GREAT FILMS GUYS MIGHT NEVER SEE -- The Social Network
The Social Network. A wussy title for what was undoubtedly the best film of 2010.
Facebook creator Mark Zuckerburg originally did in cyberspace what the teenager at Oak Park River Forest High School in Chicago sort of did last month but on a piece of notebook paper -- made a website where you compare two snapshots of female students on a computer screen, clicking on the one you like better. The program tallied the votes, and formed algorithmic lists detailing rankings from #1 to #5,000. Zuckerburg had done alot more then create a website, he had created the same kind of computer program that comprises the BCS in college football, the RPI ranking in college basketball. When the BCS and RPI are tabulating a round of Saturday afternoon outcomes for a Monday morning sports scoop, the entire civilized world WAITS. They guess, but that's all they can do. Guess. Zuckerburg...had the kind of spider-web mind that would have KNOWN. This is the mind where Facebook was concieved, and the "Social Network" is the story of the path from disgrace over the girls-gone-butterface website the young Harvard student had built...to being a billionaire not six years later off an invention that 455 million customers a day make at least one visit to.
The Social Network told a Citizen Kane-type story in a way not seen since like...Blood In Blood Out. Rosebud and Spider have been replaced by Zuckerburg's original girlfriend who, despite Zuckerburg arguably putting the world's eyes and ears in the palm of his hand, failed to so much as move. She will not acknowledge that even she's a user of his invention. She will, like Zuckerburg as we will see in this film...go to the grave before they admit they were wrong.
The girlfriend does to Zuckerburg what Zuckerburg does throughout the film to a pair of identical twins who will be the very reason he was able to create facebook in the first place. Zuckerburg is fluent in computer language, and he can see that it doesn't mean shit when it comes to getting women when you don't like to socialize. This is why, despite being a system that can be used from everything to making contacts to checking in with old friends, Zuckerburg gave birth to a service that was originally designed to learn as much about a girl you like as possible without talking to her thereby allowing you to develop an approach in advance. For the stunt Zuckerburg had originally pulled with the comparing-girls website had rendered virtually the entire female population at Harvard to put padlocks on their belt-buckles. Even when it came to a pair of twins who look like Judge Reinhold and even, like his character claimed to do in the movie Vice Versa, row. The Winklevoss Twins are Harvard rowing champions and from a very prominent family. And due to this little weiner Zuckerburg, even they're not f*cking scoring.
And so they pitch him an idea for a dating website where girls can meet Harvard guys. Women want to get with Harvard guys, they say. There's no reason why we should be unable to score.
Because of you, Zuckerburg.
It is through the process of the first act that we watch Zuckerburg, like Miklo in Blood In Blood Out, basically prove that he's the smartest person at Harvard. To think about the idea that Facebook's conception began because Zuckerburg was single-handedly able to use his brain to destroy the f*ckability stock of guys who went to Harvard is pretty mother-f*cking amazing.
Facebook is built almost in no time. Literally within hours of the twins' pitch to Zuckerburg.
It acts like Skynet from Terminator, collecting hits once it ends up in a search engine because of all these people worldwide who were looking up old flings and f*ckbuddies. Once 18 people ended up just writing their name in the form to sign up for facebook, their names ended up referring to facebook whenever you looked up their name...which led to the condition that only by joining could you see what they've put on their page. 18 went to 67 to 1094 and climbing.
It became talked about everywhere. Not only did the twins get wind of it within a weekend, but across the country, the former head of the website Napster.com would READ about it in the newspapers.
It is when the Napster head, Sean Parker, joins the picture that we are treated to a precise answer as to who would be behind not only building a website like Zuckerburg but using it, rather to screw over women, to screw pop stars out of their money. His personality is basically what you would get if you took Zuckerburg's code-writing talent and co-founder Eduardo Saverin's business understanding and made the whole greater then the sums. Parker in real life said the film was bullshit, that his life was never that exciting. Justin Timberlake is real good in this. His Parker is a total "hipster" guy who thinks he's a Black-Eyed Peas version of Tarantino. He think he's slick. While Saverin recognizes that Facebook's 91 percent return rate when it comes to people who first visit this website puts it in the league of the television set, he nonetheless accepts an internship in New York that summer and parts ways for a while...speaking as someone who tried to amateurly make movies and needed his god damn staff...it's kind of a bit of heavy lifting to keep an unproven idea a good idea on your own. Parker seizes on this. He points out to Zuckerburg that Saverin has no business in New York, that he doesn't deserve to be part of this if he takes this "once-in-a-lifetime-holy-shit idea" to be just some abstract geek hobby.
