the social network

When I heard a movie about Facebook was being developed I’m pretty sure I rolled my eyes. I thought the idea was ridiculous. I imagined it to be a teen flick about friending, status updates, etc. I had absolutely no interest in the movie at all.

Then a few months back I learned that Aaron Sorkin and David Fincher were attached to write the screenplay and direct the movie, respectively. Hearing this gave me pause. I’m a huge Sorkin fan (The West Wing is one of my favorite shows and A Few Good Men one of my favorite movies) so I knew my first impression was mistaken. Not to mention that based on Fincher’s filmography (Zodiac, Fight Club, etc), this wasn’t going to be just another teen movie. It was going to be original, compelling, substantial…

And it was! I convinced Rob to see it last weekend!

THE SCRIPT IS AMAZING. From the opening scene, I was in awe of Sorkin. The dialogue is his trademark rapid-fire style that’s crisp, smart, and witty. It’s intelligent without losing its sense of humor. And it expects the audience to keep up — it’s not weighted down with any unnecessary expository dialogue.

I hope that The Social Network can overcome the reputation as “that Facebook movie” because the creation of the site is just the means of exploring the larger themes of friendship, ambition, motivation, and betrayal. The movie cuts back and forth between the present-day and flashbacks and tells the story from three different perspectives — Mark Zuckerberg (creator/co-founder), Eduardo Saverin (co-founder, original CFO before his ownership was reduced to nothing), and the Winklevoss twins (who had the idea for Harvard Connection and believe that Mark stole their idea for an exclusive social networking site). I found myself sympathizing with and understanding where everyone was coming from, especially Eduardo. If there’s a tragic party in this story, it would be him. He was just way out of his depth in the whole situation. I know the movie is a dramatization and I’m sure the creators took liberties (I’ve read that the character of Erica Albright doesn’t exist the same way she does in the movie — she’s essentially the reason Mark was motivated to create the site) but it’s so interesting to me how the basic facts of the story are true. How one young person has the ability to change the face of modern communication and bring so many people from different parts of the world together. And does so while simultaneously pushing his own friends away.

The performances from all the actors are also noteworthy. Particularly the two leads. I’ve never seen Jesse Eisenberg (Mark Zuckerberg) or Andrew Garfield (Eduardo Saverin) in any of their previous roles but I’m definitely looking forward to their next projects. Especially the latter who has just been cast as the new Spider-man. I was even impressed by Justin Timberlake (playing Napster co-founder Sean Parker)! I’m a fan of his music but haven’t thought much of his acting (being funny on SNL doesn’t really count) until now. Seriously, everyone was at the top of their game.

GO SEE IT. Highly recommended.

I’m putting some of my favorite quotes under the cut just in case you don’t want to be spoiled. I got a kick out these. 🙂

Erica: “You’re going to be successful and rich. But you’re going to go through life thinking that girls don’t like you because you’re a geek. And I want you to know, from the bottom of my heart, that won’t be true. It’ll be because you’re an asshole.”

Eduardo: “Sorry, my Prada is at the cleaners, along with my hoodie and my ‘fuck you’ flip flops, you pretentious douche bag!”

Eduardo: “You better lawyer up because when I come back, I’m not coming back for 30 percent. I’m coming back for everything.”

Marylin Delpy: “Every creation myth needs a devil.”

Marylin Delpy: “You’re not an asshole Mark. You’re just trying so hard to be one.”