The Social Network

The Social Network ★★★★½

Have I really not watched this in 7 years? Crazy - it was such a formative film for me, and I was surprised to see how many scenes were ingrained in my head. I must have watched this dozens of times between 2010 and 2013.

I was a tiny bit worried about how it would age given how much Facebook's place in our culture has been altered, but it almost works better knowing how disastrous the social media site has been to our culture? It's so much nastier and darker than I remembered. The script is nearly perfect and Fincher directs it so well. It's not my favorite of his films (that would be Seven or Gone Girl) but it might be his best work from a technical level.

The one element that I didn't consider in 2010 is that this film has a bit of a gender problem, particularly with Brenda Song's character. Song is really good with the material she's given, but her character is a bit of a disaster and knowing she's meant to be a composite of multiple women in Zuckerberg and Saverine's life rubs me the wrong way. The film does a nice job of juxtaposing the two different styles of misogyny found on campus during the FaceMash/frat party montage at the beginning, and the monologues that Sorkin gives Rooney Mara and Rashida Jones help further highlight how much of a shitty person Zuckeberg and those like him are. I just wish Song's character was given the chance to turn the tables on the boys a bit and highlight the way they're objectifying her - even though I guess that's impossible if the film's not aware of it.

On a strictly personal note: since I haven't watched this since at least 2013, that means I also haven't watched it since spending a year working in tech. That was the darkest year of my life, and truly this film nails so many of the little details that make that industry such a bad place. I remember sitting in the theater in 2010 and thinking, "I love how much this stylizes these characters," but it might actually be the most honest film I've seen about the men trying to get rich in the Silicon Valley.

Matt T liked these reviews