Let’s keep this short.
The Social Network is not, as I originally feared, a terrible film.
At the same time, it’s not, as so many are rabidly insisting, a great film either.
It’s a good film that takes a lot of liberty with the truth and, in the process of telling the “story” about the founding of Facebook, reveals that screenwriter Aaron Sorkin doesn’t really get the whole Internet thing.
David Fincher directs like a man who still can’t believe he didn’t get an Oscar for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. In other words, he doesn’t do anything that might be too far out of the mainstream. Face it, folks. The man who directed Fight Club has grown up. And, as they say, when you grow up, your heart dies.
The main problem with The Social Network is that it is essentially a very mainstream movie being made about a grindhouse topic. Hackers, like the best grindhouse directors, do what they do because 1) they can and 2) it’s a way of telling the rest of the mainstream world to fuck off. Unfortunately, both Sorkin and Fincher are members of that mainstream world so instead of celebrating Facebook and the Internet as a revolution, they instead try to convince us that the only reason Facebook exists is because the founder’s heart was broken by his ex-girlfriend.
That ex-girlfriend is portrayed by Rooney Mara, who will be playing Fincher’s version of the girl with the dragon tattoo. The film presents her as being a shallow bitch but then again, the film presents every woman in the world as being a shallow bitch. Then again, this is a mainstream movie and the mainstream hates women who actually think for themselves. Certainly, that’s been the case with everything else that Aaron Sorkin has ever written.
Still, Mara is presented as just being insensitive and not evil or crazy. If the movie has a villain, it’s Sean Parker (played by Justin Timberlake) who is presented as being the evil Iago-like figure who ruined Facebook. If anything, the film mostly seems to hate him because Parker co-founded Napster and therefore cost the mainstream media a good deal of money.
Admittedly, it’s a well-acted movie. Both Jesse Eisenberg and Andrew Garfield are excellent as the soon to be estranged founders of Facebook. Armie Hammer actually plays two characters — twin brothers — and he creates two unforgettable and unique characters. Justin Timberlake is a bit less convincing as Sean Parker but then again, by the film’s logic, Parker is less a human being and more a demon sent from Hell to keep David Geffen from getting another few thousand. Finally, Rooney Mara does what she can with a demeaning and insulting role. I didn’t see any signs of Lisbeth Salander in her performance but then again, this isn’t a film about strong women. It’s a movie about weak little boys.
Anyway, to return to my original point, the Social Network is a good film. It’s well-acted, it looks pretty, the story moves quickly, and Trent Reznor’s score is excellent. Unfortunately, the movie’s being presented to us as a great film and anyone who disagrees is running the risk of being lynched by the same obnoxious fascists who, last year, demanded that everyone bathe in their own cum while watching Avatar. The main reason these people are so over-the-moon about this movie is that it’s the epitome of the type of film that pats the viewer on the back for being so smart without actually requiring that viewer to prove it.
So, if you watch this movie, realize that you keep your mind open at your own risk.