Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Almost Makes You Want to Give Up Facebook

Just kidding.  I could never do that. 

"The Social Network" is the story of how the most popular social networking site in the world came to be, and it's not pretty.  It was co-written by Aaron Sorkin ("A Few Good Men" "West Wing") and Ben Mezrich (who wrote the book "The Accidental Billionaires" upon which the movie is based) and was directed by David Fincher ("Fight Club" "Seven" "Zodiac" "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button".)  

The film begins with a date gone wrong, where we see Mark Zuckerberg (played with aplomb by Jesse Eisenberg "Solitary Man" "Adventureland" ) saying and doing all the wrong things and losing the girl.  From there he goes on an intellectual rampage creating a website called "FaceMash" where pictures of actual girls on campus are used and compared as to who is the hottest.  This site crashes the Harvard network in about two hours, getting the attention of two Harvard brothers (who just happen to be wealthy, very good looking, very popular and very athletic) who are looking for someone to help them write the code for a networking site on the Harvard campus. Mark and his best friend, Eduardo Saverin (a very good Andrew Garfield "Red Riding" series, "Never Let Me Go") have already begun work on a similar site so Mark agrees to help the brothers and builds his site, called The Facebook, using their connections and Eduardo's money.  Mark is someone who is so intellectually superior to everyone around him that he has trouble controlling his actions and he continues on a path of making a mockery of those cooler, hipper and more popular than he is without stopping to weigh the consequences. "The Facebook" morphs into just "Facebook" and becomes an international sensation, while Mark shuts out the Harvard brothers and eventually shuts out Eduardo as well, mostly due to the influence of Sean Parker, the founder of Napster.  Sean Parker (played by an underrated Justin Timberlake.  This guy can act, people!) is the ultimate salesperson, slimy, charming, name-dropping, lying, whatever it takes to get people to do what he wants.  He finagles some investors for Mark and Facebook, with the end result of Eduardo being forced out because Mark no longer feels he needs him.  Lawsuits reign all around and in the end....well, everyone knows who got rich.  Everybody.  

The film goes back and forth between depositions being held for the various lawsuits and what actually happened (with some creative license, I'm sure) and the tension built using this device is marvelous.  For a story that happened mostly on paper and in cyberspace, it's a darn good edge of your seat kind of film.  I highly recommend it.  

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