I recently had the (dis)pleasure of watching the critically jizzed upon film, The Social Network. Essentially, it’s just The Facebook Movie, or perhaps more accurately, The Thefacebook Movie, although it should really be called, Filling Two Hours with Mark Zuckberg’s Passive-Aggressive Bullshit. Seriously, what the fuck was this movie supposed to be about?
I guess it’s supposed to tell the story of the founding of internet juggernaut Facebook. But it’s not really about that. Actually, very little time is spent on Facebook itself. Half the movie is spent watching Zuckerberg obsess about how to create/improve his website, and the other half is spent in depositions as Zuckerberg defends himself against two simultaneous lawsuits. Obviously, you can’t make a movie about the actual Facebook webpage, but there could have been a more interesting angle for the filmmakers to take. Actually, either angle alone would have been fine, they should have just picked one or the other and gone with that, instead of taking this schizophrenic approach, trying to cram both stories into a two hour running time. Neither version works nearly as well as it could.
I appreciate that Zuckerberg is not a hero in this movie. It is a rare thing for a Hollywood movie to actually have a morally ambiguous, or perhaps villainous, central character. They could have gone the cliche route and have the movie be about cuddly Zuckerberg’s triumph against adversity to become a multi-billionaire. But they didn’t, so at least they succeeded in that aspect. Unfortunately, they still managed to drop the ball, because, let’s face it, most Hollywood screenwriters are idiots.
Zuckerberg’s personality is given to us at face value. He passive-aggressively interacts with people, he shadily sides with Napster Dude to cockblock his former business partner Eduardo, and he speaks like an abrasive jerk to people he feels are beneath him (i.e. everyone). Zuckerberg’s motivations are left completely up to the imagination of the viewers. A more in-depth look at his psyche is not offered up. Most likely this is because the writer exhausted all of his creative juices dreaming up ridiculous scenes where computer programmers do shots while having underground coding competitions. God forbid they try to actually EXPLORE the main character’s motivations and social failings. Does he have Asperberger’s? Was he abused as a child? Is he stuck in a bi-curious phase? We’ll never know. The way things are presented, we are expected to accept that Zuckerberg’s character is a total douche just because he is a total douche (maybe that works in real life, but not in movies). That’s weak ass writing. I would expect nothing less from Hollywood assholes.
Upon hearing the first lines of the movie, I exploded in a fiery rage. Jesse Eisenberg’s lines are delivered in such a rapid-fire manner, initially, it is almost impossible to keep up. He talks so fast, and flies from topic to topic so quickly, he’s essentially incoherent. His girlfriend in the first scene is a mirror to reflect the audience, she can’t follow him and neither can we. There is no explanation other than he is hypomanic. The dude clearly has racing thoughts. The other possibility is that it is meant to convey he has no social graces whatsoever. However, considering he has a girlfriend in the first place contradicts that notion. If he was always like this, how did any girl want to bang him at all? Further research has showed that the impetus for creating Facebook (i.e. being spurned by a girl he seemingly never got over) isn’t even true. He has been dating the same girl (at least on-again, off-again) since his pre-Facebook days at Harvard. Hey, good job movie creators. Way to not even get a crucial fact correct in this “true story.”
The Bullshit Meter is off the charts for The Thefacebook Movie. The movie has been heavily criticized for being factually inaccurate and dramatized to the 1000th degree. In defense of this, screenwriter Aaron Sorkin stated, “I don’t want my fidelity to be to the truth; I want it to be to storytelling. What is the big deal about accuracy purely for accuracy’s sake, and can we not have the true be the enemy of the good?” I’m sorry, but no, no you can’t. The big deal with accuracy is that if you are passing off your tale as a “true story” and then making up a bunch of shit, it becomes a libelous turd that isn’t “true” at all. If the story is good enough, interesting enough to become a movie, it should stand on its own with very little dramatization. If you have to add/delete/change a bunch of stuff, then you need to examine if the story is worth telling at all. Answer: it isn’t. If they really felt so compelled to change shit around, they should have just created a movie about a fictional website with fictional characters. Ah, but they couldn’t because nobody gives a fuck about Made Up Website X. But everyone gives a fuck about Facebook.
The only reason anyone actually saw this movie is because it’s about Facebook. It was made for all of those people that play Farmville and their updates clog your news feed. It was made for all of those annoying assholes who are constantly uploading photos of their ugly-ass Cocker Spaniel. It was made for those idiots who leave posts about their daily message from God. It was made for those obese, middle-aged women who barely graduated from high school, love Twilight, and leave moronic comments about every status update and picture they can find.
That brings up another thing that pisses me off. When the fuck did Facebook stop being a social networking resource for college students, and start becoming a hang out for the dregs of society? I’m serious here. Traditionally, a facebook is, “A college publication distributed at the start of the academic year by university administrations with the intention of helping students get to know each other better.” These were usually called The Freshman Facebook. What you’ll notice is that the definition was not, “A publication distributed all the time by everyone which allows any jackass with an internet connection to annoy their friends with shit no one cares about, and to cyber-stalk people they are obsessed with.”
Things changed on September 26, 2006, when Facebook allowed anyone over age 13 with a valid email address to join. This opened the flood gates. The reasoning behind this was, of course, to allow advertisers and data miners greater access to those idiots and to exploit them and their wallets. I
really don’t appreciate how Facebook is constantly giving personal information out to all kinds of organizations in the hopes that someday they can steal your identity. I’ve also recently heard that corporations like Starbucks can use your status updates as free, unpaid advertising. Fantastic. I suppose from now on I’ll be sure to mention how the Venti Caramel Macchiato gave me explosive diarrhea. I’m sure that will be a great endorsement.
