15 December 2010

The Social Network (David Fincher, 2010)

Instead of working on my finals and so forth I ended up reading best of the year stuff and The Social Network seemed like the favorite. I haven't seen many new movies since the spring and wasn't in a big rush to see this movie but it was all right. I feel like it's overrated but it's more effective than I expected it to be. I guess I got sucked into the plot but it didn't really make me think about much other than how awful most of the characters were. I guess that caused me to think more about my relationship to Facebook in particular and to the internet in general. The acting was good, I suppose, although Justin Timberlake's performance has been exaggeratedly praised. I thought the most interesting thing about his performance was that the most interesting thing about it was contemplating the changes in his face. I guess I hoped that he got all Marilyn Monroe and hired a deranged Russian acting coach to turn him into a legend but he seemed like the next Mark Wahlberg (or Ryan Phillippe?), at best. Not that that's necessarily something to scoff at.

I'm just not sure the story as it was told was the story that should have been told. It's interesting because Facebook plays such a central role in the lives of almost everybody I know but I guess it seemed like it was missing something. Whether it was context or depth or humanity I don't know.

I guess I liked the way Fincher handled the business with the privileged Winklevoss brothers. I guess that aspect of the movie might have been the most worthwhile for since it showed an aspect of our culture that is rarely acknowledged seriously (or at all) in popular media. One of my literature professors said that what she's noticed about American students compared to Europeans or Canadians is a tendency to focus on extracting a moral purpose or didactic intent from works. I guess for me that's what interesting, from a sociological or psychological standpoint. When I think about it, I suppose I appreciate that they depict more realistically what kind of assholes men are than you usually see. That's really a running theme here. Men are assholes and women are crazy. People in suits are just as bad as you thought they were. It's interesting though that the movie is book-ended by two of the three sympathetic characters in the movie: first the girl who dumps him (and of whom he's thinking in the final scene) and then the lawyer lady who kindly tells him how it is at the end. The only other character who seemed particularly sympathetic to me was the discarded best friend. I feel like I'm dancing around what was missing in this movie and I can't put my finger on it. C

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