Saverin even quits the internship after the first week and calls Zuckerburg to tell him this. Too late. Plans are put in motion to expel Saverin from the company. And when he returns from New York soaked, tired, pissed and ditched at the airport, Zuckerburg blurts out "I need you out here because I'm afraid you'll get left behind".
This freaks out Saverin and he goes and freezes their bank account.
Thus GIVING PARKER AND ZUCKERBURG AND EXCUSE TO GET RID OF HIM!!!!
But we're getting ahead of ourselves.
Let's go back a bit, shall we -- for Saverin gets blown by Brenda Song from the Disney Channel in a men's room.
I told you this was a good movie.
The twins meanwhile...on their trip back home after their rowing tournament...actually encounter people from England that have been using their invention. They wonder what the hell to do. They say how the hell's it gonna look?
What are you talking about -- how it looks? asks their associate Divya Nerendra.
Uh...like me and my brother are putting on skeleton costumes and chasing the Karate Kid around a gym?
The novelist of the "Accidental Billionaires", which this film was based on, had full access to a Saverin who, if you look him up, owns 6 percent of the company. In the Social Network, a parable is drawn between what Saverin went through, and what he puts his new girlfriend -- Brenda Song -- through. Saverin was a money man. The summer before meeting Zuckerburg, he made $300,000 with an uncanny ability to predict the weather, and thus oil futures. Saverin was Zuckerburg's only friend. It was Saverin who will put up several thousand dollars to get Facebook started, Saverin who is made the Chief Financial Officer, and Saverin who will be tricked into signing a contract in which the propertiers shares of Facebook are diluted in the event of taking on new shareholders...a contract that was drafted and carried out by lawyers working only in Zuckerburg's best interests and not Saverin's.
When time comes for there to be new shares, only Eduardo Saverin's are diluted. He goes from owning 30 percent to virtually nothing. Everyone else's, such as Zuckerburg's 65 percent and Sean Parker's 7 percent, remained untouched!
It began because Saverin never trusted Parker, pegging him as little more then a very colorful character with entrepenueral tendencies looking for the next big thing to latch onto. Saverin's worried that even minimal involvement with Parker can result in a black eye for the company. Sure enough, Parker is caught with cocaine before the film is out. In real life, though he still owns a share of Facebook, he was dismissed at the behest of one of their bigger outside shareholders, keeping in consistency with Parker's history. But make no mistake about it -- Facebook thrived due to Sean Parker. They are billionaires and are technically working for nobody...because of the former head of Napster.
Sure enough, Brenda Song becomes psycho and suspicious of Saverin...basically because she thinks Saverin's doing to her what Zuckerburg and Parker are indeed doing to Saverin.
And so the questions begin to circle -- what does Zuckerburg owe the Winklevoss Twins as well as what does he owe Eduardo Saverin? This turns out to be what "The Social Network" is really about. Zuckerburg created the thing...however...on that original night that they made Facesmash.com (the girls-gone-butterface), Zuckerburg was UNABLE TO GET IT GOING until Saverin came back home and gave him the magic algorithim...
Which means that none of this technically would have happened without Saverin!
And this is why there's accounts of Erica Albright, his original girlfriend...because Saverin's lawyers wanted to be able to show Zuckerburg that they were able to get embarrassing dirt on him.
And this is why there's also accounts of Zuckerburg's reactions when he hears that Saverin broke into a final club (like fraternities but at Harvard) -- Saverin was trying to convey that Zuckerburg was jealous, and that this whole Zuckerburg/Parker sabotage was a matter of geeks versus greeks...though, come on, let's think about this -- you could drop out of Harvard and get a job tomorrow just about anywhere. Maybe you won't be a Fortune 500 CEO, but some guy who graduates magna cum laude from Michigan will wish the worst for you.