The Social Network (2010) Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield Directed by David Fincher
"The internet is not written in pencil, Mark. It's written in ink." Rooney Mara (Erica)
“You don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies” is the tagline for David Fincher’s (Fight Club, Zodiac, Benjamin Button, and Seven…all good BTW) latest film and it is quite fitting. The Social Network is the story of the Facebook creators and their long complicated road to the billionaire club…but that’s not really what it’s about, it’s really about you wanting to be like, you post something clever on Facebook and you sit at your computer looking at something else occasionally refreshing to see if anyone has commented or laughed at your clever post. You get so happy when they do and you crave more…you (and by “you” I mean all of us) want to be liked. Mark Zuckerberg (Creator of FB) really wanted to be liked, accept in your very early 20’s sometimes when that’s your goal, you do stupid things attempting to attain that goal. This film brilliantly depicts a man that loves to be an a**hole, but no matter how stoic he tries to be, underneath he really just wants to be liked (no spoilers but the beginning and ending scenes really spell it out for you). Fincher and Sorkin really do an excellent job telling the story they want to tell, making it both entertaining and frankly quite educational. I really liked this movie, now I am bias considering how much I love Sorkin (who wrote my favorite TV Show of all time in The West Wing), and how much I respect the filmmaking abilities of David Fincher. Even considering my bias though, I am hard pressed to find another movie that is quite as smart as this one in this year’s bag of crap that Hollywood has lit on fire and threw on our front porch so far this year. This film will be very near the top of Best of the Year list and I’m grateful for finally seeing a film that is both intelligent and entertaining…we need more…please Hollywood…no more Transformers!
The Social Network is the story of Mark Zuckerberg (played brilliantly by fine young actor Jesse Eisenberg who was great in last year’s Adventureland) who is the main founder of Internet juggernaut Facebook. When you invent something like Facebook you are “inspired” by many things (in this case a girl, an idea, and exclusivity, are few of them), but once your monster is created some of those people that inspired you on your way are going to want a piece of the pie and frankly they probably deserve it. The most important relationship of the film is with Mark and his best friend and partner Eduardo Saverin (played by the next Spiderman Andrew Garfield) who is painfully and slowly pushed out of the company over time. The most entertaining character however (and after he is introduced he dominates the film…which I think is ok even though the storytelling gets a tad hazy after he is introduced) is Napster founder Sean Parker (played well by Justin Timberlake P.S. go Youtube “history of rap” with him and Jimmy Fallon…BRILLIANT!), he really gets things moving in a direction where conflict is inevitable. Sorkin isn’t trying to hide any of the messages (or cautionary tales) in this film in nuance or clever dialogue, he actually makes a brilliant move by opening the movie with one major conflict and then all but spelling out another when Lawyer Marylin Delpy (played solidly by Rashida Jones) delivers one of the best lines of the film, Sorkin doesn’t want us to decide for ourselves about these guys, he wants to tell us what it must have been like to be a 24 year old billionaire. This film is great on so many levels and I do believe it has some rewatchabilty factor to it, I highly recommend it and think it is a shoe-in for a Best Picture nod. Now stop checking your old girlfriends relationship status and go see this movie!
(The Shawshank Scale 1-10) “If you guys were the inventors of Facebook, you’d have invented Facebook” classic Sorkin, The Social Network is so well done and so clever. I don’t care how much of it is accurate, I care how much could have been, and how simple the conflicts are…this film is a very good 8.0 on the scale and could with time move even higher.
2021 Update: After 11 years Facebook has become only more controversial and this tale only becomes more Rewatchable. The Oscars rewarded The Social Network with a few wins (including Adapted Screenplay), but it becomes more clear that both The Social Network and The Fighter are more Rewatchable films than The King's Speech (winner). I think The Social Network is Fincher's last great film (tip of the hat to Mank), he works much less and got involved in TV/Streaming, but still the combination of the Ross/Rezner soundtrack, Sorkin script, and the near flawless editing of Baxter and Wall (Oscar winners as well for their work), is truly something special. For that reason this film will absolutely stand the test of time. It was a joy to cover it on the Podcast: SEE IT AGAIN!!! (2.8 Billion friends and counting...)
Talking Flick on Anchor (The Social Network Episode)
Talking Flick on Anchor (WandaVision 1-3 Episode)
Talking Flick on iTunes (The Social Network Episode)
AND TRY OUT MY NEW PODCAST EAST TO WEST WITH NICK AND ROB!!!
East to West with Nick and Rob (Our Votes are Sealed)
East to West with Nick and Rob (Viva la Walrus)