GK's take on The Social Network

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Here's the thing. This is the first time during the CreComm season where an assignment actually feels like an assignment.  Everything else up to this point actually has been kinda fun. Hell, in what other program could you spend three hours editing a photo of the beautiful Rhianna?

Writing a piece about The Social Network is like writing an article about a church sermon.  I like Facebook, and I like church, but I don't find either of them particularly interesting.

As many of you know, I'm one the of few who selected the proverbial "dislike" button on The Social Network.  I'd like to somewhat take that back now.  I didn't love the film, but I didn't hate it either.  Perhaps all the hyperbolic reviews of the film jaded my own perception of it.  Or, maybe it was wince fully witnessing Jesse Eisenberg trying to do his best Micheal Cera impression of Mark Zuckerberg that did me in.

I just didn't buy into it.  It was painfully obvious that the film was produced for the simple task of making money.  It's rare that a film covering a social or historical phenomenon is made during the said phenomenon's reign.  I can't really think of any other examples.  Why is it rare?  Because if any story is truly worth telling, then it can be told at anytime.  Would The Social Network have made a profit of $60 million in it's first week if it was released in 2020?  Probably not.

Actually, the only film I can really think of that was based on a true story that came out relatively close to the events which it portrays is All the President's Men.  A film like that could be still be released in 2020, and still be important and interesting.

The saga of Facebook just isn't a very interesting one.  As I sat in the theatre on the first Saturday of its release, I kept thinking that the film would have been much better served if it was an HBO production.  Actually check that.  HBO tends to broadcast compelling and interesting movies and programs.  The Social Network should have been produced by a subsidiary of Hallmark productions, and made as a Sunday Movie of the Week for CBS.

Enough hating.  It is my birthday after all.

The film portrays Zuckerberg more like the prodigal son of Tony Montana, and not the technological genius that he actually is.  What's lost in translation is that Zuckerberg ranks incredibly high on the List of People Who Are Important.   All he did was maintain one of the best white man 'fro's of all time, and create Facebook...regardless of what the Winklevi would have you think.

Actually, comparing Zuckerberg to Tony Montana is inappropriate.  Tony could sleep with at least seven times more women, and snort waaaaaaay more coke than him.  I feel like Zuckerberg is more like the hybrid of Micheal Corleone and his brother Fredo.  Michael is quiet, yet chillingly calculated.  He doesn't care about making friends, and has many enemies.  Fredo is far more outgoing than Micheal, yet he couldn't make a wise decision if his life depended on it.  Fredo is awkward and wants to be liked by people who think he's a no good buffoon.

Replace the glass of scotch with a cup of apple juice, and the bowls of coke with bowls of Doritos's, and ladies and gents, I give you Mark Zuckerberg.
Could Zuckerberg actually be the long lost brother of Sonny, Fredo, and Michael?  I think so.

The film does absolutely nothing to Facebook as a brand.  The film doesn't highlight or downplay Facebook as a product. Really, Facebook has been around long enough for people to know pretty much how it works.  I guarantee that there wasn't anyone who, after seeing the movie, either signed up for Facebook, or deactivated their existing account.  And if someone did...then their just stupid.

Zuckerberg's reaction to the film was typical.  He obviously wasn't going to applaud or down grade his likeness in the film.  He's a nerd.  He's probably been made fun of his entire life.  He probably learned a long time ago that sticks and stones may brake bones, but that living well is the best revenge.


  1. Love the "living well is the best revenge" line. Totally true, he's extremely wealthy and the movie is barely related to his product at all. It's more about him, and how he found the company. I agree that it doesn't affect Facebook the product at all.

  2. Garrick, I feared that your rant would get the best of you, but then again, maybe it was the realization of your birthday that got you onto this delightful post. Thank you, it is so refreshing, and caused even more laughter on the second read.

  3. Happy birthday! Why didn't we sing?


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