Takeaway thought: I hate Mark Zuckerberg. Other takeaway thought: I love Jesse Eisenberg and Aaron Sorkin.
This movie was not made for people who don’t know what Facebook is. I mean, yes, the story was intriguing enough, what with the intellectual property theft, the borderline-autistic supergenius becoming popular, the abandonment of friendship, the revolutionary idea, and the bitter lawsuit, but there was a LOT of terminology that went over my poor grandma’s head. Oh, well. This movie defines my generation, anyway.
When this movie first came out, I thought it was too soon. Kind of like when that movie W came out and, if I’m not mistaken, Bush was still in office. But I think Sorkin, Fincher, Eisenberg, and Andrew Garfield and Armie Hammer and Justin Timberlake captured something very specific about our generation that would have been lost had they waited to tell the story. I also think it’s important to know what Zuckerberg did now rather than, say, 10 years from now.
I have a hard time putting my feelings for Zuckerberg into words after watching this film. I know I said in the first sentence that I hated him, but at the same time I understand him. He’s the type of guy with a very slight, almost non-existent conscience. He’s not a bad guy, he just doesn’t think in certain ways. He’s like Sheldon on TBBT or something. Consequence is of no consequence to him. Feelings feel like nothing to him. And so when he saw an idea, he improved upon it and created something that no one else had ever seen before, and something that no one will ever see the likes of again. I hate him for creating something that I so desperately want to use but don’t need to use, and I hate him for making it seem like I need it, but I respect him for creating something so damn useful. Facebook is a drug. I’m glad the movie addressed that.
Onto the acting, which was magnificent. Eisenberg is so freakin’ likable, and it’s hard to take your eyes off him even when you have TWO of the gorgeous Armie Hammer, one of the gorgeous Andrew Garfield, and one of the gorgeous Justin Timberlake on screen. That’s saying a lot. But Eisenberg, with his bowl legs and his soft-spokenness and his naivete, is not just another Michael Cera. Eisenberg does for drama what Cera does for comedy; he times it well, and he brings it to a realistic, unassuming level. I hope these two play brothers at some point, but I also hope they become more than seeming like carbon copies of each other. Eisenberg should get some major nominations for this role. And Garfield! His acting was magnificent, too. I felt the pain and betrayal in his performance the most, probably because the book off of which the movie was based came from interviews with the real Eduardo Saverin. And then there was Armie Hammer, the Abercrombie-looking model working overtime as the twin victims of Zuckerberg’s unintentional wrath.
Aaron Sorkin, of course, was the true genius behind this whole thing. I love that man. He doesn’t always write the most realistic dialogue (get him and Amy Sherman-Palladino in a room together and heads would spin) but he knows how to pen poignancy. And that’s what makes this incredibly timely movie into a story that can last for decades. Watch it if you have a Facebook. You may want to delete your account, but you won’t end up doing it.