[Ladies, meet Meredith, the newest addition to the CollegeCandy team. She’s a BU student, a movie buff, and an all around fantastic chicadee. She’ll be our resident movie gal, giving us the ins and outs of the new releases and telling us whether or not its worth it to fork over $12 for the latest flicks.]
The Social Network isn’t “The Facebook movie,” as I have heard some people call it. The movie poster itself says, “You don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies.” This is a film about power struggles, honesty, and the impact of one student’s claim to fame.
It is also one of the only films that I have seen that really understand college life.
So, there’s this little website called Facebook. I don’t know if you’ve heard of it, but about 700 of your “friends” definitely have. A young Harvard student by the name of Mark Zuckerberg, played by Jesse Eisenberg, founded this gazillion dollar website.
The Social Network asks how much of Facebook DID Mark Zuckerberg actually invent compared to how much is “borrowed” ideas from his classmates. The film focuses on two mediated interviews in particular: Winklevoss twins and Eduardo Saverin. The film alleges that after being dumped by his girlfriend, Mark makes a website that allows its users to determine which Harvard girl is hotter. The website gains the attention of the privileged Winkelvoss twins, who enlist Zuckerberg to help them with their idea to connect Harvard students through a website. Rather than being an ideal business partner, Mark co-founds Facebook with Eduardo (who will eventually be suing Mark). We then watch Zuckerberg rise to fame in the midst of all this.
Oh yeah, and then there’s Justin Timberlake, impressively portraying the co-founder of Napster, who starts to have his own impact on the company.
The Social Network may be the one film you see in ten years that accurately depicts college. It’s hard to discuss the standards for a film that features a college, because the most popular, mainstream ones usually take place in a Greek-life setting (The House Bunny, Sydney White, Animal House). And let’s be honest, college has a whole dynamic that can’t be seen when an entire movie takes place on the quad or in Kappa Phi Nu.
Although the whole film doesn’t take place at Harvard, the scenes that do take place around campus are as realistic as possible. The scenes in the dorm room, dining hall, and classroom don’t give college that shiny-Hollywood feel, which is why it’s so easy to relate to Zuckerberg, even if you’re not a freaking genius. But even when the film moves off campus, there is always that college vibe, because the film questions the academic integrity of students.
The Social Network is definitely a movie worth seeing, and not because you have Facebook (because, really, who doesn’t?), but because it demonstrates how a college should look in film AND it invites you to form your own opinions about academic (and overall) honesty.