Movie Review: The Social Network

Movie Review: The Social Network

Summary: Based on the story of Mark Zuckerburg, the co-founder of Facebook.

Published September 30, 2010

Summary : Based on the story of Mark Zuckerburg , the co-founder of Facebook.

Review : A film about a privileged Harvard kid who becomes a billionaire doesn't necessarily sound like a great story. But, with the magic of David Fincher and a witty screenplay by Aaron Sorkin , The Social Network is the closest to a John Hughes film this generation will get, which is a huge compliment. From the opening scene with Mark Zuckerburg, played well by Jesse Eisenberg , we get the essence of what this story will be. The brilliant nerd who everyone hates will change the world.

Mark is portrayed as socially awkward. He is rightfully dumped by his girlfriend who delivers a classic line: "Dating you is like dating a stair master." She walks out on him and sha-zaam, Mark is inspired to create what will eventually be Facebook.

The storyline follows Zuckerburg between two law suits, one claiming he stole the idea of Facebook from someone else; the other claiming Zuckerburg cheated and bamboozled his best friend and other co-founder, Eduardo Saverin . Both predicaments doesn't give the real-life  Zuckerburg much sympathy, but this is Hollywood fiction.  He recently said his life just wasn't dramatic enough for a movie. Predominantly fiction or not, The Social Network still plays out as a remarkable film.

While Zuckerburg is depicted as a bratty, intellectual narcissist, the way Eisenberg plays him still makes the co-founder likable with the audience on his side. He is anti-corporate, not worshiping money, but his little respect for others.  Nonetheless, there are no villains in The Social Network , just competitive ambitiousness.

There isn't one bad actor in the cast. Depending on his competition, Jesse Eisenberg might at least receive an Oscar nomination. Andrew Garfield as the back-stabbed best friend delivers the strongest and the most nuanced performance. Justin Timberlake plays Sean Parker , the founder of Napster, a man who changed the music industry.

Some are shouting Oscar for Timberlake, which seems farfetched. His character remained the same: a sarcastic, rich, party boy with a business mind. Timberlake didn't have to sweat for this role. The man certainly can act, but this wasn't award-worthy.

Zuckerburg is painted as harsh and self-obsessed until the last frame. But, no one can deny giving $100 million to Newark Public Schools , which he recently announced on The Oprah Winfrey Show , is a selfless act. How would any of us feel if a film was made about our early '20s? Futhermore, Zuckerburg had no involvement in the film and said he refuses to see it.  Some are claiming Zuckerburg only donated the $100 million to help his image after this film. Please, $100 million is beyond image repair. He is helping to repair an entire school system. Give the 26-year-old billionaire some props!

The Social Network is a polished film-making with pristine direction from David Fincher, a clever script with well-cast actors that makes the laborious dialogue feel natural. That said, The Social Network is not the defining movie of a generation. Amazing flick and as good as it can be, but the content just isn't groundbreaking enough to define a generation. This is no rags to riches story; it's a rich to richer story of a fairly new company. I doubt if even the real Mark Zuckerburg takes himself that seriously.

The Social Network is in theaters tomorrow.

Written by Clay Cane

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