeps his DJ audio at about 125 BPM (Beats Per Minute) then goes to 128 BPM to really “amp it up.” Apparently Cole’s “amp” skills catch the eye of James (Wes Bentley), an older DJ looking for a young stud to take under his wing. Cole plays some stuff for him, but he’s underwhelmed. Cole must find his own distinct sound to his tracks before he ends up suffering the worst fate a handsome twenty-something can think of……WORKING IN AN OFFICE AND WEARING A SHIRT WITH SLEEVES ON IT!!!!
The funny thing is that We Are Your Friends looks like the plot of Magic Mike in reverse, whereas Mike was trying to get out of his glamorous profession but Cole is trying to become successful in his glamorous profession. It has similar plot elements to Magic Mike, like the girlfriend inspiring the guy to change his life, the best friends in the lifestyle, the teaching to the new kid and the difficult crossroads of where the guy is going in his life. The message appears to be the same too: follow your dreams, never settle, amp it up and whatnot. But everything, from the dayglow cinematography, the club music and the unrealistically attractive lead actors is like a copy-and-paste job from the Magic Mike plot. Now of course, this is just a mere trailer and perhaps the movie can surprise viewers when it hits theaters. But when you can predict this rags-to-riches fairy tale from just the first trailer, it’s not very promising.
We Are Your Friends opens in theaters on August 28, 2015.