Catfish’s Max Joseph marks his directorial debut with We Are Your Friends; a film depicting the club scene in the Los Angeles underbelly, and the experience of watching this picture feels fittingly similar to a night out on the town. You spend the entire day sort-of-looking forward to it, but inside there’s an element of dread, this contrived sense of fun that is expected of you is overbearing. The idea of staying in and watching Masterchef instead appeals to you greatly, but you can’t admit that to your friends. Then you arrive – the music is terrible, the girls are unattainable, and there’s a strange group of men standing around in a semi-circle on the dance floor, staring and simultaneously sipping on their overpriced lagers that taste like piss.

At the end of the night there are often tears, vomit, and lengthy periods of times waiting for the cab to pick you up. The next day is one full of regret, wishing it never happened. But, there are always a small handful of moments you take away, special, indelible instances where everything just fell into place. That’s where We Are Your Friends comes in. For the most part it’s deeply irritating, and you spend much of the time wishing you were anywhere else – but at the close of play there’s something to cling on to. It’s not all bad.

Zac Efron plays Cole Carter, an aspiring DJ who wants to make an impact on the dance scene. Though an established, esteemed musician James (Wes Bentley) takes him under his wing, Cole’s closest friends Mason (Jonny Weston), Ollie (Shiloh Fernandez) and Squirrel (Alex Shaffer) keep him grounded, while he plays with fire when becoming dangerously close to his mentor’s girlfriend, Sophie (Emily Ratajkowski).

There’s barely a likeable character amongst this collective, aside from Efron’s Cole. Though he has a tendency to act and say rather illusory things at times, he remains endearing and keeps the viewer onside. He almost represents the viewer, as we perceive this bizarre, foreign world from his perspective. Suddenly the various idiots he encounters along the way seem deliberately placed, as our entry point isn’t much of a fan of their antics himself. There’s just too many people talking about things like synergy, and ‘connecting to music’, without any sense of irony. They end sentences with, ‘you know what I’m saying, bro? No, we don’t really. This is all stupid. But, and fair play to Joseph, in spite of the fact a lot of the dialogue to this piece is nothing short of nauseating, the film just about remains engaging and entertaining, thanks to his resourceful, creative approach.

The finest aspect comes in the study of this very particular age group. Those of around 22 or 23, who have left college and now their feeling of invincibility is rapidly fading. Stuck in a sort of limbo, they’re still young enough not to care, but old enough to know better. It’s that age when you’re forced to examine your future – where suddenly the dreams of making a living going out and drinking suddenly seems somewhat idealistic, not quite equating to a dependable vocation. Then you run the risk of becoming just like everybody else. An adult.

Joseph has structured this tale well, forming it much like a dance song. There’s the slow build up, the inevitable crescendo, and then we have our climax – before we slow the pace down once again. The problem is, it’s just not a particularly good dance song. But hey, when the narrative lags, and tedium creeps in, if all else fails just hit ’em up with another dancing-in-a-club montage, eh?