The Social Network: 10 Things I Liked and 10 Things I Disliked


I just watched The Social Network, a fictional movie about Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook, based on Ben Mezrich's book "The Accidental Billionaires." Below are some of the things I liked, some of the things I disliked, and a few final thoughts.

Liked:

10. I laughed every time the Winklevoss Twins were referred to as "The Winkelvii."
9. The entire cast did a great job of creating believable and likeable characters.
8. About 30% of the movie is accurate, making some of the basic facts of the movie.. well, facts.
7. The scene in which Mark goes up to Case Capital (Sequoia): showing up late and wearing pajamas.
6. The movie can be enjoyed by anyone.
5. The music is great. Nice job Trent Reznor.
4. Many of the geeky computer moments, including the FaceMash hacks, were pretty realistic. I'm glad there were no ridiculous computer scenes a la "Hackers" and "The Net."
3. The movie is based on a fantastic book you really need to read: "The Accidental Billionaires."
2. The dialogue (aka conversations, ha!) is awesome. Just like the book, you get hooked from the very beginning.
1. This amazingly well shot, directed, and written movie is about Facebook, and that shows just how culturally relevant Facebook has become.

Disliked:

10. The Winklevii are really only a footnote in the history of Facebook. The movie, and the book, augment their relevance a bit too much.
9. There are too many stereotypes. Geeks are portrayed as loser-jerks without vision. Girls are portrayed as dumb objects. Ivy League students are portrayed as sex-crazed, shallow, and arrogant intellectuals.
8. About 70% of the movie is inaccurate, making most of the conversations in the movie completely false.
7. The scene in which Mark goes up to... Case Capital?? What the? Why make the movie about Mark and Facebook, shoot it in Harvard, and then fictionalize names of companies like Sequoia?
6. The movie can be enjoyed by anyone.
5. I only noticed the music because I wanted to notice it.
4. The most important moment in Facebook history was when it went live for the first time, but it seemed like that moment took less than 5 seconds in the movie. Hmm...
3. Many of the best parts of The Accidental Billionaires, including the ending, didn't make it into the movie.
2. As great as Mark's lines in the movie are, the movie turns Mark into something he clearly is not. There should be a big disclaimer at the beginning of the film expressing just how fictional it is.
1. The movie is about Facebook, but Aaron Sorkin is not even on it. Which is enough indication that the movie is only kind of about Facebook, without truly respecting the unstoppable awesomeness and world changing web site/platform that Facebook really is. Not cool that Sorkin can so boldly take advantage of Facebook without actually using it.

Final thoughts:

The Social Network is a great movie that I really enjoyed and highly recommend. However, it seems to have been brought to life by people that just don't get it. Sure, it's great entertainment, great filmmaking, and great acting, but without Mark's name on it and without it being about Facebook, no one would've cared about it. The movie will be successful in huge part by osmosis, but it unfortunately does not really comprehend or share the big picture beyond the e-mails, the lawsuits, and the Hollywood fluff: Facebook was (and is) a brilliant idea that was brilliantly executed with a brilliant vision, resulting in one of the most brilliant companies on Earth.

Copyright © Esteban Contreras. All rights reserved.