You’d think a movie about computer programmers, venture capitalists, and Ivy League preppies would be boring, but the power of Hollywood is the ability to sex up any subject. So in the new movie The Social Network computer programmers have groupies, venture capitalists throw money around left and right and Harvard has such wild parties that harems are bused in for their Roman orgy-esque parties.
Eleven years ago David Fincher directed Fight Club, a movie so urgent that I actually believed it could start a pre-millenial revolution any second. Fincher’s newest movie, The Social Network might even be more of the moment. It tells the story of Mark Zuckerberg, the 26 year old billionaire who founded Facebook. He’s a unique character. A multitasking, socially awkward, borderline autistic who shapes modern society in his image.
The movie plays hard and loose with the facts (according to this New Yorker article Zuckerberg had a girlfriend since college which puts a monkey wrench in the thesis that Zuckerberg created Facebook because he couldn’t interact with women), but it still feels true. No cinematic moment of my lifetime captured right now as much as Zuckerberg trying to bond with his female lawyer. She rejects and rebuffs him. When she leaves the room Zuckerberg looks her up on Facebook, staring at her profile picture, deciding whether to Friend her. The moment captured a thousand tortured poems about where human interaction has headed.
It’s so exciting to finally write about a good movie. After a year of second rate spectating where The Expendables was my pick for movie of the year, I started to think I’d grown too cranky to enjoy anything unironically on the silver screen. It’s nice to see a movie released that I’d like to see again.
You can have your special effects, 3-D glasses, and high concept plot twists I’ll take clever dialogue, biting commentary, interesting characters who think they’re being cool by telling someone, “you better lawyer up” and an underplayed Beatles song over the closing credits.