What happens when the most unpopular kid on campus rises from obscurity to become one of the most famous names across campuses worldwide? Campus life stops being about GPAs and test scores and becomes a battlefield of the brains, drawing bloodthirsty competitors and unlikely friends and foes. At least, it does in The Social Network.
"I don't think you're an a$%hole; you're just trying very hard to be."
The Social Network follows the humble beginnings of the social networking phenomenon Facebook while also seamlessly juxtaposing the story of its co-founder Mark Zuckerberg's ironic success as a socially awkward computer geek to becoming one of the most recognizable names in the world. But, as in many success stories, and as the tag line for the movie reads, "You don't make 500 million friends without making some enemies." Zuckerberg's story was no exception. While jumpstarting Facebook with his only friend and college roommate Eduardo Saverin, Zuckerberg became so enthralled by his new computer project and the potential of its limitless success that he ended up further alienating himself from his peers and becoming an unreachable yet vulnerable target for wannabe business sharks and those--including his friends--who saw him as a threat. All the while, Facebook was connecting millions of people across the globe.
Jesse Eisenberg remarkably steps into the shoes of Zuckerberg, portraying him as the socially indifferent yet ingenious social plate of his time while also creating the perfect irony brilliantly written by Aaron Sorkin. Andrew Garfield, who plays Saverin, is truly engaging as a business-minded tragic hero. Audiences will love to hate pop star Justin Timberlake, who plays the smooth-talking Napster playboy turned Facebook co-founder Sean Parker. With hyper witty dialogue and clever performances, The Social Network, just like its subject, is the pop culture phenomenon of the new generation. Think of it as the geek's answer to Clueless. But instead of phrases like "as if," it's "Facebook me."
Reel Talk rating: A