Over the years, we’ve seen many movies about sweet-tempered simpletons (Forrest Gump being a prime example) but very few about brilliant jerks. The Social Network is such a movie.
We learn almost everything we need to know about Harvard sophomore Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg, in a fearless performance) in the first scene. He’s at a bar with the girl he’s dating, and he’s rambling on about the elite social clubs he wants to pledge. In the course of their (mostly one-sided) conversation, he manages to be testy, rude, elitist, defensive, cruel, and just a wee bit desperate. The girl promptly breaks up with him.
Of course, Zuckerman isn’t the film’s hero, he’s more like its jangly nerve center. He’s, famously, the young billionaire who founded Facebook, and The Social Network tells the story of how he built up that site from a campus-only social phenomenon—a way to get girls and maybe be seen as cool—to the biggest thing to happen to global communication since the telephone.
The film is directed by David Fincher (The Fight...