Movie Review: The Social Network (2010)


Title: The Social Network
Release Date: October 1, 2010
Director: David Fincher
Production Company: Columbia Pictures | Relativity Media | Scott Rudin Productions | Michael De Luca Productions | Trigger Street Productions
Summary/Review:

The Social Network asks the question, can a person unable to create bonds with other human beings make a billion dollar business based on friendship?  The movie is a dramatization of how Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) created Facebook while a sophomore at Harvard University in 2003.  The movie is framed by legal depositions where Zuckerberg faces off against Eduardo Severin (Andrew Garfield), his friend and Facebook CFO who claims his shares of Facebook were unfairly diluted.  He also faces a legal battle with Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss (both played by Armie Hammer) and Divya Narendra (Max Minghella) who claim that Zuckerberg stole their idea.

I typically don’t like Aaron Sorkin scripts because his dialogue makes everyone sound insufferably smug, but that actually suits the film.  The historical facts of Facebook’s creation are played with loosely, probably because the reality was much more boring, but I feel that it was just as douchey as portrayed here.  Women don’t get much to do in this film except be kind of a decorative wallpaper to activities of the men, but given the dudebros ethos of the film it feels suiting.  The most significant women character in the movie is played by Rooney Mara, who plays a fictional ex-girlfriend of Zuckerberg’s who is supposed to be his inspiration for creating Facebook.

As a connoisseur of movies set in the Boston area, I enjoyed spotting the scenes that were filmed on location.  Poor Jesse Eisenberg had to do a lot of running in this movie, from the streets of real Cambridge all the way to Maryland where there is a dorm building that coincidentally has the same name as his dorm at Harvard.  I also used to frequent The Thirsty Scholar pub in Somerville circa 2003, so maybe I was there when Zuckerberg broke up with his fictional girlfriend.

Rating: ***1/2

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