Like or Unlike, “The Social Network” is One Good Movie
Are you on Facebook?
Many people are still holdouts, although FB claims a membership of 500 million and counting.
“Social Network” will leave FB naysayers declaring “I told you so.”
You could call “Social Network” the ultimate Revenge of the Nerd.
That nerd is Mark Zuckerberg, played with prickly precision by Jesse Eisenberg.
We meet Mark in the fall of 2003 at Harvard, where he is an undergraduate. Mark is dumped by his girlfriend Erica (Rooney Mara), who has had enough of his short attention span, social awkwardness and obsession with computer programs.
Reeling from Erica’s rejection, Mark plays a cruel Internet prank that infuriates the female population of Harvard and crashes the university’s computer servers.
Perversely, the handsome, identical Winklevoss twins (Cameron and Tyler, both played by Armie Hammer), who are in every way Mark’s opposite, are impressed with Mark’s programming genius, and ask him for some help with a social dating network for Harvard students.
Mark accepts the challenge and goes one step further to create his own social network, which he calls The Facebook. He takes on as a partner his roommate Eduardo Savererin (Andrew Garfield) a wealthy Cuban-American from Miami who puts up $1,000 as seed money.
The Winklevoss twins, who epitomize the W.A.S.P. ideal, will spend the rest of the story using their wealth and privilege to force a legal judgment again Zuckerberg.
As the film’s slogan goes, “You can’t get to 500 million friends Without Making a Few Enemies,” and Zuckerberg proceeds to wrong his best friends on his way to becoming the world’s youngest billionaire and worldwide, certifable cultural phenomenon.
Based on Ben Mezrich’s book “The Accidental Billionaires,” Aaron Sorkin’s screenplay is clever, suspenseful and ironically comic, featuring Eisenberg reciting complicated computer jargon with the speed of an auctioneer.
Some of the choicest comedy comes via Justin Timberlake, who plays Napster founder Sean Parker. Mark clearly develops a man crush on Parker, who is Mark’s gregarious, cocaine-fueled, womanizing opposite.
Parker was just another stepping stone for Mark, who can’t be bothered with the high life.
This movie was directed by David Fincher (“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”) without any cooperation from Facebook or Mark Zuckerberg. Some have called it a hatchet job against Zuckerberg, but I don’t think so. If anything, it will only increase public admiration for the distant, mysterious, obviously brilliant Facebook creator.
I don’t think it will change any minds about Facebook. There are plenty of people who couldn’t care less about what other people are doing, and there are even more who simply use it as a tool for their own self-promotion.
So like it or unlike it, “The Social Network” is a heck of a good movie that should entertain even the worst skeptics.