The plot synopsis is one that, if it weren’t for the overly positive reviews, I would avoid like a plague of AIDS. A movie about Facebook? What, couldn’t find a way to make a big-budget lolcats movie (Which would probably star Seth Rogen and Chris Rock as a pair of sassy cats who go on a grammatically incorrect adventure that … wait I just got a brilliant idea for a screenplay!)?
Anyway, as I heard more about the project, I kept getting bewildered as to why such talents as Aaron Sorkin and David Fincher would even touch this worse-than-Hitler idea. But after the Oscar speculation and universal praise, my interest was piqued. And I’m glad it was, because this is a great film. Wonderful dialogue, great characters, and a deep story about longing and betrayal take this movie beyond its lame idea and into legitimately great territory. It has been compared to a modern-day “Citizen Kane,” and although it doesn’t hold a candle to “Rosebud,” it is deep and entertaining in its own right. It’s a film about Facebook, without really being about Facebook; which works to its benefit. It’s about characters first and foremost, and that is its greatest strength.
The film follows the story of Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) and his friend Eduardo Saverin (new Spider-Man Andrew Garfield) as they work together to make Facebook. But as the website skyrockets, with the help of the smarmy Napster wunderkind Sean Parker (Justin Timerlake), tension arises between the two friends, leading to betrayal and heartache. It’s actually a sad story, and one — whether it is grounded in reality or not — that speaks to our times, dealing with themes of isolation, alienation and the need for acceptance. Fincher’s Zuckerberg desperately wants to fit in, but doesn’t know how, so he tries to supersede the entire process by making everyone fit in with him — if you can’t join them, create the most successful Web site of all time. He succeeds, however, at the expense of his one, true friend. This not a film about Facebook, this is a film about friendship and loss, and it’s a must see.