Well folks, I finally did it. I finally saw The Social Network after missing it in theatres. May I say, it is a wonderful movie. If I had seen this in 2010 it would have definitely made it onto my favourite movies of 2010 list. Hell, it had the very potential to even top the list. The one thing that prevented me from giving it a full 100 percent is that I could not relate to or root for the protagonist, but a main character doesn't necessarily have to be likeable to make a good movie. Wonderfully written, wonderfully acted, and wonderfully directed, The Social Network was one of the best movies of last year and my personal pick for Best Picture, as well as Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. My generation is the Facebook generation, and this movie is very socially relevant and pertinent to this day and age.
The movie is told chronologically, with occasional flash-forwards to Zuckerberg surrounded by lawyers during the two separate lawsuits he was facing. He was sued by the Winklevoss brothers, twin Harvard bigwigs who claim he stole their idea, and by Eduardo Saverin, after Saverin gets screwed out of his ownership of the company in favour of Justin Timberlake's Sean Parker. I won't give too much away except that the movie (and probably book) paints Zuckerberg in a less than favourable light and whether or not that's entirely true is beyond me. I know what happened with Saverin and the lawsuit actually happened and that's sad.
However, the story of the movie would only be okay if it wasn't for its excellent screenplay. If you see The Social Network for nothing else, than see it for its brilliantly written script. The movie is a drama, but its quite tongue-in-cheek at times, like what makes Sheldon so funny on The Big Bang Theory. I unfortunately was not able to relate to the protagonist, in fact, I feel Saverin was the true protagonist of The Social Network. He was actually the only character I was able to relate to because he wasn't an ass and he got screwed over by Zuckerberg and Parker and everyone having to do with Facebook. He was also screwed out of money and ownership, and that's more than just the cold shoulder. Needless to say, the movie was beautifully written and has my vote for Best Adapted Screenplay (as much as I loved True Grit)
The other thing that makes this movie great is its fine actors. It is a true shame that Jesse Eisenberg has no shot of winning against actors of a higher pedigree like Colin Firth and James Franco. I loved his performance, he's just too young and relatively new (by that I mean the 2000's). He's essentially in the same camp as Hailee Steinfeld, who also deserves to win for her performance in True Grit. My personal favourite performance in the movie was of Andrew Garfield though, and why he didn't get a Best Supporting Actor nomination completely mystifies me because he gave a wonderful performance as Eduardo Saverin. Justin Timberlake gave an okay performance as Sean Parker, but nothing really Oscar-worthy. The other two performances that I feel are worth mentioning are Armie Hammer as the Winklevoss twins and Rooney Mara as Erica, Zuckerberg's ex-girlfriend who dumps him at the beginning of the movie and who he tries to friend at the end of the movie, and they were both fantastic as well.
The thing is, if put in the wrong hands, this movie could have been terrible. If someone like, say, Micahel Cera had been cast as Zuckerberg or someone besides David Fincher directed, it could have been a disaster. Plus, if it was in the hands of the wrong writer, Zuckerberg could have been too cartoon-villainy and everyone would be just caricatures. But the writing was so wonderful that we saw that these characters are not caricatures. They are deeply flawed individuals with their own motivations and life stories that have brought them to this point. Thankfully, the movie was not put in the wrong hands and it turned out great.
I hope The Social Network pays off come Oscar time and I do hope that it wins best picture and best director. Its not a movie solely about the creation of Facebook, its about the dwindling relationship of two friends and about this deeply flawed Sheldon Cooper-esque figure Mark Zuckerberg. It's wonderfully written, wonderfully acted, and wonderfully directed. If I had seen this in 2010, it probably would have earned the #2 spot on my list of best films of 2010 and taken Kick-Ass down a peg. I would say that this is a must-see for all fans of David Fincher films and just about anyone that likes a good movie.