theradishpress

Tuesday, February, 8, 11

The Social Network

by theradishpress


I did it. I watched The Social Network. All in all, not terrible as I had imagined. The performances are stellar and the writing is intelligent, witty, and fast-paced. I was often reminded of old Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn films, like Bringing Up Baby, or The Marx Brothers movies. What distinguishes these over seven decades older movies is that unlike The Social Network, it is not only men who rule the dialogue and the wit. Even The Marx Brothers met their match in the characters Margaret Dumont portrayed. Grant and Hepburn played off of each other, neither taking the lead so much as trying to make each other laugh. At least, that is the illusion, if not the reality.

So Rooney Mara’s Erica Albright gets to introduce the story by telling off Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg), comparing dating him to a Stairmaster. Big fucking deal. The witticism, the downright genius, it is all left to the men in this film. If I am to believe all the dialogue Aaron Sorkin wrote, Mark Zuckerberg is quite possibly the most hilarious and intelligent asshole alive. And great. I did enjoy a great deal of the dialogue. But really Sorkin and Fincher? You start out with an apparent strong female and then leave us Amy (Dakota Johnson), the underwear then nude then towel-clad slam piece of Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake) and then give us Christy (Brenda Song), the groupie and eventual psychotic and frightening girlfriend of Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield). Well done gentlemen.

Let’s not forget too that Christy is the only person of color aside from Divya Narendra (Max Minghella) – who by the way is not even part Indian, but he is part Chinese, so his playing an Indian is totally okay by Hollywood standards. All it requires is some brown make-up! – so there she goes making all Asians look bad.

In addition to all this, Zuckerberg’s financial status is often a subject in the film. It got me curious. Turns out that while Zuckerberg is made to seem poor in comparison to his friends his mother is a psychiatrist and his father a dentist. He also grew up in a town with an average household income of over $70,000. He also attended a private school with fencing. Okay, clearly I do not know all the details of his family’s financial situation, these things hardly translate to poor kid from the inner city who got to Harvard on a scholarship and really needs to work hard to maintain it. Considering that Zuckerberg himself seems pretty disinterested in wealth, it is no surprise to me that he was not consulted on the film and Eisenberg was told not to meet him before and during shooting. Maybe Zuckerberg would have a few errors to correct.

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