The Social Network

Yeah, this douchebag was totally p-jammin' it to a business meeting.

Dismissing The Social Network as “that Facebook” movie is like calling There Will be Blood “that milkshake” movie.

Choosing not to see The Social Network because it’s about the internet is like not watching The Shining because it’s about hotel management.

Darn – these are sounding more like Tweets than Facebook statuses — stati? — whatever.  Statements like these also over-sell the film’s appeal.  Wait – what am I doing writing in complete sentences?

Really good movie 🙂

Mark Zuckerberg = douchebag.  

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Okay – Quick – Ten Things You Liked About The Social Network In Ten Minutes:

  1. Aaron Sorkin’s Rashomon-style, dialogue heavy screenplay that has drawn comparisons (in theme) to Network.  Whereas Paddy Chayefsky’s screenplay for Network offered scathing commentary on the “TV Generation”, Sorkin’s screenplay for The Social Network attempts to benchmark the “Internet Generation.”  Chayefsky’s grandiose treatment of the written word was a testament to a dying language, akin to a modern-day Shakespeare, which resulted in long diatribes, biting satire, and blistering soliloquies.  Sorkin’s sharp, terse and clever treatment represents how the language (and society) has devolved from Network to The Social Network.   It’s smug, hollow and darkly humorous.  But the only people mad as hell are those willing to take some more.
  2. The Winklevi will have their day.
  3. Director David Fincher’s refusal to pigeon-hole himself.  His mastery of digital photography and sound design shows that there are valuable skills music-video directors can translate to the cinematic form.  The guy still films everything like it’s a slow-burning thriller, which benefits this story that would’ve been done a grave disservice by a pedestrian approach to inherently un-thrilling subject matter.
  4. Erica Albright is NOT a bitch.  In fact, she rocks.
  5. The Cast:  Jesse Eisenberg (one of the most ingratiating kids to bubble up from this latest generation of “too-cool-for-school” young actors), Andrew Garfield (a reliable, sensitive, over-acting chap), and Justin Timberlake (man of 1,000 talents including great comic timing and a natural affinity for evoking a likable douchebaggery swagger) are perfectly cast in their roles as archetypes of the over-stimulated, self-important, interconnected generation Z.
  6. The valuable lesson learned that forcing chickens into cannibalism can lead directly to getting screwed out of billions of dollars by your best friend.
  7. That hella-sweet music score from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.
  8. Even in jest, comparing women to farm animals will not go over well, even if you do become the world’s youngest billionaire.
  9. Every creation myth needs a devil.  Thank you, Rashida Jones, love-child of Quincy Jones and Peggy Lipton.
  10. The Social Network instantly dates itself with its subject matter, but offers a timeless glimpse at mankind’s misdirected drive to succeed based on narcissism, pride, spite and one-upmanship.

P. S.  Where’s the movie about MySpace’s founder Tom?  Remember how that guy used to make everyone who joined automatically befriend him, thus forcing you to un-friend him, because, you know, he was kinda creepy?  What kind of self-loathing masochistic douchebag does that?

Written by David H. Schleicher

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4 comments on “The Social Network

  1. Though I saw this movie last weekend I still haven’t written my review (if I ever get around to it). I really enjoyed it, maybe a little more than you did.

    I was impressed at how douchey Mark Zuckerberg is portrayed in the movie, but I didn’t walk away disliking him. There was an underlying sympathy and affection for him in Sorkin’s script and Eisenberg’s performance. (Though the hilarious “I’m-just-checking-your-math moment was pretty douchey.)

    I also thought the performances were uniformly good, especially Eisenberg who will be one of my candidates for best actor. But also Andrew Garfield. I’m not sure what you mean by over-acting. I thought he could have flubbed that part with overacting, but he was nicely understated, much like his current turn in “Never Let Me Go.”

    And by the way, nice way to write your review. Not having a Facebook account, it didn’t occur to me, but the structure is more than appropriate.

    Jason, I’m not sure how to explain it…but to me, Garfield is an actor who trys so hard to not appear as if he is acting (yet appears so emo) that he ends up over-acting. For what it’s worth, I actually think he is a good actor – I’m just not a big fan of that method. I felt very little sympathy for Zuckerberg’s douchebag antics. If I felt any sympathy it was for Garfield’s character. But I enjoyed the Zuckerberg character immensely. The Winklevi, likewise, were hilarious, as was Timberlake’s performance. –DHS

  2. Shall we rank The D-Finch? Here I go:

    Fight Club – 9.5/10
    The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – 9/10
    Zodiac – 8.5/10
    The Social Network – 8/10
    Seven – 7.5/10
    Panic Room – 7/10
    The Game – 6.5/10
    Alien Cubed – 3/10

  3. Castor says:

    I have to admit I was guilty of not wanting it because it was that “facebook movie”. But since everyone is absolutely raving about it, I have no choice but to give it a shot sometime in the next few days 😉

    Castor, the power of Facebook compels you. It is a cult, you know. –DHS

  4. Sam Juliano says:

    “Dismissing The Social Network as “that Facebook” movie is like calling There Will be Blood “that milkshake” movie.

    Choosing not to see The Social Network because it’s about the internet is like not watching The Shining because it’s about hotel management.”

    Love it David! This is one of your towering pieces, what with that terrific 10 step presentation. I like this film quite a bit too (4/5) though I will stop short of declaring this film as a sort of present-day CITIZEN KANE as some delirious critics are proclaiming. Fincher is working here with one of the best scripts in years, and Eisenberg is impressive as the narcisistic founder. This may be stylistically Fincher’s most tame effort, though the flashback technique is most effective.

    Zodiac 8.5
    Benjamin Button 8.5
    The Social Network 8.0
    Seven 7.5
    Fight Club 7.0
    The Game 6.0
    Panic Room 5.0
    Alien Cubed 3.0

    Congratulations on your beloved Phillies David! Looks like they are REALLY the team to beat, though I’m a die-hard Yankee fan who is also celebrating right now!

    Fincher rankings?

    Thanks, Sam. I love how overeager critics are to gush…this is a really good film all around…but some of those comparisons made (including my own, in half-jest) are really indicative of the culture of hype. It’s looking more and more like a re-match from last year in the World Series. Should be good! –DHS

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