Facebook Frenzy

Not being a fan of Facebook I was reluctant to be overjoyed when I first heard The Social Network was being produced. After watching the first trailer and seeing the cast I was convinced it would be an instant classic.

Directed by David Fincher (Zodiac, Fight Club), written by Aaron Sorkin (A Few Good Men) and adapted from Ben Mezrich’s nonfiction book Accidental Billionaires. The Social Network centers on Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg and two simultaneous lawsuits involving his best friend and fellow Harvard students.

The movie opens with a spitfire fight between Zuckerberg and his girlfriend. Zuckerberg is played by the phenomenal Jesse Eisenberg (Zombieland) who has leapt out of his usual skin as a nice character with moral obligations and into a pretentious and arrogant Harvard student. The dialogue is so fast, witty and snotty that it is just remarkably entertaining.

Soon after the audience is introduced to Zuckerberg’s wrath and computer skills when he blogs in a drunken rage about his now ex-girlfriend and decides to make a site dedicated to rating the attractiveness of the girls at Harvard, he calls it “Facemash.” Of course breaking into Harvard databases violates privacy policies and Zuckerberg is faced with academic probation. It doesn’t faze him a bit.

Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss (both played by Armie Hammer), identical twins who row crew and actually went to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, hear of Zuckerberg’s site and decide he is just the person to create their Harvard dating site. The first lawsuit introduced is based on their claim that Zuckerberg stole their idea and never helped them. This is the start of interwoven flashbacks focusing on different character’s points of view. Possibly one of the best lines is from Eisenberg is “If you guys were the inventors of Facebook, you’d have invented Facebook.”

Zuckerberg invites his best and seemingly only friend Eduardo Saverin, an excellently emotional Andrew Garfield (the new Spiderman) who seemed about to burst into tears the whole time, to be CFO of “thefacebook.” but soon tension results when Saverin is invited to pledge the Phoenix, an exclusive campus society, and Zuckerberg isn’t.

Soon enough the phrase “Facebook me” is being used all over campus and Zuckerberg starts to feel pretty confident. He and a reluctant Saverin meet with Napster creator Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake) who immediately becomes Zuckerberg’s new right hand. Everything goes south from there. Facebook operations are moved to California but Saverin stays behind to do an internship in New York. Zuckerberg seems to like his new “friends” more than his old and when Saverin finds them in California it seems he is no longer part of Facebook.

There was a myriad of events that happened during the movie but it all revolved around the main plot and was well organized. I figured the movie was going to be a drama but there was a lot of quick-witted humor in it as well. I mean who doesn’t think that feeding chicken to a chicken and calling it forced cannibalism isn’t absolutely hilarious?

Without a doubt this was the best movie I have seen all year. I will award The Social Network five out of five stars. Though many of the events and character depictions have been proven false, it was a well-acted, written and directed film that anyone can enjoy. You don’t have to use Facebook or even like it to be spellbound by The Social Network.