Movie Review: The Social Network

Movie Review: The Social Network

The Social Network

PG-13
Genre: Drama
Running Time: 2 hours

On a fall night in 2003, Harvard undergrad and computer programming genius Mark Zuckerberg sits down at his computer and begins working on a new idea. In a flurry of blogging and programming, what begins in his dorm room, soon becomes a global social network and a revolution in communication.

Then…a mere 6 years later and 500 million friends later…
Mark Zuckerberg is the youngest billionare in history.

Look Mom! I’m On The Big Screen!

The Social Network is the story behind the massive social networking site Facebook. What’s become an Internet phenomenon now receives big-screen exposure with Columbia Pictures production of a movie written by The West Wing’s Aaron Sorkin. In this fascinating story we discover how the Harvard undergrads success, also leads to both personal and legal complications. The most amazing aspect of this movie revolves around the fact that back in 2003 I’m sure Mark Zuckerberg had no idea how big of an impact his idea would have on how people interact on the Internet. Actually, the initial concept for Facebook was called FaceMash and it came out of a sense of frustration after being dumped by his girlfriend.

The Social Network is a fascinating journey through the dot com world.

I’m sure this movie will do well simply because of the hype and the content of the movie itself. Everyone knows about Facebook and everyone knows about the power and impact of social networking. That in itself will make The Social Network a movie-going draw.

The question is – Will The Social Network have staying power in the Top 10 Box Office list?

While it’s a decent movie, this is by no means a strong movie. Jesse Eisenberg plays a wonderful geeky type Zuckerberg. But, his performance does not exactly jump off the screen. However, his best friend, Eduardo Saverin, played by Andrew Garfield, puts in a great performance. Actually, if it weren’t for him, The Social Network would have been even more lack-luster than it already is. Of course lets not forget the producers ploy of tossing in a big name to draw larger crowds to the movie either. It’s pretty obvious why they cast Justin Timberlake as Sean Parker. Timberlake needs to realize he is not an actor. He’s simply there as a name draw and a pretty face. At times it seems as though he even struggles with the most mundane lines he’s given in the script.

Editing Room Floor Material

When it comes to length, The Social Network suffers slightly from diarrhea of the mouth. Actually, one scene is more of a diarrhea of the long boring run. The movie clocks in at just slightly more than 2 hours. But reality is, it could have been trimmed back to about an hour 40 minutes if those involved in the production of the flick hadn’t been afraid to use good editing techniques.

The movie opens with Zuckerberg having dinner with his girlfriend. But, things take a turn for the worse and suddenly his girlfriend informs him she wants to break up. Devastated by the announcement, the filmmakers suddenly take us on a run through the campus grounds of Harvard. This scene literally drags on, or maybe a better term is rambles on, for what seems an eternity. We see Zuckerberg running across campus, running through buildings, running across more campus, running through more buildings, stopping momentarily to watch a guy play a violin, (I have no idea why this is important to the movie), before he finally arrives at his dorm. Then, just when you think it’s over, he runs some more! That’s right! Now we see him running through the hallways of his dorm, up the stairs of his dorm, then through another hallway, before he finally arrives in his dorm room!

But wait…there’s more….

Once inside his dorm room, he then seems to wander aimlessly through this huge room before finally sitting down at his computer.

Give me a break! We get it! He’s upset at the thought of losing his girlfriend, but a 10 minute run through the beginning of the movie does not make one sit up and say – “Wow! I wonder what’s going to happen next?!” Instead, it makes one say – “When will this scene finally be over!?”

Overall, even though the movie is a little on the long side, I did enjoy the back-story surrounding the creation of Facebook. Of course since this is a Hollywood movie, we must also keep in mind that Hollywood does take creative license when telling a so-called true story. After all, they need to try to spice things up to capture the interest of the audience. But that being said, the back-story is an interesting one. Those involved in social media in real life will enjoy the movie and the geeks in the crowd will enjoy The Social Network as well. However, when it comes to strength of the movie, it’s somewhat flat and that’s why we’re giving it 2.5 Lloyds. The Social Network is really nothing more than a mediocre movie at best.

When it comes to rating, we’re saying it’s cautionary family-friendly. With a PG-13 rating parents need to remember this is not just a movie about Facebook. The key players are Harvard students. That means the content is for older kids, not the 13 and younger crowd. As a matter of fact, while we say this is cautionary family-friendly, it’s probably best viewed by those in the 16 and up crowd. There are college student activities going on in this movie that are simply inappropriate for the young teen crowd.

Cautiously enjoy the show!
Dr. Rus

About the Author

Dr. Rus has 30+ years experience in the field of communication. He takes this experience, and his passion to encourage others to positively effect their environment, when providing insight and movie reviews.