Monday, October 25, 2010

The Social Network

I read the book "The Accidental Billionaires" a few weeks ago, and have been eager to see the movie since it was released on October 1st, but wasn't able to pull together babysitting until this weekend. I've been a fan of Aaron Sorkin's writing since A Few Good Men brought me to tears in an LA cinema when I was nineteen and just on the cusp of my filmmaking dreams. And director David Fincher? Loved Fight Club and Benjamin Button (didn't see Seven or Zodiac since as a rule I don't watch movies or TV centred on serial killers if I want to sleep at night).

With great anticipation, I settled into my comfortable seat with my bag of hot, buttered popcorn on my knee, and waited for the lights to go down. I was keenly aware of that delicious thrill of excitement that precedes a movie you are sure you will love. There is nothing better than slipping into an alternate world for two hours and allowing all of your stress to melt away so you can inhabit someone else's world for a little while. It's one of the purest joys I know, and this movie delivered everything I wanted it to.

We all know that Facebook is a global phenomenon, but tracing the origins of how the idea developed is a fascinating process. It's a story of computer nerd vs. wealthy Harvard establishment frat boys, and for once the nerd is the winner. It's too bad Mark Zuckerberg as a character is so hard to like. He's a boy genius with a painful case of social awkwardness. He struggles to keep any friends at all, and yet he created the most successful "friending" tool the world has ever seen.

Aaron Sorkin did a masterful job creating a linear structure to tell this complicated tale, with three opposing viewpoints, and spanning the course of several years. From's inception in a tiny Harvard dorm room to the legal issues that plagued Zuckerberg for years, The Social Network covers all of it, with a building tension that begins in the first frame and doesn't finish until the last sad image.

Writing movies like this is my longest held dream. The dialogue is so original and zippy that it soars, supported by performances you can sink your teeth into and really believe in. Jesse Eisenberg is terrific as Zuckerberg, prickly and unapproachable, isolated within the cold brilliance of his own mind. His only friend, played well by Andrew Garfield, provides the heart and humanity that the rest of the characters lack. And Justin Timberlake? As Sean Parker, the rich playboy who founded Napster and took Facebook to the global level, he is dynamic and unlikeable in every scene he is in, but as mesmerizing as a car wreck that you just can't take your eyes away from.

In the middle of watching this movie, every nerve and synapse enjoying the ride I was on, I became aware of a dawning sense of joy and peace that creativity in any form is what makes this world go around. I hope to be a part of that experience one day, and if my writing isn't as stellar as Aaron Sorkin's right now, I still have the chance to improve on it. Working hard for the dream is what will make it so satisfying when one day I can sit in a theatre and watch my own words unfold in the story before me. There is time to dream, and to write, and to get better. For today, I'm inspired, and it's enough for me.


  1. I cant wait to watch your movies some day! They will be fantastic!

  2. Aww, thank you so much, Erin! Your encouragement is much appreciated and helps to ward against writer's block.

  3. Now I REALLY want to go see this movie! Great descriptions! :) I recently watched A Few Good Men and loved it too, though I didn't make it all the way through Benjamin Button (the one movie that I walked out on because Sunshine wouldn't settle down). Keep watching movies like this - your mind learn subconsciously how to do it and your writing will get better. My prof said today that writers are always learning and getting better; even Aaron Sorkin still has things to learn and improve on. :)

  4. It's a very encouraging thought that Aaron Sorkin can still learn and improve! It's true, and helpful to remind myself of the fact that we are all improving, every day, as long as we are practicing what it is we want to be doing.