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The Social Network

The Social Network (2010) – Rated PG-13 for sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and language.

By now you’ve probably heard about how Mark Zuckerburg started Facebook in his Harvard dorm room on February 4, 2004.  Now, six years later, Zuckerburg is the youngest self-made billionaire in history.  This guy is almost too smart for his own good.  He created some music player called Synapse that got the attention of Microsoft, which offered Zuckerburg a job.  And he was only seventeen!  Turning down what was surely a great offer and lots of money, he instead opted to attend Harvard University.  The rest, as they say, is history.  He may be a college dropout but he’s worth approximately $6.9 billion.  Billion, not million.  The Social Network has been adapted from Ben Mezrich’s non-fiction novel The Accidental Billionaires.  I use the term “non-fiction” loosely.  The only consultant for the novel was Eduardo Saverin and Mark Zuckerburg, among others, have called the film fiction.  The real truth behind the founding of Facebook is null and void now because this film is quite entertaining.  Who cares if it’s true, not true, not entirely true, or completely made up?  The fact of the matter is the film is well written, wonderfully directed, and the acting is superb.

Aaron Sorkin has done a wonderful job with this script.  The dialogue is fast-paced and witty and all the characters speak like real people.  He hasn’t dumbed down anything for the masses and I truly appreciate that.  Screenwriters nowadays tend to water down everything as if every person on the planet cannot comprehend what they really want to say and it’s insulting.  Sorkin keeps the audience on its toes with the constant time shift of scenes.  One scene will be taking place in 2003, with Zuckerburg still planning out the website.  The next will see Zuckerburg in an office discussing the two current lawsuits at his feet.  All this, and no one in my audience got confused.  It is reminiscent of what Tarantino did so well with Pulp Fiction.  Speaking of Tarantino, the dialogue in this film is so caffeinated and quick that the opening scene had me thinking that Tarantino could have written this script instead of Sorkin.  Then I remembered that Sorkin perfected this type of dialogue in “The West Wing” and with this opening scene, I knew that I was in for a good ride.

The acting is top notch from all the main players.  Jesse Eisenberg seemed to relish playing this role.  He got to be manipulative, awkward, sarcastic, and yet you can feel the pain behind the genius.  Zuckerberg is a man who is too smart to not be socially awkward.  In the opening scene, which just might blow your mind, he is having a drink with his girlfriend and manages to insult her without even trying.  He seems to always be thinking five sentences ahead of her and she can’t quite keep up.  And it’s established early on that money means nothing to him.  He knows he doesn’t have it and doesn’t seem to want it either.  He just wants to be accepted and recognized.  Everything he does is aimed at his being recognized as a genius and being accepted by the Final Clubs.  And yet, everything he does ends up not quite accomplishing what he so desires.  He wants a girlfriend.  She breaks up with him.  He wants to be accepted.  His best and only friend ends up suing him.  Nothing seems to work out for him.  You want to hate Zuckerberg but you can’t.  To be truthful, I ended up feeling sorry for him.  He wanted nothing more than to be accepted and at the end he is alone.  Andrew Garfield did amazing as Eduardo Saverin.  He really wants to help Zuckerberg with this new venture and yet he’s left out.  He feels backstabbed and rightly so.  The pain and anger that seethes through his eyes are undeniable.  This guy deserves some kind of award.  And someone who truly surprised me with his performance was Justin Timberlake as Sean Parker.  This guy is a manipulative asshole.  He manages to swindle his way to 7% percent of the company and he literally did nothing but dazzle Zuckerberg with a few drinks and some conversation.  You want to hate him but Timberlake did such a good job that I ended up liking him.  The character, not the man.  And Armie Hammer playing both Winklevoss twins was brilliant!  I honestly couldn’t believe the seemless CGI that was done to put his face on Josh Pence’s body.  If I didn’t know it I wouldn’t have guessed that the two Winklevoss twins weren’t real twins.  And even after telling my colleagues this fact, they couldn’t believe it either.

And lastly there is the direction by David Fincher.  He has put together a film that is brilliant and smart.  It really is compelling.  Bravo!  The first thing I did when I walked out of this film was sign on to my Facebook account and let all my friends know how much I loved it!  I’m sure you’ll be doing the same.  Filmtastic review = 5 stars.

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  1. Kody
    September 30, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    Wow you make it sound more and more interesting than the previews do haha can’t wait to see it!! Great review 🙂

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