Revisiting Our Generation's Greatest Film: 'The Social Network'

'Steve Jobs' looks good, but the 'The Social Network' is already perfect. 

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Yesterday the full length trailer of Danny Boyle’s upcoming bio-pic Steve Jobs was released. The trailer is full of great vintage Apple nerd-chic with Michael Fassbender as Jobs bringing a devilish charm to the tech giant. Jobs looks great, but the Aaron Sorkin-penned movie is going to have a lot to live up to after Sorkin’s last screenplay about a young tech giant was the greatest movie ever to be filmed.

It should’ve been obvious that The Social Network was going to be an untouchable film from the opening seconds of its trailer. A children’s choir singing “Creep” with pixelated photos of people flashing across the film, Justin Timberlake acting like he was on all the drugs and lots of serious-faced white people saying “The Facebook”. Goddamn, getting teary-eyed just thinking about it.

David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin’s retelling of the creation of Facebook through The Social Network undercuts the stakes the trailer tries so hard to establish within the first few minutes. The fact that in 2015 Facebook’s user base is over a billion makes even the tagline of “You Don’t Get 500 Million Friends With Making A Few Enemies,” feels even more quaint than five years ago. The film captured a very specific moment at the beginning of the site where people realized this is the future and it was best to ride those money coattails as far as one could.

The central plot around the lawsuit is uninteresting because we know Zuckerberg will have to pay the money, but the journey of corruption is such a fun one to watch as Jesse Eisenberg progresses from calculating nerd in a hoodie to calculating billionaire in a hoodie. The aloofness of which he plays Zuckerberg is perfect as nearly every other character, especially Justin Timberlake as Sean Parker, speak to him as if they can see the future billions next to his net worth and not his petulant college face.

Right now when Facebook is the looming tech giant that could swallow how all of media is consumed, and is one of the leading reasons for their cyber security — I mean beyond the USA government or whoever. The early 2000s were a simpler time. No smart phones. George was the President. Myspace. Blogger. AIM. People thought Blackberries were cool. The idea of a website that simply connected people could be worth billions of dollars would’ve been hard to believe. But in a film that’s full of people who couldn’t connect with their old friends, new friends, potential partners, romantic or otherwise, shows why such an simple website was so important. Steve Jobs could, and I hope, capture a similar tension between focusing on one of the most important men of the 20th century but also understanding the stakes aren’t there. If not, that’s fine, The Social Network already captured society’s over-reliance on technology, the struggle to find genuine human connection, and existential pondering about the right moment to send a friend request.

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