The Social Network: A Friend–ly Pick
Thanks Mark and Eduardo for creating a website that I’ve wasted hundreds of hours on, and getting me through college! !
I was presented with the opportunity to attend a free pre-screening of the widely publized new film, The Social Network, that comes out tomorrow night. If you haven’t heard of it, then you haven’t turned on your computer. There must be an advantage to working next to AMC theaters..
Basically The Social Network follows Mark Zuckerberg’s journey to creating Facebook. It hops back and forth between reminiscing times since the birth of the idea of such a social network, and in a conference room at the end when Zuckerberg is being sued by two different parties. If you haven’t heard of Facebook, then not only do you never turn your computer on, but you also must live under a rock and live the life of a hermit. Facebook is literally up there with Twilight- and that is not just coming from a Twi-hard fan, but it’s just a fact.
Facebook used to be the place for people you knew at the present, but now it’s for you to network and connect with your childhood best friend, dentist, old neighbor, sister’s bff, and probably your childhood enemy too.
But the story is more about the history of how Facebook, or more correctly- The Facebook, was born.
I can remember the first time I heard about Facebook. It was my freshmen year in university- September 2005 to be exact- some of my friends and I at the time were sitting outside on campus that night, and my roommate announced, “Guess what? Lipscomb’s got Facebook!” Our lives were never the same.
Mind you this was in 2005 when Facebook was relatively new, and had exclusivity to college students only. You had to have a ‘.edu’ email address to join. Needless to say everyone checked FB after chapel, and in-between just about every class. If we had a FB class then we’d all be valedictorians.
Of course like all things, FB evolved and changed numerous times over the years- changing the way the wall looked, which made us want to pull our hair out, and eventually became open to everyone. And eventually spawned such sites like the celebrity-friendly Twitter.
But I will never forget my former roommate’s words. Even though initially I had no idea what Facebook was, I knew it was great, and it would be big. It was.
Mark Zuckerberg was and undergrad at Harvard when he was introduced to a notion of a social networking site that was exclusive to all students at the university by twin brothers by the name of Winklevoss. Zukerberg, being the computer and mathematical genious that he is- hey he went to Harvard!- wanted to take that a step further with his own ideas of eventually expanding to other campuses, and with his own computer code. He enlisted his best friend, Eduardo Saverin- a well to do economics student and fellow geek, to be his CFO and co-founder.
Obviously, the Winklevoss twins were furious when they found out about it because they think it was their idea, but Zuckerberg always defends himself saying that he created it with his own computer code- he did not plagiarize. And as this social network expands, the wealthy twins want to take legal action.
Mark and Eduardo are best friends, but you get the idea that Mark cares more for his invention-and the financial means (provided by Eduardo) than that friendship. Though at the end of the day you see that Mark does value his friend, more than any of the other people they know. Mark is extremely smart, and always knows what’s going on, even when he seemingly is slacking off. Mark Zuckerberg is the persona of a slacker- who acts like he is taking notes during the law suit sittings, but is actually doodling. But one of the attorneys will ask him a question since they don’t thing he is paying attention, but he gives them the answer and then some.
Mark and Eduardo’s friendship is, to me, the focal point of the film. It was their collaboration that brought this social network together. But they weren’t always looking at things eye to eye; enter Sean Parker, as portrayed by Justin Timberlake.
Sean Parker is the guy behind Napster- he had the great idea of free downloadable music, and made a bunch of money. But let it crash and burn.
Parker wants to join the team and wines and dines them. He put forth his only good contribution to the network by suggesting that they change it from “The Facebook” to just “Facebook.”
Mark was enamored by his ideas. Eduardo saw right through him.
Parker also wanted to expand FB even more so it would be multinational, but mostly he brought trouble and drugs to their team. He also wanted to get rid of Eduardo. Eduardo was done wrong, and he left the team. After Mark figured out how Parker was not as he seemed- he realized just how important Eduardo’s friendship and collaboration.
So Mark is being sued by the twins who say he stole their idea, and Eduardo since Sean had convinced him to take him off of the FB board. So they have all met in the end to reach a settlement.
Mark and Eduardo felt that through all of this they both had been betrayed by each other, but in reality it was the lawyers and the others around them that had manipulated them to believing so. Eduardo was Mark’s greatest friend, and truest asset. So that is the small part that made the film sad to me- that it seemed as though their friendship was destroyed.
Eduardo was eventually put back on the Co-Founder list along with Mark. Hopefully their friendship was restored as well. Even though we usually hear Zuckerberg’s name associated with Facebook, it should be known that Edurado Savrin had just as much to do with it on the business end.
The film was well made and its two best attributes were its dramatic score- yes the music was really good for a documentary, and many comedic lines- usually coming from one-liners by the Winklevoss twins.
The movie was well cast with Jesse Eisenberg (best known for playing alongside Kirsten Stewart in Adeventureland.) giving a great performance as Mark Zuckerberg. It really was his movie. Eduardo was portrayed by Andrew Garfield- who is to be the new Spiderman in the comic book franchise. Eduardo was my favorite with his level headedness and steadfast friendship even when he was done wrong- Garfield gave a good performance.
Justin Timberlake was the infamous Sean Parker, and was the only actor who actually was able to meet his character whom he portrayed. Timberlake played his needy pathetic character well.
Rooney Mara played the girl, Erica, that dumped Mark at the beginning of the movie. Mark liked to be a jerk, and said some things he should not have about her, but she was a little too smarmy for my liking. Erica was the drive that caused Mark to want Facebook to be big, and then bigger and better. But her smarminess caused him to be a jerk towards her. It makes me wonder if the real Mark ever got over this girl. Mara is actually the actor who was recently cast to play in the American version The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo-let’s just hope that she has what it takes to play that role, because I don’t think she was that great- she had almost as much acting skill as Marilyn Monroe. But that’s another story.
And then there was Rashida Jones- best known for her one season on The Office when she played the Karen who dated Jim for a while. Jones had a minor role as a second year legal counselor who sat in with Mark’s lawyer during the settlement for experience. But Jones’ character was the one who pointed out to Mark where he went wrong with his friendship, and with the girl; That he wasn’t a jerk, he just liked to portray one.
I give the film a B+. It was very entertaining,