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The Social Network

A 2010 movie directed by David Fincher.

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I "Like" The Social Network

  • Aug 30, 2011
Rating:
+5
I take back every bad thing I ever said about Justin Timberlake. It's that he came riding in on the back of a popular boy band, and we all know how that usually turns out, right? Well, if you were among the many, many Timberlake bashers, you may take heart in the fact that his singing hasn't really changed one bit. However, he has proven to be a great pop music innovator, but what really surprised me is his acting ability. In The Social Network, he plays Napster founder Sean Parker, the charismatic machine gun-talking salesman who leads Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg down the path to success, but at the cost of Zuckerberg's soul.

How do you make a good movie about the formation of a website? Well, hiring David Fincher to direct is a good start. It's pretty odd that a project like this would come from Fincher. The Social Network is, after all, a movie which is giving acknowledgement to the beginnings of one of the most dominant corporations in the world. One of Fincher's other indisputable classics (he's building an impressive resume of them) was Fight Club, a roaring primal scream from one person in a materialistic, corporate world wondering where the line between his gussied up material character and his real self is drawn. Also on the staff of The Social Network is the great screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, who wrote A Few Good Men, The American President, and created TV's The West Wing. The Social Network, as a result, is written and directed in a very engaging manner.

The Social Network's universe revolves around Mark Zuckerberg, a young Harvard student first seen mouthing off to his girlfriend with the cold bluntness and efficiency one might hear in someone with Asperger's Syndrome. She finally ditches him with equivocal coldness and efficiency, sending The Zuck back to his dorm to get drunk and badmouth the girl in his blog before setting up a hot-or-not site called Facemash, which crashes parts of the Harvard network. It also brings him to the attention of Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, who have an idea for a Harvard alumi dating site and and thing The Zuck is the perfect guy to get it online. Zuckerberg likes the idea and uses it to create a whole new social network for people to stay in touch.

Long story short: It gets big. It expands in a way no one has ever seen before. Mark gets rich and inadvertently screws everyone over.

Mark Zuckerberg the way The Social Network portrays him is a tangled mass of contradictions. He is a genius who is easily led on by a very good snake oil salesman. He is a stone, thick and impenetrable for most people but he has an excellent idea of what makes people tick. He is a faithful friend to his friend and business partner, Eduardo, but doesn't seem to care that Eduardo was screwed over by Sean Parker. Zuckerberg has a personality set to the robot position for the entirety of The Social Network. He seems alienated from the real world most of the time, but is a creative innovator who is able to make billions by analyzing the base desires of humanity.

Zuckerberg likes the idea of a universal connections network, so he takes his inspiration from the Winklevoss twins and a grand from Eduardo for his startup fee. When two girls at a Bill Gates lecture tell Mark and Eduardo to Facebook them, they know they're on to something, and Sean Parker enters the picture as something of an advisor to Facebook. He has two things Mark and Eduardo need: The first is an excess of charisma shooting from every pore in his body at the speed of sound. The second and more important thing is connections, which Eduardo come in handy when Eduardo tries to make them himself in New York City and fails. Parker definitely plays a role in the success of Facebook, but he also turns into a wedge when he correctly calculates the respective reactions of Mark and Eduardo to him when they first meet. Mark, shooting for the stars, likes Sean. Eduardo, who doesn't like him, prefers a more conservative approach. Sean, acting like the average kid after doing something which results in his folks playing the good parent/bad parent routine, snuggles up to Mark and uses him as a shield.

The Social Network is set around a pair of lawsuits Zuckerberg faces from the Winklevoss twins and Eduardo. They are all suing Zuckerberg, the Winklevoss twins because they believe he committed intellectual property theft by using their idea to form Facebook and Eduardo because he came back for a slice of the Facebook stock which Sean Parker slickly tricked him out of. The story is told in flashbacks, but they are mostly unbroken so the interruptions to the boardroom scenes are kept at a minimum.

There is a little bit of a Shakespearean element to The Social Network. No one dies, of course, but Mark seems to be made into some shade of Hamlet. Lawsuits are used as vengeance killings once Mark wipes his formerly solid relationships with his friends right off the face of the Earth. Like Hamlet, The Zuck seems lost and uncaring in his own little world at times, much to the detraction of everything that isn't taking place in his head. The Social Network ends not with a massacre, but with a bitter irony: His Facebook site now has over a million members, but Mark Zuckerberg has no one left in his corner to help him fight his battles. The final scene is Mark, having the kind of money which society deifies, sitting pathetically in an empty boardroom, attempting to friend his ex-girlfriend on Facebook.

It's possible that by making Mark Zuckerberg such an alienated character even a the best of times, Fincher was turning The Social Network into an other social commentary about where the tricky location of a blurry line between materialism and reality, where the accumulation of things ends and the actual person is formed. If that's the case, maybe The Social Network has something in common with Fight Club after all.

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September 15, 2011
I enjoyed this quite a bit myself. Thanks for the review!
 
