The Social Network (2010)

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A smart, insightful encapsulation of one of the greatest obsessions of our time. Created by an antisocial Harvard geek, Facebook has radically changed our notion of what it is to connect meaningfully with other human beings. The Social Network shows us, in a remarkably entertaining fashion, how this came to be. On the heels of a bitter break-up, Mark Zuckerberg, the lead shower shoe-wearing dork of the film, deals with his inability to take personal responsibility by creating the first draft of the social networking site we've all come to know & loveslashloathe so well. Aided by mostly wonderful performances and a driving original score, The Social Network remains fast-paced and intriguing as we follow the story of the quick rise of Facebook and its pompous creator, Mark Zuckerberg. Through his inflated sense of self-importance, one can see a reflection of every inane status update written about the adorable thing your kid did today or whether or not you're feeling crappy again uggh. Luckily, unlike your update about how it's raining yet again frowny face, Zuckerberg's pomposity remains intriguing for the full length of the film, culminating in the most meaningful friend request EVER. OMG, seriously.


Jesse Eisenberg talks really fast in The Social Network. It's, like, his thing. Jesse Eisenberg sits at the table or walks into the room or parades around in the snow in a bathrobe, all the while, talking fast. I suspect it's so we, as an audience, won't have time to think about the fact that we're watching a movie about Facebook. Because at the end of the day, it's what it is: A movie about the creation of Facebook. Don't be confused by what other people are saying, and label it as "a satire on our impersonal shifts in social communication". It's not satirical or tongue in cheek or groundbreaking... it just is what it is, and maybe that's what I like so much about it.

The Social Network tells the story of the invention of Facebook, and the resulting dispute of ownership that resulted upon its immediate success. A similar film could have been made about the invention of movies or the phonograph or the Pocket Fisherman, but what makes it fascinating to us, as an audience, is its immediacy, in that Facebook is still new technology... and we don't even use the light bulb anymore... and we hate fishing. Although we've been giving a lot of our time to Facebook over the last several years, The Social Network feels like it's probably being made "too soon", to use the expression. Hell, even Oliver Stone waited over five years to make World Trade Center, and that, if anything felt "too long", as it already felt immediately dated.

The actors as a whole in The Social Network are all pretty great, and each has their fair share of brilliant moments. The opening sequence, which features Eisenberg pontificating on his ego at breakneck speed, stands out as something more than the sum of its parts. We're immediately thrown into this world, this bar, this conversation, Mark Zuckerburg's world, Mark Zuckerburg's conversation. I hear the scene took an excess of 70 takes to film, and that makes sense, if one considers that Jesse Eisenberg is at the height of his Zuckerberg-ness in this scene... well, hell, the entire movie. Andrew Garfield plays a guy we've never heard of before, even though he was apparently instrumental in the creation of Facebook (or so the film leads us to believe), so I don't know how well his adorable accent, ruthlessly sad eyes and meticulously gelled hair accentuate his performance... but he's entirely damaged and adorable and you can't help but to want him to bring home the Oscar, if only to see him blissfully happy for like, a sec. Justin Timberlake and the girl from "The Office" that played Jim Halpert's girlfriend are in The Social Network, too. It's nice to see them.

All of this being said, I suppose my only problem with The Social Network is that it's bringing home all of these awards, and that, for me, suggests that it was the very thing that I didn't want it to be: a satire on our own impersonal shifts in social communication. It's small and it's so captivating in letting us live in the small world that it lives in, and it's so great at that. To have been a great movie would have been to be a big movie, an umbrella movie, and I wouldn't have liked that movie. THAT would have been "too soon". I'm not ending this with a Facebook joke.


The Social Network is a beautifully produced film with a mediocre storyline and mediocre acting. It is the not-so-interesting story of infused with obvious one-liners and over dramatization to make it feel more epic.

Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg is magnificent casting. He perfectly portrays an emotionally stunted web coding "genius". He is subtle and deliberate in his quick-paced monotone speech. He delivers great dry comedy scene after scene. However, I dare say, the rest of his castmates do not deliver. They are adequate, but frequently distracting in their poor choices. Of particular note is Justin Timberlake as creator Sean Parker. Oftentimes it is as if we were watching a student film: he makes frequent obvious choices and seems to draw his character from his R&B video persona. Also of note is Armie Hammer who plays the role of the twins who are attempting to sue Mark Zuckerbeg. He is, as D would say, "blandsome", but offers little more than looks and perfect diction.

Despite these flaws, it is a tightly edited, beautifully filmed movie which is driven by an amazing innovative score produced by former rocker Trent Reznor along with Atticus Ross. The music provides movement and excitement to otherwise potentially unremarkable scenes and IS the best aspect of this film.