Movie Monday, Movies, Review

The Social Network: A Movie About… Facebook?

If you asked me five years ago if I’d care about a movie about Facebook, I’d laugh in your face and tell you to fuck off. The only reason I watched it the first time was as a joke with my buddies; we all thought “Oh, hah hah, it’s about Facebook, maybe it’ll be so dumb it’ll be hilarious!”

Then we actually watched it. Afterward, we all sat in silence for a moment. I don’t remember which one was the first to admit that it was actually really good. But after he did, we all fell in right after him. Like a bunch of dominos, we were.

For a dramatic retelling of how Facebook was founded, this movie is surprisingly fun to watch! Fuck if I know if it’s an accurate retelling of the real events (probably not; and by probably, I mean definitely), but who cares? This isn’t a documentary! It’s a fun, decently compelling drama about a socially inept douchebag!

That’s odd. When did I get a starring role in a movie?

Story: Local Man Pisses Off Literally Everyone

I’m half tempted to leave it at that.

After getting dumped by his girlfriend, Mark Zuckerberg programs a site that crashes the servers at Harvard while drunk. He’s approached by the Winklevoss twins, who want him to program a social networking site exclusive to Harvard. Zuckerberg then takes this idea, along with some funding from his friend Eduardo, and creates The Facebook. From there, the film follows them as they develop their business. All while Zuckerberg battles the Winklevoss twins and Eduardo in a legal battle in the present.

The first thing I want to mention is the pacing. Because god damn, this movie is perfectly paced! It’s one of those movies where you think “Okay, we must be nearing the halfway point”, then you check the timeline and discover that you’re forty minutes to the end! It flows so smoothly and quickly that you get caught up in it without even noticing!

Another strong point is the dialogue. It’s witty, it’s clever, and it rolls right off the actor’s tongues. It doesn’t sound all that organic, but it works. Though it does rely pretty heavily on the ‘character interrupts another one to be rude’ trick. Like, you’ll see that a lot.

The characters (they’re too dramatic to be comparable to the real people they’re based on) are pretty good, too. Each one is distinct and they play off of each other super well! The obvious highlight is Mark and Eduardo; their on-screen chemistry is incredible! Though they do seem like cartoonishly dramatic versions of the real people they’re based on.

Though in Zuckerberg’s case, it doesn’t take much. The real-dude is a robot in disguise. And it’s so unconvincing that it makes Optimus Prime look subtle.

All in all, the story of this movie is really good! It’s heavily dramatized, which does disconnect it from the real events they’re based on. But if it means getting a movie this much fun to watch, then I can live with that. Quite happily, I might add.

Presentation: One Piano Song and Nothing Else

Seriously, that one piano track comes up over and over again! It’s not even impressive! It’s just a generic sad piano song! I could come up with something more unique by pounding my fists against the piano keys! And you know what the only real sad thing is? That’s the only noticeable original piece in the whole soundtrack!

Terrible music aside, this movie looks pretty good! There are some really impressive shots (among a lot of shot-reverse-shot, but you can’t win ’em all) and great editing choices! It’s not the most stunning movie I’ve ever seen (again, there’s a lot of shot-reverse-shot), but it’s half decent!

My favorite scene in terms of visuals is the boat race scene. Let’s be honest: in real life, those are boring as hell. But this movie made it feel genuinely tense and engaging! It cuts at a rapid pace to create a sense of speed and tension! And more impressive yet: it doesn’t cut so quickly so often that it hurts your eyes or make you sick! It’s such a minor scene, but it’s really fun to look at!

Why is the best looking scene in the movie also the most pointless?

Performances: Before Jessie Eisenburg and Andrew Garfield were Laughingstocks

Funny how both of these dudes got lambasted in comic book movies.

There really isn’t a stand-out actor in this movie. When everyone is killing it, it’s hard to pick one out. It’s like that Syndrome line from the first Incredibles movie. You know, “If everyone’s super, no one will be!”

I suppose if I have to mention anyone, it would be Jessie Eisenberg. His portrayal of Mark Zuckerberg, while not accurate to the real-life robot, is pretty good! He gives the character this soulless, robotic feeling, yet still manages to hide a genuine vulnerability and humanity beneath it.

Andrew Garfield is really good, too. His character is much less subtle, being a normal person. But he perfectly balances the character’s more quiet, calm moments with bouts of extreme fury! He seems more like an awkward dork here than he did in either of the Amazing Spider-Man movies!

Those still make me really mad. I’ll need to talk about those someday.

Conclusion

I’m still genuinely surprised by how much I enjoy this movie. It’s certainly not the strongest drama I’ve ever seen. It’s a bit too dramatized, which kind of ruins any possibility of learning/caring about the real-life story. But it’s still a fun, engaging movie from start to end!

I’d recommend watching The Social Network. It’s a short, enjoyable watch. But if you want something that accurately portrays the story of Facebook’s origin (for some reason), you’d have to look elsewhere.

Now, the question is: when are we getting the sequel? The Social Network 2: Zuckerberg Goes to the Supreme Court. Though personally, I’m more looking forward to the third movie: Wrath of the Karens.

I’d leave you off with a better joke, if I had one.

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