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More The Social Network reviews
review by . October 03, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
4 ½ STARS: Can't Make A Few BILLION Without Making A Few Enemies...
“The Social Network” is a film directed by David Fincher with script by Aaron Sorkin; the film is based on the book by Ben Mezrich called “The Accidental Billionaires“. “Social Network”. God, how those words now mean quite a lot to a great many number of people these days. Right now, I am posting a review on a “social networking” site called lunch.com about a film that portrays the beginnings of one of America’s most famous “social …
review by . November 24, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
First of all it's statistically impossible for there to be more geniuses in China than there are people in the United States. Statistically 1 in 50 people is a genius - at least as it's defined by Mensa, and that's probably generous. Thus China would need 50 times as many people as the United States to have their geniuses exceed our population. Alas, they only have four times as many.         It is this sort of blatant disregard for facts and basic science …
review by . February 03, 2011
posted in Awesomeness
Words are weapons in THE SOCIAL NETWORK. For the most part, words are used vivaciously to accuse and to criticize Mark Zuckerberg's decisions on the road to becoming the billionaire he is today. After all, the tagline for David Fincher's THE SOCIAL NETWORK sums up the movie's point of being: "You don't get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies." Even if Aaron Sorkin, with his incredibly human and detailed dialogue, adapted Ben Mezrich's semi-fictional …
review by . February 14, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Who would think that the 2010 Oscar race appears to be down to a stuffy piece of British manners about a stuttering king and a sparky commoner, and a static legal procedural piece about the invention of a social network site?  Of course, those descriptions don't do justice to the quality of directing, writing, and acting in The King's Speech (which I have reviewed separately) and The Social Network.      The key to the attraction of these movies isn't in the …
review by . December 15, 2010
Unlike the many people who are part of a social network to me I felt socially awkward seeing The Social Network with my family since the movie plays differently for me than my genetically connected counterparts. For those of you who don't have a computer and have been living in a cave in the middle of nowhere The Social Network is the semi-realistic tale of Mark Zuckerberg, a sophomore at Harvard who, after a post dumped drunken escapade creates a little website called Facebook. Ah Facebook …
review by . October 12, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
The Pirates of Silicon Valley 2?
Alright, so I have to admit, I'm somewhat of a Facebook fan boy. Not the type that is completely consumed by Facebook 24/7, but the kind that loves the idea that some dude from Harvard turned a website into a $25 Billion dollar business and he's only 26. Also let me put this one out there, I'm sick of the whole "down with Facebook" mini movement that people are trying to get started because Facebook wants their ads to be relevant to you.      With that …
review by . August 20, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
    In the opening scene of Social Network we eavesdrop on a conversation between Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) and his girlfriend. At the end of the scene Mark's now ex-girlfriend sums up his treatment of people in a succinct statement. She told him that he would probably do something big and complain that girls didn’t like him because he was a nerd. She went on to say that this was a lie. That girls wouldn’t like him because he was an a-hole. He went on to make …
review by . January 31, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Upon first hearing about The Social Network my first thought was the same as just about everyone else's.  "Who in the hell wants to watch a movie about the creation of FACEBOOK?" But I'd seen crazier things happen.  Much crazier things happen.  I figure if we can make a movie based on a theme park ride, making a movie about the creation of Facebook can't be so bad.  Of course, the movie is about much more than JUST the creation of Facebook.  If it were …
review by . March 16, 2011
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 …
review by . October 09, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
If The Social Network is about brilliant but shallow people building a brilliant but shallow website making scads of money and screwing their co-conspirators in the process, then this movie deserves four plus stars. it's a little boring, but the points are made; unfortunately, it couldn't make me care.      It's a cleverly written(note:  clever - not brilliant,) competently directed, well acted movie about characters as devoid of substance as facebook itself. …
About the reviewer
Nicholas Croston ()
Ranked #19
Hi! I'm here in part to plug my writing and let everyone know that I'm trying to take my work commercial.      Now, what about me? Well, obviously I like to write. I'm … more
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About this movie

Wiki

The Social Network is a 2010 drama film directed by David Fincher about the founding of the social networking website Facebook. The film features an ensemble cast, which consists of Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Brenda Song, Max Minghella, Rooney Mara and Armie Hammer.

The film was written by Aaron Sorkin and adapted from Ben Mezrich's 2009 nonfiction book The Accidental Billionaires. The film is distributed by Columbia Pictures and is set for an October 1, 2010 release. None of the Facebook staff, including founder Mark Zuckerberg, will be involved with the project. One of the co-founders, Eduardo Saverin, was a consultant for Mezrich's book.  The film is distributed by Columbia Pictures and was released on October 1, 2010.

Poster art for "The Social Network"

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Tags

Movies, Drama Movies, Drama, Social Media, Reviews, Facebook, In Theaters, Trailers, 2011 Oscar Nominee, Justin Timberlake, 2010 Movies, Rooney Mara, Mark Zuckerberg, Brenda Song, Andrew Garfield, Rashida Jones, The Social Network, Jessie Eisenberg

Details

Director: David Fincher
Genre: Drama
Release Date: October 01, 2010
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Screen Writer: Aaron Sorkin
Runtime: 121 minutes
Studio: Columbia Pictures
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