The Social Network

As anyone who knows me can attest…I love the Facebook. But I have to admit…I did not know that when the idea of Facebook was first introduced online back in 2003, it was known as “THE Facebook.” So right off the bat, I learned something from this movie. Wanna know what else I learned from this film?

Well…I learned that Aaron Sorkin is excellent at writing dialogue that keeps a movie moving at a torrid pace (like THAT’S a surprise). I found out that the creator of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, is a computer genius who is misunderstood and pompous, all at the same time. I learned that Justin Timberlake and Jesse Eisenberg ARE very good actors (as I always believed) and might even someday win an Oscar. I also learned that there CAN be a movie made about an online social service and be interesting enough to keep me totally engrossed throughout it’s lengthy running time (2 hours). Not bad for a movie that could have easily been absolutely boring but was anything but that.

In the beginning of the film we meet Mark Zuckerberg (Eisenberg), a geeky Harvard computer nerd who has only one goal in life…to be acknowledged by his peers. So he sets out to create an online social network that will link colleges across the world and allow students to communicate. He creates “Facebook” and is then subsequently sued by 2 different parties for stealing the idea. The movie bounces between the lawsuits and tells the story of Zuckerberg as he sets up the site, comes up with ideas and finds himself in a partnership with the creator of Napster, Sean Parker (Timberlake).

The entire process of how Facebook came to be is fascinating to me. The making of it, the marketing of it and the way it became the most highly trafficked site on the web is a fascinating story. And this film, which is based on the book, does a fantastic job of telling the story of how it all went down and why. Eisenberg is perfect as the quirky Zuckerberg, a man of very little social skills. He plays the role perfectly simply because Zuckerberg could easily been seen as a total ass. He oozes confidence and this makes him seem pompous and cocky. However Eisenberg plays him with just enough humanity that you like him for all the right reasons as he goes from nerdy college geek to the first billionaire in history. It’s a great role for him and he nails it. I see an Oscar nomination for him later this year.

The supporting players are all excellent as well, from Justin Timberlake as the smooth talking Parker to Andrew Garfield, who plays the jilted co-creator of Facebook, Eduardo Saverin. The directing is top notch with David Fincher leading the way (you might remember him as the director of “Fight Club?”) and Aaron Sorkin is one of the greatest screenwriters of our time with “A Few Good Men”, “The West Wing” and “Charlie Wilson’s War” being his claims to fame. No one writes dialogue that pops as well as Sorkin and his style is vital for this kind of movie.

Needless to say, I loved this film. It is a little long in spots but they are few and far between. I was thoroughly engaged throughout and I highly recommend it!

Overall Rating: A


2 thoughts on “The Social Network

  1. It was a great movie! But alas, a movie. The events were far, far removed from the reality of Mark’s life and Facebook’s creation and very liberally doused with innuendo. I could watch it again and again, but it’s the same as watching Inglorious Basterds for historical accuracy… where there are great characters, amazing actors and a very interesting, compelling story, accompanied by an awesome score (yes, I’m biased already for anything Trent Reznor (former NIN frontman) does in any capacity).

    The coolest part for me, other than the score, was the technical accuracy of the on screen programming languages and geek speak. It is a movie glorifying geek culture, which I believe to be one of the most accurate (technically speaking) main stream movies to date.

    My review and grade is an A as well. Must see!

    One small nugget, for everyone on the storyline of how Facbook came to be…

    Movie : Mark is jilted by a girl at college and wants to oust her publicly, via the web.
    Life : Mark has been with the same girl since high school.

    Good to know! I think I had read a review somewhere that this film was mostly fiction but I wasn’t sure which parts. I’m going to have to read the book at some point to get the real story! But for now….this movie was excellent and very entertaining!

    P.S. You are absolutely correct in your evaluation of Reznor’s score. Dunno why I excluded it when I’ve downloaded 2 tracks off it!!! Go check my OTHER site…

  2. I find it interesting that you thought Zuckerberg had “only one goal in life…to be acknowledged by his peers.” Don’t you think he was equally driven to win back his ex-girlfriend? Maybe I’m a hopeless romantic, but I thought it was beautifully poetic how everything came back to the girl in the movie. In fact, I would argue that this is precisely the thing that gives Mark’s character the humanity you loved. And without giving it away, the very last scene was one of my most favorite movie endings since “Sideways-” the perfect moment to fade to black.

    Tony, thanks for setting the record straight on Mark’s real love life. I’m happy that it wasn’t quite so tumultuous in reality. But thank God it was written that way- it made for fantastic story telling!

    I guess I see your point. I hadn’t considered it that way, even if there were indications throughout of his infatuation with his girlfriend. But still…he did seem very driven by the fact that he wasn’t included in the Harvard select group. As for the “real” story…why let truth stand in the way of a really good story….right? LOL

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