The Social Network
If you didn’t have respect for Jesse Eisenberg’s acting ability before The Social Network, I am going to strongly assert that you will after seeing it. Definitely not a movie I would recommend to my “popcorn and coke” movie watcher friends but for people who love a good story, I mean a really good story, this is a must-see.
Everyone knows Facebook, hell it came about after MySpace (which was considered a the time to be the greatest online social experience ever) and it caught fire and implanted itself unto our computers. Now we have to deal with people telling us about their P90-X routines, how they just left the job and oh ya, the obligatory “going to bed now, goodnight Facebook”. It has become a landscape of internet escape (I kid) and it of course had to start somewhere. This start was with a genius and super introvert of a Harvard student by the name of Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg), The Social Network is about lawsuits filed by both his best friend Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield) and fellow students Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss (Armie Hammer) against Zuckerberg for theft of the original idea and a contractual breach. Sounds boring right? How can a movie about a handful of Harvard nerds be anymore compelling than watching paint dry? Well it would be boring if Mark Zuckerberg was a normal guy and in The Social Network he is quite far from it, at least that’s how he is portrayed.
I found the pacing of the movie to be a bit haphazard as it went along being that there was not a smooth transition from present day to the past in order to show you what the cause and effect of everything involved. The movie starts with a younger Harvard sophomore Zuckerberg and pushes into the court case with him as a billionaire looking very much like the same guy so it takes a few to realize what happened. The other issue is that Zuckerberg is portrayed as a know-it-all, intelligent but condescending jerk in the beginning, yet as the movie progresses he is transformed into a quiet, reflective victim – not due to the character development but a bit of an oversight in the writing. These were minor gripes however as the characters were likable (all of them), well acted and very dynamic. Justin Timberlake did well as the founder of Napster Sean Parker but was a bit of a distraction due to his larger than life personality. Sean comes on screen and you forget the nerds whose movie you’re watching.
Overall The Social Network was surprisingly good and it really struck me as a great story on entrepreneurship and the hazards of going into business with friends and family (just say no people). Although there are vehement denials to the story being true (mostly by the defendants in the case) it didn’t make me lose any respect for Sean Parker or Mark Zuckerberg as inventors and ultimately businessmen. When it comes to money and the joy of invention someone has to play the asshole and Jesse Eisenberg knocked it out the park. This is the Friday Night Lights of nerd movies and the quiet, awkward and intelligent audience members will feel a sense of excitement for Mark, now the world’s youngest Billionaire.