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“Bosnia...they don't have roads, but they have Facebook”

Movie Review: The Social Network (2010)
Spoilers: none

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When computer programmer Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) takes an idea from two fellow Harvard students – initially to create a website called Harvard Connection – and then makes it into his own super-successful creation (Facebook), he makes enemies to go with the thousands – and soon millions – of admirers/users of the new social network.

In The Social Network, we are given an intentionally dramatized (and heavily fictionalized) story of the origins of Facebook as found in one book. That book is Ben Mezrich's The Accidental Billionaires. Directed by David “Fight Club” Fincher with the book as its base, the biographical-styled movie is allegedly a construct from the urging of estranged Facebook creator Eduardo Saverin who decided to sue his former best friend for costing him his shares in the company. 

This fascinating film features Eisenberg playing an unlikable, fast-talking computer nerd with less charm than Mr. Spock during a geology lecture. The actor's personal pliability for the part is the factor that takes this movie about college life and litigation and makes it into something more. But don't tell that to the real-life Zuckerberg, who, rumor has it, will not even see the film that so viciously tears into him.

Zuckerberg’s hatred for the flick is to be expected. The world’s youngest billionaire is demonized many times over and made to seem like a selfish and emotionally bloodless troll who steals from friends to win him money and power. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself wanting to despise Zuckerberg while simultaneously being fascinated by the accomplished portrayal of genius to go with the aching ass-hole-ism.

The story is quick-witted and inviting, even for those who may not be into what has become the worldwide obsession that is Facebook. The characters are provocative and the exchanges masterfully polished, keeping the viewer's attention nailed down firmly.

Even after the initially high pull-back of anticipation that characterizes the film’s start, we are brought into a controversy that never gives the feel of a garden-variety made-for-TV movie. Four stars for The Social Network.

(JH)

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Grade: A- (4 stars) Recommended!
Rated: PG-13 (for sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and language)
Director: David Fincher
Summary: Programmer Mark Zuckerberg creates a social network (Facebook) and makes enemies who claim credit for the idea.  
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg "Mark Zuckerberg," Rooney Mara "Erica Albright," Bryan Barter "Billy Olsen," Brenda Song "Christy Lee," Dustin Fitzsimons "Phoenix Club President," Armie Hammer "Cameron Winklevoss / Tyler Winklevoss," Joseph Mazzello "Dustin Moskovitz," Patrick Mapel "Chris Hughes," Max Minghella "Divya Narendra," Andrew Garfield "Eduardo Saverin"
Genre: Biography / Drama / History
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