The Social Network

2010 movie

Rating: 17/20 (Jen: 15/20; Dylan: 6/20)

Plot: In order to impress an ex-girlfriend, socially-inept computer genius Mark Zuckerberg steals an idea described to him by jocky twins and ends up the youngest billionaire in the history of money. He calls it The Facebook until a former member of 'N Sync tells him to drop the article adjective. But with the immediate success and the monies that it brings comes both personal and legal problems. Apparently, you have to be a real asshole in order to make a billion dollars.

Michael Cera was really good in this. The pacing is as quick as his character's cadence, and there were times I felt like I had to lean forward on the couch cushion a little bit to catch everything that he was saying. Was Zuckerberg a jerk? Absolutely, but he's a likable villain and even though the folks he screws over really didn't deserve it, Michael Cera plays Zuckerberg as a real guy instead of a burlesque. I guess it's easier to like a bad guy when he's intelligent and witty, no matter how much meanness is sprinkled in with that intelligence and wit. The script is quick and occasionally very funny, and especially for a movie that is so dialogue-driven, this never bored me. Not to say it doesn't have its share of tedious scenes. Almost every scene that took place in a club made me want to leave the room, probably the same feeling I'd have if I was actually in a club. Aside from the lead, I enjoyed the performances of Andrew Garfield as Zuckerberg's partner Eduardo, the always-surprising and immensely-talented Justin Timberlake as the Napster guy (he almost plays the character as a little evil gnome that sits on Zuckerberg's shoulder, whispering temptations into his ear), and Armie Hammer who I didn't even realize was one guy. Armie Hammer (what an unfortunate name) fooled me into thinking he was two people, like a burly Hayley Mills. Which reminds me--as a child, I had recurring dreams about a burly Hayley Mill chasing me around the lawn and threatening me with vegetables. I always had mismatched shoes in those dreams. Or, occasionally, mismatched feet. But I digress. Here's the most surprising thing about this movie and very likely any movie experience I've ever had--I actually enjoyed watching an Eisenberg on my screen. Yes, I know it wasn't Michael Cera. I really did like Jesse's performance, one that almost makes up for all the ways he's annoyed me previously. It does not, however, cover up his sister's sins. Eisenberg's got some sneaky layers here that gave his character some depth you wouldn't figure he had.

And now I notice that Armie Hammer didn't actually play twins. Somebody named Josh Pence played the other one in most scenes. I take back everything I said about Armie Hammer being the next Hayley Mills. He's still got a great name though.


cory said...

This is another film that doesn't dumb it down for the audience. The Sorkin script is brilliant. It is incredibly literate, with a lot of humor sprinkled in. The acting is great, and maybe because so much was at stake, and because of what Facebook became, the whole thing carries a lot of dramatic weight. Something I love is that the characters have real flaws. None of them are totally bad or good, but the film makes them very real. This is easily my pick for the best movie of last year. A 20.

Thanks for watching this. Replacement: Bogart's "In a Lonely Place".

Shane said...

The closest to totally bad would be the Napster guy...can't really think of any redeeming qualities there.

I heard some people talking about this at a way, it surprises me that it's popular.

cory said...

By the way, what's up with Dylan's grade? A 6?

cory said...

The thing I liked about Timberlake is that he was right (at least in the movie world). He thought big enough. His contribution was much greater than Garfield's, though Garfield is a much more sympathetic character.

Shane said...

Me: "Dylan, Cory wants to know what's up with your six."
Dylan: "The movie sucks."
Me: "Can you elaborate?"
Dylan: "No. It sucked."

My explanation: He's a teenager. Keep in mind that this is the same kid who gave 'Dr. Strangelove' a 6/20. That, by the way, is a movie he talks about all the time.

cory said...

Well, I can't really argue with "it sucked".

Barry said...

I liked this movie a film of 2010, (and last year was a pretty decent year for movies.)

Compelling, interesting all the way through, and incredibly well written. Its not Citizen Kane, and I cant give it a 20 like Mr. Adams, but its pretty damn close.

I give it a 19. Its quite good, and should win the Oscar for best picture.

l@rstonovich said...


Sometimes the Sorkin dialogue in that West Wing rapid fire was too contrived for me, especially the opening sequence. "Watch me write dialogue that is so realistic people step on each other sentences", I turned it off the first time. The second time once I got through his little show-off bit I got hooked. Given the source material, basically a trial and a bunch of code- writing it's amazing how exciting Fincher made this. I liked JT in this thou I thought his over-the-top style removed the whole thing a little more from reality and into movie land. I've always like Eisenberg tho... Squid and The Whale.

Shane said...

Ah, yeah, ok. I liked 'Squid and the Whale' and didn't remember that Eisenberg was in it.