The Social Network (David Fincher) 2010
It was interesting to read the comments before the movie was out; specifically misunderstanding of what it would be. There is still a bit of that going on by most people calling it “The Facebook Movie”. It is almost as if people expected a movie where people posted on Facebook all the time or some dry narrative about people coding. While this is based on the creation of Facebook (take not of the “based” since this is Hollywood after all), The Social Network is more a character study than anything else.
We follow Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) as he recounts his creation of Thefacebook through a series of lawsuits (which focus the narrative). Among the people suing him are the Winklevosses (brothers who are part of Harvard’s elite clubs) who gave him the idea and his best friend and CFO of Facebook Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield).
Much of what makes this movie work is the clever writing by Aaron Sorkin (West Wing). Sorkin is one of my favorite writers in that he can take rather dry material and make it informative, funny, and witty. He also avoids making anyone into two dimensional characters or caricatures. Even the Winklevosses who in any other screenplay would be the smarmy elite snobs that want to drag the little man down, here has dimensions. You can understand where all these characters are coming from even if you don’t agree with them.
Who really carries the movie is Jesse Eisenberg. At first I probably wrote him off as trying to be another Michael Cera (and I hate Michael Cera), but here he actually is able to give a complex and layered performance. It could be easy to label him a dick but there is a lot going on. As Devin from CHUD I think put perfectly, Zuckerberg is driven not by fear of rejection, but lack of acceptance. His intelligence obviously is his greatest asset to Facebook, but it gets in the way of his personal relationships. He over analyzes his relationships and treats friends at times like business rivals. I would not have expected it but he gives a wonderful performance in the main role. I also have to give credit to Justin Timberlake as Sean Parker (who created Napster). He has a very memorable performance as this kind of nerd rock star who parties all night and has lines like a used car salesman.
If you couldn’t tell I really liked this movie. It is going to be one I am going to see multiple times and own the Blu Ray of. Throw out what you expectations of this movie might be and come into it with an open mind and I think you will enjoy it. I highly recommend this movie.