I finally got to see The Social Network on Friday. The lovely Krista and I went out for Lebanese food (yes, that's right, we finally have ethnic food here) and after the raptures of shawarmas and donairs, we were ready to watch something good.
I watch a fair amount of movies, as we have a PVR and subscribe to the movie channels, to say nothing of our considerable personal collection. That said, I've become kind of a lazy viewer over the last few years--I frequently watch movies while knitting, reading, writing, or sketching. I'm an efficient multitasker so this usually isn't a problem unless I'm doing something particularly challenging. The Social Network was so compelling to watch that I couldn't do anything else but watch it.
I'm not sure what about it was so compelling--the script, yes; the acting, yes; the score, perhaps; the perpetual hope that someone would pop JT's Sean Parker in the mouth, definitely. I think that a big part of it for both Krista and I is that we are of an age with Mark Zuckerberg; we grew up in the same kind of world that he did, and that means that watching his life, however Hollywood-ized and exaggerated, is a bit like watching ourselves. I've been online since I was 14, and I've been a part of social communities online since I was about 15. It's very interesting to me to think back to how those communities began and grew, particularly seeing the LiveJournal sequences at the beginning of the film.
A lot of people have complained about the way that the film represents women, which I think is niether here nor there; women aren't really necessary to the story that the film wants to tell, which is obvious to me from the Facemash scenes. (Though I will agree that all of the "Erica Albright" stuff is a bit over the top.) The general white washing of the cast is more interesting to me (Andrew Garfield as Eduardo Saverin; Max Mingella as Divya Narenda) but seems to have gotten less attention from the press.
I've never seen The West Wing, so I know very little about Aaron Sorkin and his style as a director, and apparently there are lots of things that bug other people about this movie that didn't bug me. I was surprised by how funny it was, and also by the fact that it didn't really go anywhere in the end: it just sort of...stops. I'm happy I saw it, and I hope that I get to watch it with my dad sometime.