The Social Network
There are very few things in the world that I can think of that would seem
less cinematic than the creation of Facebook. It seems like it would be a
bunch of geeks doing computer script and bong hits in a college dorm
it’s a bit of a shock that The Social Network is by far one of the
best films released so far this year.
is due, mostly, to a spectacular script by Aaron Sorkin (A Few Good Men,
The West Wing). It is Sorkin’s best work in years and one of the most
literate scripts to see the light of day in years.
The Social Network
is cultured and stunningly sharp and surprisingly complex – much like its
Zuckerberg – at least according to the film – is brilliant as a computer
innovator and programmer, but completely inept socially. He is also so
determined to do things his way only that he will screw over friends
and business partners with little compunction if they cross him.
meet Zuckerberg (played extremely well by Jesse Eisenberg) as he is on a
date with a girl he has been dating for a little while (Rooney Mara, who was
just tapped as the lead of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.) Their
conversation is uncomfortable as he passive/aggressively jousts verbally
with the girl, each sentence a pointed dagger of contempt and accusation.
Eventually after putting up with it for a little while, she walks out on
him, calling him an asshole.
Therefore he clambers across campus, gets drunk and blogs about what a bitch
she is and how she stuffs her bra – essentially proving her point.
truth is: he is an asshole. A brilliant one, perhaps, but an asshole.
Also, in fairness, I am talking about the movie Zuckerberg. I’ve never met
the real guy and have no idea how accurate the film is to his personality.
guess that it is not completely off the mark though, since this is based on
Ben Mezrich's book The Accidental Billionaires about the founding of
However, without ever getting boring (or even going over the audience’s
heads), Sorkin’s screenplay is able to show how the man is a bit of a savant
in figuring out what the people want in a website – whether it is an early
rate-the-girl’s-hotness site for which Zuckerberg hacks into school accounts
for female Harvard students’ photos or the social hookup sight that made him
does step on people on the way up. His best friend Eduardo Saverin
(played by Andrew Garfield, the next Spider-Man)
funded the whole thing and is thrown to the curb, apparently partially as a
long-time grudge that Eduardo was more popular than Zuckerberg and was
invited into a Harvard social club that Zuckerberg couldn't crack.
also expands on the ideas of a couple of Harvard trust-fund-baby winners
named Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss (both played by Armie Hammer) who
came up with the basic idea that Zuckerberg is able to expand into a
multi-billion dollar enterprise. Are the Winklevosses responsible for the
site? Probably not, but they did deserve some credit for the initial
film shifts back and forth between the founding and growth of Facebook and
the breach of contract trials with both of the above parties suing for their
piece of the pie.
the meantime, Zuckerberg hooks up with Sean Parker – who as the creator of
Napster and Plaxo is both Zuckerberg’s inspiration and should be a
cautionary tale. As played by pop star Justin Timberlake (though, in
fairness, Timberlake has spent more time in recent years acting than
singing), Parker is a charming but shallow genius who is equal parts
technical genius and con man.
movie is filmed with surprisingly little fussiness by the notoriously
perfectionist director David Fincher (Se7en, Zodiac, The Curious Case of
movie, much like the man it is about, is achingly smart and incredibly savvy
about what the people want. Unlike its inspiration, though, it is fine
Occasionally movies are just too smart to get a big following. I hope that
is not the case for The Social Network, because this film deserves to
be seen widely.
the parlance of Facebook, just click on the little “Like” button for The
Jay S. Jacobs
Copyright ©2010 PopEntertainment.com.
All rights reserved. Posted: October 1, 2010.