The Social Network

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(Facebook 'em.)

Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Armie Hammer and Justin Timberlake. Directed by David Fincher.

Rumour has it after Mark Zuckerberg read a leaked version of Aaron Sorkin's script for The Social Network, he immediately removed Sorkin's classic TV series, The West Wing, from his Facebook favourites, saying that it was a overly fabricated, melodramatic version of his now-famous life. And if you look into the real story behind the reel story, you might be inclined to agree. But if take the movie at face value, you will find that there's really not much not to, uh, 'like.'

Although its subject matter is almost painfully current (the action starts back in 2003), The Social Network feels like an old, IRL friend. With extremely quick-witted dialogue, a slow-burning pace and brilliantly under-toned cinematography, the film seems straight out of the 1970s indie cinema can. But then you see the laptops and Gap product placements and you realize that can't possibly be true. And then you're more impressed.

Whether we just remember that weird blue silhouetted dude who once lurked the top of our homepages, or read The Accidental Billionaires cover to cover, we all know a little bit about Facebook founder and now, CEO, Mark Zuckerberg (played in the film by the awesome Jesse Eisenberg of the Lands – Zombie and Adventure – the lost awesomeness). And any cinephile could have told you David Fincher has a knack for garnering scene-stealing cinematography and award-deserving performances (he did Fight Club, Se7en and Zodiac). But who could have predicted the two would be destined for each other?

Sorkin may be Zuckerberg’s new Eduardo Saverin - the social media site’s co-founder, played by Andrew Garfield, who Zuckerberg ditched once Napster founder, Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake, with a No Strings Attached era do) wooed him away with appletinis and continents- but Fincher will always be The Social Network’s Zuckerberg. Like the curly-haired schemer of a Harvard hacker, Fincher took a pretty lame idea (“A Facebook movie?!”) and turned it into a virtual goldmine.

The superbly controversial Sorkin script aside, the true magic of The Social Network is the casting. Fincher could have gotten DOA Disney stars to fill Zuckerberg, Saverin and Parker’s Converse (although look out for London Tipton, getting tipsy – and randomly pyro! – as Saverin’s crazy gf), but he specifically chose lesser-known (or in Timberlake's case, underappreciated) actors for the parts. And the risk paid off even more than a certain underage coder in a high-profile pinch.

Timberlake, while obviously a pro musician and SNL guest, has never really had a breakthrough movie role (unless you count, Model Behaviour, which most DCOM girls totally do). Garfield is only known for being chosen to play the new Spiderman. And Eisenberg has been waiting his whole short-lived on-screen life to shake off that “Jewish Michael Cera” title. But they seem like old pros in this, biting into their Lorelai Gilmore dialogue like its candy and making the damn-most of their puppy-dog eyes. Especially Garfield and Eisenberg. To paraphrase Parker, this is their time.

Also great is newcomer Armie Hammer (yes, that’s his actual name), who plays Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, the twin Harvard rowers (and future Olympians) who argue that they gave Zuckerberg the seed that would blossom into a billion-dollar idea. Hammer, who looks like he belongs on an Abercrombie cologne bottle, is sure to garner more than a few mid-movie pokes between girlfriends. But he’s more than just a pretty face (and bod...and man-voice). Just not as damn-good as Eisenberg.

Maybe I’m just an overly keen member of Team Jesse, but the dude does what Mr. Cera should have done four movies ago with this role. He steps out of his cute-nerd comfort zone, showing us that Duckie Dales still exist, or rather that being awkward and in love can still be code for asshole. A


  1. bahaha "man-voice." this might be my favourite review so far. the last paragraph is such a kicker... hope it serves as a wake-up call for someone.

  2. Logan Lerman is Jewish. So, when him and Aaron Johnson become a bit more famous, "we"'re going to start calling Logan Lerman "The Jewish Aaron Johnson", right? Right?

    Just like people call Natalie Portman "The Jewish Keira Knightley" and call Joseph Gordon-Levitt "The Jewish Heath Ledger". Oh wait, nope, no body does that. It's a nerds-only policy apparently, that applies to Eisenberger alone. Very selective Jew-identification, as always.

  3. P.S., who is Andrew Garfield the Jewish version of? Andy Murray, perhaps?

  4. My point exactly.

    The "Eisenberger" (I'm calling him that from now on.) deserves much more than just being attached to a stereotypical nickname. His talent has nothing to do with his background. And he's got a hell of a lot of it. Especially in this.