I sent out a mass text to about 20 of my closest film-buddy friends last night as I walked out of The Grove theater, “The Social Network is the best movie I’ve seen in a long, LONG time. Start to finish: brilliance, from every angle. Like, very, VERY great.”
I’m not a fan of the over-hyped movie and I don’t like to hear about things — really, at all — before I see them for myself. So going into The Social Network, I wasn’t exactly thrilled, per say. I was excited to see it, yes, but I didn’t have that mystery that so many directors talk about: to enter the theater with the curtains sufficiently pulled shut and just, let the story unfold. I knew too much going in, I wasn’t sticking to my rule…
I might have to rethink this rule of mine.
The Social Network is a friggin’ masterpiece. Yes, “friggin’”, because it made me feel like I was eighteen again. It shattered my expectations, which were high — I had read the script, I hated Jessie Eisenberg, was still skeptical of Timberlake’s ability to hold the screen, let alone play an oddly-in-between’d villain was additionally skeptical of Rooney Mara’s ability to play out the INCREDIBLE opening scene and I was overtly arrogant about my knowledge of the glory days back in 03-04 when The FACEBOOK was finding its pop culture legs. The Social Network might just be the best movie I’ve seen this year, Toy Story 3 and Inception included. I don’t know that I had as much FUN as I did at those two, but as far as filmmaking and story … Ooooh, its close.
I’m going to make this short and sweet. There’s no reason to talk any more about this movie as many of you have already heard enough. I’ll tick off my skepticisms one at a time.
The script was gold. I was worried the film couldn’t compare, even with the team we had. Frankly, 165 pages of Sorkin dialogue made me feel like myself or anyone else that ever tried to be witty and cutting and harsh and brilliant on the page should literally and legitimately, never try to write it because it was futile. The movie was better than the script. By a lot. David Fincher* … You’re a genius.
Jessie Eisenberg has been making a comeback ever since I saw The Squid and the Whale. I just didn’t like that film, and I didn’t think it was good, even if it was loosely based on the directors childhood. I thought Eisenberg was funny looking and it felt like he would smell if I ever hung out with him. I know, really mean. After watching his performance in The Social Network, I don’t think I can bag on him for at least three years. His portrayal was spot on to what it SEEMS the real Zuckerberg is, and perfectly timed, paced and beautifully, preformed. Well done, sir.
Justin Timberlake can act. In fact, he can act so well that — for a moment, you forget it’s JT! That never happened in The Love Guru OR Alpha Dog. I knew he was good, but I could never forgot that I could go see him bring sexy back at The Nokia someday soon. His performance was like a politician: the name-dropping, slippery, and reprehensible guy we always hang around because there’s a chance you could meet someone famous — we all know that guy. And we all have hung out with him one too many times. And we hate ourselves every time we do it. Timberlake’s portrayal of the utterly slimy Napster founder Sean Parker is a testimony of JT’s acting chops (the scene where Eduardo finds out his demise as Parker is chiming in is perfect) and scribe Sorkin’s genius.
Rooney Mara is going to be a MEGA-STAR. You heard it here first. I’ve had a crush on her older sister (Kate Mara) since SHOOTER, but I think my tastes have changed. Rooney is in two, literally, two scenes as Zuckerberg’s (Eisenberg) (ex)girlfriend Erica Albright … and she’s BRILLIANT — the eyes, its all in the eyes. I cannot wait to see her in The Millennium Series, as the hair-raising and intricate Lisbeth Salander. Frankly, if its not Andrew Garfield** or Jessie Eisenberg stealing the scene, its Mara in The Social Network … And the scenes with Zuckerberg and Albright together? Worth the price of admission.
I thought I knew the history of The FACEBOOK. I didn’t. At least I didn’t know how awesome it would be when crafted together as a Few Good Men meets The West Wing meets Accidental Billionaires (The Book). The story is super fun and utterly classy. A thrill ride of a business savvy and comedy enlisting a suspenseful history lesson with two dashes of awesome and fistful of brilliance. I can’t say enough good things about this flick. So go see it. Then Facebook about it — it will be the weirdest feeling you have this year, I guarantee it.
Rating: 10/10 (that’s 11 all time and 3 this year)
- I don’t have the time or ability to actually describe how incredible of a job David Fincher did on this film. So I asterisk’d it and will let my gaping mouth speak for itself.
** Andrew Garfield is my DUDE. If the script is good, he’ll be the best Spiderman (and possibly, superhero) we’ve ever seen. He is the best actor on this film and its close, I’ll admit, but through. Every. Single. Frame. He shines.