By allowing these barely literate fuckos onto Facebook, it has unleashed a deluge of even more annoying shit, including, but not limited to: an endless supply of status updates on what you’re doing right now (no thanks, that’s what Twitter is for – Facebook’s younger, mentally challenged cousin), group invites (I told you the last six times, I won’t join – I actually don’t want to save the whales, I want to eat them), people who you met once asking you to be their friend, strings of over 30 messages that all say “Happy Birthday,” Farmville, YoVille, Mafia Wars, Vampire Wars, Treasure Isle, and of course my all time favorite, “LOL SORRY EVERONE I LOST MY PHONE AND DONT HAVE ANYONES NUMBERS SO PLZ CALL OR TXT ME AND ILL PUT UR NUMBER ON MY NEW PHONE TAHNKS LOL!”
People this retarded shouldn’t be allowed to post on Facebook. It’s just a non-stop stream-of-consciousness orgy. If I wanted to hear about your terrible band playing to no audience at a shitty local bar, I’d ask you. If I wanted to see pictures of your ugly ass dog, I’d ask you. If I wanted to know how much you love Jesus, I’d ask you. But I don’t care about that. I don’t care about your personal life, and neither does anyone else. If anything, Facebook has transformed from a social meeting ground into a Narcissist’s paradise. It’s a place where people can post and post and post about how great they are for all to see. And “likes” and comments only feed into this and spur it to continue on. It’s depressing, and it needs to end. Unfortunately, Facebook has taken on a life of its own, and at this point, seems unlikely to die. Perhaps some day a few intrepid hobbits and Viggo Mortensen could journey to throw Facebook into Mt. Doom, but until that day comes, we’ll just have to suffer.
As far as The Thefacebook Movie goes, it doesn’t have a lot going for it. Sure, it was moderately entertaining, but it offers up nothing we haven’t seen before. The directing and acting are passable, but not much else works. Not even the soundtrack works. The soundtrack was good, and I kept thinking, “Wow, the new Nine Inch Nails album is pretty cool.” That’s because Trent Reznor was one of the composers. The thing is, the industrial/techno beats he provides do not fit the drama and feel of the movie. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the music, but it just doesn’t fit the movie. I’m not sure which genius thought this was a good idea. At least in Tron: Legacy, a movie that takes place in the digital world, getting an electronic group like Daft Punk to do the soundtrack made sense. I imagine the moment the producer made this decision went down like this, “I KNOW WHO SHOULD DO THE SOUNDTRACK TO A MOVIE ABOUT COMPUTER PROGRAMMERS CREATING A POPULAR WEBSITE! A HARDCORE INDUSTRIAL ROCK GROUP! NOW SOMEBODY SET UP ANOTHER LINE OF COKE ON THIS STRIPPER’S ASS!”
The movie became downright laughable in its attempt to portray computer programming. By no means am I an expert in computer programming. I hardly know how to use a keyboard. But I can call bullshit when I see it. In this movie, when someone “is wired in” (i.e. programming), they start typing with a flurry of keystrokes, and incomprehensible numbers, text, and symbols flash across the screen. It looks very impressive, but it’s crap. You can’t type out a computer program the same way you can bang out a few sentences for a forum post. You have to carefully construct it, and go back and test it over and over again. Watching someone write a program is boring as fuck. Even more boring than The Thefacebook Movie. Because of this, you can’t have some kind of underground programmer hacking ring with people cheering them on like they are cage fighting. But it looks cool, and that’s all that matters to Hollywood. On a related note, any computer programming class in real life is made up primarily of dudes. At most there would be two girls. This movie wants us to accept that a programming class (such as the one Zuckerberg attends) would be filled with chicks. Whatever. We all know the truth, Hollywood. Don’t try to piss on us and tell us it’s raining, you fuckers.
Ultimately, The Thefacebook Movie is nothing more than a typical Hollywood “true story.” Most of the shit in it was embellished or outright fabricated. The performances from the actors were decent, but when the story isn’t interesting and the characters are derivative, decent acting isn’t going to save it. This movie garnered a lot of critical acclaim for reasons that are unfathomable. People say, “LOL BUT BRIK TEH DIRECTING WAS REALY GOOD LOL!” OK, which aspect of the directing got you so hot and bothered? Most people don’t even know what “good directing” entails. They just assume that if they liked the movie, then the directing was good. I bet what they liked best was how director David Fincher set up a camera on a tripod and filmed the actors reading their lines. Yeah, that shit was great.
The Thefacebook Movie could have been incredible if it had chosen to be a commentary on society. It could have served as a lens through which to examine our current E-Narcissism. But instead of doing something daring or intriguing, it went the safe route of a by-the-numbers Hollywood story. It certainly was not a revelatory film. It is a flash-in-the-pan, a here-and-now kind of movie. While it may be mildly interesting for mouth-breathers today, nobody will remember this piece of shit 10 years from now. Hell, I’d be willing to bet it will be forgotten in five. While it may be considered one of the best turds of 2010, it’s still just a turd. You can’t polish it over and over again until it becomes a diamond. Your cloth will just get covered in shit.