directed by David Fincher / starring Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Rooney Mara
... And she likes it a lot! When I first heard that there would be a 'Facebook movie', I was like 'oh MAN'. When I heard it was going to be directed by David Fincher, I was like 'okay, man'. Then I saw the trailer and I was like 'YEAH, man!', and now I'm running out of man-related ways of expressing my expectations. Anyway. I liked it and I liked it a lot.
In the fall of 2003 Mark Zuckerberg is dumbed by his girlfriend. So, he sits down in front of his computer in his dorm room at Harvard university, and does what every self-respecting gentleman does after a break-up - creates a site where you can rank the girls of the campus according to the level of their hotness. Of this fierce, drunken session of programming, begins Mark's accidental journey that leads him to becoming the world's youngest billionaire. Oh, and facing a teeny weeny law suit, filed by his (ex-)best friend. And that's The Social Network for you!
What do 500 million people do about two hundred times a day? Well, a lot of things, but certain 500 million people go to a certain website called Facebook and see what their 673 friends have been up to lately - like what did they have for dinner or did their pet hamster have a birthday or whether they're planning to take a shower before or after Grey's Anatomy - and in return, they do those 673 people a favour and describe their own plans of the day in great detail. And yeah, I'm one of those 500 million people, and even though I don't have 673 friends (only 165 - I've lost one again, I just noticed), I'm still an active user and not all my status updates are hugely informative and necessary so I just stop mocking now.
Facebook is obviously a huge phenomenon. It's become such a natural part of our world, that you just assume that every person you meet is on Facebook and it's easy to forget that there are still people who don't like telling their real name or posting pictures of themselves online. Remember that time when you didn't dare tell your first name on an internet forum? Because I hardly do, but that was just a few years ago, really. The film really got me thinking, among various other things, about when you put something in the internet, there's a good change you never get it out again. "The internet's not written in pencil, Mark. It's written in ink." Indeed. I immidiately started thinking if there's something in my blog that my future employers, or future ex-best friends who want to sue me, could use against me. This is serious stuff. Just think about the chicken.
Back to the movie, now. I could babble about FB a lot more, it's just a fascinating and funny phenomenon, it somehow tells a lot about the world we live in, the need of popularity, selling of the self-image and satisfying the need for social contacts with a touch of a finger (because sometimes "Liking" something is all the nurturing your relationships need...). Anyway, I want to babble about the movie too. Because it was gooood!
A story about creating a web page paralleled by a story of a law suit doesn't sound like a movie many people would like to see. Throw a former boy band member to the mix and you've got the perfect ingridients for a guaranteed flop! Or you can give the project to David Fincher and let him make it a real gem. I'm not sure how he didn't, but I enjoyed every minute of the origin story of a web page, I even got a kick out of all that geek talk I didn't understand a word of. And I enjoyed the popstar, too. Hats up for David Fincher. Seriously. One heck of a superman, he is. (I first wrote 'hell', but then thought my future employers might disapprove that. Please hire me, I'm really not as bad as I sound.)
Jesse Eisenberg is AMAZING. He pretty much has only that one expression on his face throughout the whole film, but that's all we need because he damn rocks that expression! I loved those bone-dry, sarcastic, harsh comments he kept throwing around. His character is a socially handicapped a-hole, really, but Eisenberg plays it so damn well that he never annoys you - too much. Please someone give this guy some awards. Also, Justin Timberlake was surprisingly good! I mean, not that surprisingly, since Fincher hired him in the first place, and sure I'd heard a lot about him beforehand, but anyway. I didn't have to Cry Me A River, because he pretty much Rocked
However, it wasn't Mr Popstar, who Brought Sexy Back (yeah, yeah, that was the last one, I promise. I don't know any other songs, anyway). I keep falling more and more in love with Andrew Garfield! That guy is just so freaking adorable and so freaking talented it almost hurts! Plus he's so freaking likable I bet I'd like him even if he played Hitler. (... "I'm really hoping it's 'Cats that look like Hitler', because I can never get enough of that." Hahahaha. Oh god.) I don't need to beg anyone give this guy awards, because they'll be pumping them out for him long after he asks them to stop. Cuz he's just that good, y'all.
The Social Network is unexpectedly dramatic, fascinating, compelling, intelligent, profound, looking past the programming and web sites and status updates, and telling something rather timeless about friendship, success, power and loyalty. I also want to compliment the music and the editing and the dynamics of the film. All that over-lapping dialogue was just genious.
Last but not least, the humour of the film was awesome. Unexpectedly so. (The film was unexpected in many ways...) Mark's sarcasm went down with me so well, and the twins, the 'Winkelvi'... "I'm six-five, 220 pounds, and there are two of me." They were played by one single guy, by the way! (I just looked the actor up and the he's name is Armie Hammer. I've decided not to use smileys on my blog posts because there'd be no end once I'd get started, but I have to make an exception. Armie Hammer? :D:D:D:D Seriously? :D:D Oh, I don't know, maybe it's funny only because it's way past midnight and my head's a bit sore. Anyway, he could play Prince William. Same jaw.)
The Social Network was so enjoyable I don't want to flatten my post-cinema experience by pondering about truthfulness of the story or trying to find something to criticize. Though it'd be interesting to know how the real Mark Zuckerman would react on the story of his own life (not going to happen, I guess, I remember reading he's not planning on seeing it - I understand why) and sure, it wasn't a perfect movie. But let's not go there, today. The Social Network will quite certainly be on my top 5 of 2010. It's been a very good year, and I'm already looking forward to the Oscars, so I can once again watch and curse while they award movies I don't like or haven't seen. But let's not go there, either, not yet.
Finally, two trivial facts. 1) While writing this post I've been checking my FB profile every five minutes or so. 2) When we left the cinema today and said goodbye, my last words to my friend were: "I'll talk to you later... on Facebook." Funny world...
"A guy who makes a nice chair doesn't owe money to everyone who has ever built a chair."