So, I was able to see a preview of The Social Network, the story of the guys who created Facebook. Before I get into the movie review, I want to gripe about the ridiculous security they had in place for the film. Bags checked, had to turn in your phone, laptop or any electronics before entering. Now, if I had the balls to try and film a movie and sell it I wouldn’t try to do it at a premiere. The problem with the security, is that they put phones in unsealed bags, no one seemed to be out there watching them and it made getting in and out of the film a total cluster fuck. A movie slated to start at 7 actually didn’t get rolling until almost 8 and it was a much later night than planned. Total clusterfuck on Icon’s part because there were more than one movie sneak peek going on and yeah, not good line or crowd management at all.
Mark Zuckerberg is portrayed as an elitist, socially inept and stereotypical computer geek who happens to be a Harvard snob sans the old money from the opening shots. He’s obsessed with Final Clubs (which I have no clue what the fuck they are tbh). He talks down to his girlfriend, Erica Albright who he remarks doesn’t need to study because she goes to BU and that the only reason they are in the bar they are in is because she slept with the doorguy. He’s so emotionally inept he doesn’t get it when she breaks up with him.
Cue him running all the way home across campus, distraught but not freaking out yet. He starts blogging away on Livejournal (circa 2003)about how his now ex is a bitch, lies about her bra size etc. He gets the idea to create facesmash.com, a clone of hot or not.com and it crashes the Harvard servers in just a couple hours.
That gets the attention of twin BMOC the Winklevoss’, rowers for the team who have an idea for the Harvard Connection, like the existing Dorm Facebooks but for Harvard students and alumni only along with their friend Divya Narendra. After a quick meeting, where Zuckerberg agrees too quickly then ignores all attempts at contact from the trio and in a couple of months has thefacebook.com up and running. He starts this company with money from his friend Eduardo Saeverin, initially $1000 for the equipment and webspace.
The whole movie is done as the events leading up to facebook.com’s rise interspersed with meetings during the two lawsuits filed against Zuckerberg are tight dialog wise, emotionally sharp and keep you captivated. It shows you how his betrayal of Saeverin hurts his former friend, and how Zuckerberg’s idolization of Napster and Plaxo founder Sean Parker(played very well by Justin Timberlake)drives a wedge between the two former friends and room mates to the point where Saeverin freezes the account he initially starts up the company with to get Zuckerberg to see some business sense is heartbreaking. Seeing it during the meetings of Saeverin’s lawsuit against Zuckerberg really got to me.
In short, it shows Zuckerberg as a socially inept, stereotypically awkward in real life situations, overambitious asshole that’s a programming genius who stepped on the few people close to him to get what he wanted, notoriety, money and fame. He used Saeverin to the point of drying him out, cutting his controlling interest in the company to 0.003% while no one else lost share value. He tries pathetically to talk to his former girlfriend who has one of the best lines about the online world I’ve heard in a while. “The internet isn’t written in pencil Mark, it’s written in ink”.
The final scene shows him as a pitiful shell who’s realized he totally fucked up in his drive to get where he is now. He finds Erica on Facebook, sends a friend request then just clicks refresh over and over while the credits roll.
I do wonder why she would have joined Facebook when it’s clear she hates him. I wouldn’t let an asshole who treated me like that, that founded this social network have access to my info. I also wonder why Harvard never got in on the lawsuit, since he took the name Facebook from the existing intranet for the Harvard dorms. That seems to be intellectual property theft, let alone what he did to the three classmates that he screwed over. There are some things you’re left to wonder as well as what really happened with Sean Parker, who’s only mentioned as retaining his 7% ownership of the company. We see he fucked up with young girls and drugs at a college party but don’t get the full story of that fall out.
Go see it when it’s released, a good film about betrayal, fame, and what it really means to have friends.