“The Social Network” (2010)

The Social Network isn’t really my thing, but it basically came down to 90 slick minutes followed by 30 minutes I couldn’t have cared less about. (And much of that last half hour—the raid on the party, those scenes with the junior associate—is simply bad.) The speed and polish are remarkable, but as in Zodiac and Fight Club they’re a smoke screen covering a lot of wispy, shallow content. One thing Fincher’s movies can do, though, is create a fine melancholic hum, and this one’s no exception; it also makes you feel au courant just by watching it despite its sitcom level sense of humor.  I kept waiting for Zuckerberg’s motives to deepen beyond his girlfriend dumping him, but damn if that isn’t the point it keeps returning to, and exactly where it winds up—a “Rosebud”. I’d love to know how representative Sorkin and Fincher think their version of Zuckerberg is—if they see him as a stand-in for the isolated post-Internet human, which is plausible considering the numbing hubbub the major characters exist in, or as just a modern version of all the poor little rich boys who gain the world but lose their souls that are dotted through our books and movies. I think we all know how deeply down inside himself a jilted nerd can reach—Jesus, nowadays we see it on a near hourly basis—so what’s that leave? Would it have been so against the grain of things to give us a scene showing how Zuckerberg talks to his parents and, perhaps more tellingly, they to him?

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