Day 109: The Social Network

Never let me borrow anything from you. I mean it. While I would take care of said item, I would have it in my possession for far too long. I would awkwardly tell you that I have been meaning to watch/read/whatever you lent me and dance around the subject each time we see each other. Then, I would start to hide in the back room when you came over to avoid having a conversation about what I thought about whatever it was you let me borrow. And, you see, because you lent it to me, I can only assume that it is something you hold dear to your heart. Hey, it was special enough for you to buy it, so you must like it. Maybe I hate confrontation or I could just be awesome at procrastination; but chances are, it will take me a long ass time for me to finally get around to checking out what it was that you thought was awesome enough for me to check out. Most of the time, I am disappointed, but  try to skirt around the issue when asked what I thought about it. It’s basically like a judge on American Idol telling a contestant how great they look in those clothes instead of what they thought of the actual singing. I hate lying, so I will totally go in to avoidance mode (I get a plus 2 to this if I wear my ring of deflection).


You may think, “Thanks for the tip, Meg, but what does this have to do with The Social Network? Did you go and borrow a multibillion dollar social networking company again?” No. I did not (I learned my lesson the last time). However, a while ago, my neighbors let me borrow their The Social Network DVD. With rave reviews. And so it sat on my entry way table for a while, only to be moved to the coffee table in the living room, then the desk, and finally back to the first location. Until one fateful day (hint: it’s today), when I decided to bite the bullet and watch what the box of the DVD proclaims “an American landmark” (like Mount Rushmore?), “Revolutionary” (like Paul Revere?), “Brilliant” (like Einstein?), “Mammoth and exhilarating” (like Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs ?), and “Sensational” (like Alexander McQueen’s showmanship, according to the NY Times?). That seems to be setting the bar pretty high.


The Social Network traces the events that led to the creation of facebook—including several lawsuits, broken friendships, and some crazy computer geek parties. Sounds like my Thursdays. Jesse Eisenberg stars as Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of facebook. As portrayed by Eisenberg, Zuckerberg seems to be a brilliant, yet socially awkward person. His directness is often off-putting to those around him, yet there doesn’t seem to be a lot of malice in him. Most of the story revolves around the lawsuits, and flashes from the testimony back to “what happened.”


I have to admit that while the trailer for the film was excellent (you know the one I’m talking about with the choral arrangement of Beck’s “Loser” in the background), I just did not find the premise of the film appealing. It seemed weird to have a movie all about facebook, a site I mainly use to waste time and procrastinate. However, I was surprised to find that I enjoyed the film. It hooked my attention right away, and kept it the entirety of the movie. Yay. I love to be pleasantly surprised.


The writing (by Aaron Sorkin) is awesome. While not a lot happens in the film, there is enough drama to carry the story. The dialogue is spot on and believable. Also, I thought the directing (David Fincher) was well done. I love that everything about the film seemed understated—even the score. It just works. There are no swooping crane shots, no CG shot of some neuron firing in Zuckerberg’s brain as he thinks of an idea that eventually pans out to a long shot of him working on the computer, and no slow-motion shot of the programmers walking in formation out of an exploding building (OK, the last would have been kind of cool, I admit). This allows for the characters and story to take center stage.


Speaking of acting, the cast was well-suited for the film. I appreciated the way Eisenberg portrayed Zuckerberg—he even reminded me of a few people I have met in my lifetime who were very smart and very upfront. Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake also delivered solid performances.


I had set myself up to dislike The Social Network—both because the premise seemed unappealing and because it received a lot of critical acclaim. However, I was wrong. I liked this film. A lot. I am sorry it took so long to watch it, but I am glad that I did. It’s actually one of the better films I have seen in a while. Although, I have to admit that I found myself checking facebook a lot more than I typically would when I watched the movie. If you haven’t seen The Social Network, I would say it is worth checking out. Like. (Yeah, that is probably something overused in every review of the film, but I just couldn’t resist. Dumb willpower.)


Thanks for reading and have a fantastic day.


Score: A

Netflix Queue: 484

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