I was fortunate enough to be invited out to see an early screening of The Social Network. I have to thank Loli for taking me, it was her advanced screening invite. I'm just going to make it a rule that anything that she invites me out to will be cool and awesome from this point forward. I have to say this is the first advanced screening that I've been do in my adult life, I saw Top Gun on NCAS Mirarmar, but that was a long time ago. We both got there a little later than we planned. I blame traffic, that shouldn't of been there in the first place. Boo traffic. When we finally did get into the lobby of the theater, we got stuck in the 2nd line. Yes, 2nd line. I wish we had known about the Yelp registration so we could of been seated with all of the other 1st liners. I would of blogged about this earlier, but they took our phones at the door and I came home to a kitchen full of ants and had to clean up, but here we go.
I'm not going to be giving away too much of the movie by giving a synopsis. The Social Network is an adaptation of Ben Mezrich's book The Accidental Billionaires. This is the story of how Facebook came to be. Basically, Mark Zuckerberg creates Face Smash, a site that allows user to compare female students based on pictures from their school's online Face Books, which will become the keystone to creating Facebook. Face Smash brings a lot of negative attention to Mark from the female student body and the Harvard administration. This notoriety is noticed by Cameron and Tyler Winkelvoss and Divya Narendra who want to use Mark's talent to help create a dating website which caters to women who are interested in Harvard men. Mark uses the basis of this idea to begin work on creating Facebook with the financial backing of his friend Edwardo Saverin. As Facebook becomes more popular there are complications between Mark and Ed that leads to a lawsuit by Ed for control of the company as well and intellectual properties lawsuit by Tyler, Cameron, and Divya.
The format of this movie is from the prospective of Mark Zukerberg as he recalls the events he's being questioned about in 2 separate lawsuits. I find this to be an effective tool to justify the chopped up timeline. There were only a couple times when the quick cuts between lawsuits caused me to forget which group of lawyers he was talking to. The pace of this movie was very good. It moved very fast and did not leave you too much time to wonder what the score was for the Padre game. The writers did a good job of putting a great set of 1-liners in for all of the cast. This helped with the movie because, as the movie starts to become too serious, you get a great 1-liner to break it up. This made it more believable.
The Social Network portrays Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg') as a very intelligent man that lacks some of the social graces everyone wants him to have. Jesse Eisenberg does an excellent job or portraying Mark as and ADHD genius and an outright dick. You're going to hate Mark a little as you watch the movie, which is good acting. I have to say, I did feel some empathy toward the characterization because he is so intelligent but he doesn't have the patience to wait for people who are steps behind him. I think this is true with a lot of people with vision, they are challenged with the suffering of fools. I still think that Mark's Machiavellian tactics were borderline unethical, but you don't become a Billionaire CEO without making enemies along the way.
I was impressed by Andrew Garfield's Edwardo Saverin. You could see the progression from college dorm friend who has the startup money and business knowledge to help Mark with his idea to disgruntled friend as he's slowly pushed out from his seat as co-creator. Edwardo's story did not share the same screen time as Mark, but his was the true focus of the story. His character showed the most emotional content out of all of the characters. Brenda Song played Edwardo's girlfriend, Christy Lee. I was taken aback a little because I know her from the Disney Channel shows. I guess she has to make the change from Mickey Mouse Club to adult actor, and she picked a character that helped her get there.
Justin Timberlake plays the co-creator of Napster, Plaxo and Facebook, Sean Parker. Justin Timberlake's portrayal was good, but not excellent. I think I was influenced by the subject mater. Justin Timberlake does a fine job of being the flashy guy who, talks a lot of talk, is manipulative, and paranoid. There are times where I though his acting was forced, but how much more acting can you put behind, "...he's in the zone, that's what I'm talking about!", "...Take another bong hit.", and "...you need to come out to California. That's where it is." I was actually more irritated by Sean Parker's characterization that anyone else's in this film because he's just like Iago, from Othello, who's jealousy and manipulation does enough to latch onto Mark Zuckerberg and secure him part ownership of Facebook.
Armie Hammer's Cameron and Tyler Winkelvoss was impressive. I honestly did not know it was the same actor. They did a great job on wardrobe and editing. The Winkelvoss's portrayal seemed like the classic "Jock" that had to be written in to intimidate the "Nerd". I wonder how much of this characterization is true to their real life personalities? Even though I realized this was going the way of the Revenge of the Nerds format, I wasn't swayed by the movie.
Overall, I recommend that you see this movie in the theaters. I think everyone should take the time to get a little history lesson on how Facebook came to be. I walked away with a better understanding of how Facebook came to be. I think I might even go out and get the book. I also wanted to delete my profile, but then, who does a better job at social networking as Facebook. I realized that this is what the movie was about, how Mark Zuckerberg took something that was good at what it does and is cool and turn a profit out of it. He even has business cards that say, "I'm the CEO, bitch."
This movie won't disappoint, go see it. I actually want to see it again. I'll give it a 4 out of 5 (still haven't come up with a rating system...).
The Social Network Official site - http://www.thesocialnetwork-movie.com/
Wikipedia: The Social Network - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Social_Network
The Accidental Billionaires - http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl/9780385529372.html
Wikipedia: Othello - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Othello