Despite dating for a month, somehow, Justin and I had never been on a classic "dinner and a movie" date until tonight. I am in the suburbs for the weekend, so our other options were rather restricted, and a movie just seemed like the logical thing to do. Unfortunately, this week's box office offerings were less than inspiring, so we opted to catch The Social Network, because it was at the end of its theatrical run and neither of us had seen it. Due to the pervasive buzz the movie has received, both of us were skeptical about whether it could possibly live up to the hype. Although the proclamations of its Oscar-worthiness might be over-stated, Justin and I both enjoyed the film.
Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin tackles a difficult subject matter -- the creation of a website and its ensuing legal battles -- and manages to create a story that is intensely compelling. He crafts characters in whose fate we feel vested, even if they are not necessarily likable, and he weaves their opposing viewpoints together in a seamless manner. If anyone deserves an Oscar nomination for their work in conjunction with The Social Network, it would be Sorkin.
I was also impressed with the performance of Jesse Eisenberg, whose portrayal of Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, may very well go down as one of the most epic assholes in cinematic history. The film version of Zuckerberg comes across as so completely oblivious to the feelings of others and so socially inept, I found myself questioning at times whether he suffered from Asperger's syndrome. If Eisenberg has any social graces at all in real life, then his performance as Zuckerberg was quite the accomplishment.
Oddly, my favorite moment of The Social Network had nothing to do with acting or the script; instead, it came at the end of the film, as Zuckerberg has just been advised to settle his lawsuits out of court, and he gazes longingly at the Facebook page of his "girl who got away." As the image fades to the credits, the soundtrack swells to the tune of "Baby, You're A Rich Man," by the Beatles. To me, it was a genius stroke of song selection -- it captured the moment, and the mood of the film perfectly. No doubt it will be stuck in my head for days...
Based on my highly-scientific polling of my friends, The Social Network seems to be fairly polarizing. People seemed to either love it, or hate it. I think love might be a little strong of a word for me to use, but I did really enjoy the film, and I highly recommend it, if you can catch it before Oscar season.