The Social Network Directed by: David Fincher Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Armie Hammer, Rooney Mara Running Time: 2 hrs Rating: PG-13 Release Date: October 1, 2010
PLOT: Based on the book "The Accidental Billionaires" by Ben Mezrich. A story about Mark Zuckerberg (Eisenberg), the founder of the social-networking website, Facebook. In creating one of the most popular sites on the Internet, he created some enemies along the way.
WHO'S IT FOR? Anyone who wants smart, quick conversations and explanations about how Harvard students really may just be the best and brightest. Also, you have to be willing to watch things spiral out of control.
EXPECTATIONS: I love Fincher's work. Fight Club, Zodiac, The Game and Se7en are all fantastic. Eisenberg has been hit and miss for me.
Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg: What a perfect balance of insecurity and cockiness. Mark is like most guys in that he isn't magnificent with the ladies. But the difference is, when he messes up, he creates billion dollar companies as some weird revenge/motivation. This is Eisenberg at his best. He gets to act smart, talk quick and have an heir of superiority. It's really the perfect fit. Score: 9
Andrew Garfield as Eduardo Saverin: Eduardo is Mark's best friend, his only friend. He's also the guy who gets strung along. Eduardo is the CFO for whatever Facebook is when it gets created. He really seems like a good guy, putting up some cash to get the whole thing started. Not really sure why he did it though. It's almost as if Mark told him to, so Eduardo did it. What's odd is, that's the only part of him that comes off like a "yes man." We definitely feel sorry for him, but he's also clearly in over his head. Garfield is slanted to be the next Spider-Man. While I like him here, I'm just not seeing it. Score: 7
Justin Timberlake as Sean Parker: Isn't it kind of funny just to hear the word Napster? It seems like such a long time ago. Well, it's probably not funny to the creator of Napster ... Sean Parker. Sean is all flash and he's got Mark under his spell. Well, not all flash, he does have the brain to back it up. The cockiness won't be for everyone and some will think this is the weak link in the film. Timberlake is definitely evolving as an actor and this character is right in his wheelhouse. Score: 6
Armie Hammer as Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss: Hammer plays identical twins and fellow actor Josh Pence helped out with some of the physical challenges of playing twins. The Winklevoss twins go to Mark and want him to create a social network for Harvard. Integrity is what separates these characters from amusing villains like Billy Zabka in The Karate Kid. That's a reference I am actually borrowing from this movie. Score: 9
Rooney Mara as Erica Albright: Mara is only in the film for maybe five minutes. She plays a pivotal role in that Erica is the indirect motivation for the creation of Facebook. More importantly is that this role (which she was quite good in) led to her getting cast in Fincher's adaptation of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. At this point, I have no reason she can't pull off that future role. Score: 8
TALKING: It's Aaron Sorkin. You should know what that means. Great back and forth conversations and funny one-liners that almost need to be heard a second time to fully appreciate. I am not a Sorkin hater, so you'll have to look elsewhere for that. The best line of the film ... "I'm 6'5", 220 pounds and there's two of me." Yes, one of the twins said that. Score: 8
SIGHTS: The film itself is dark blue. Fincher has done this technique before. I didn't think it totally worked here, but it doesn't distract enough to ruin anything. Harvard and all of the students look just great. I would have cut one particular, very in depth crew race with Harvard. It didn't seem to have a place in this film. You know what I can't believe fooled me? Armie Hammer played twins and I wasn't sure if those were two guys or just one in that role. Trust me, that's insanely impressive. Score: 8
SOUNDS: We've got a techno-piano thing for the musical score. It works and the men behind it is Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. The Beatles' "Baby You're a Rich Man" plays us out. Score: 7
BEST SCENE: It's surprisingly one of the two lawsuits going on. Mark is being asked if he is giving a lawyer his full attention. Mark snaps back with some of the best sniping dialogue including, "I think if your clients want to sit on my shoulders and call themselves tall then they have a right to give it a try."
ENDING: It was a little abrupt. The running time of two hours seems right, but much of what we were wondering, what we thought we would get to see, is instead something with just read on the screen. I would have liked to be apart of the ending of both lawsuits.
QUESTIONS: How much does this differ from the book? How much does this differ from real life?
REWATCHABILITY: Yes, I would easily sit through this movie again in the theater and am looking forward to seeing it again on DVD.
When the movie starts, there's a boy and a girl talking about everything. Talking about making a mark at Harvard, talking about their friends, the friends they want to have, and their status. It's just like an Aaron Sorkin play. In fact, that's what I wrote down in my notes. Then I actually saw who wrote the screenplay ... Mr. Aaron Sorkin. That's right, I had no idea. I like to go in fresh. I only new the subject, the director, the lead and Timberlake. As soon as I felt Sorkin's style and saw his name, I knew I was in good hands. Good hands, even though there is the downward spiral this story follows just like a drug flick or a mafia movie.
I remember being out of college and hearing about Facebook. I didn't have a .edu address anymore, so I didn't care. What's great here is the social movement that Fincher was able to showcase and real-life people like Mark, Eduardo and Sean were able to make explode. Being cool is at the heart of this film, even though the lead character would never be described as such. A girl broke up with young Mark, a Harvard genius. So he wanted to judge girls. It's as easy as that (since we can't possibly understand all of the computer algorithms). It's a terribly interesting "based on a true story" to something that we all know and use. Well, there are some of you who choose to not join as some sort of odd badge of honor.
I know I could tell you to "Accept" or "Like" or "Friend" this movie The Social Network. Instead, I'm just going to tell you to go see it.
FINAL SCORE: 8/10