Filmmakers have known for years that the only thing more boring than writing a movie about creating something is watching a movie about creating something. On its surface, The Social Network is a movie about creating a website. But director David Fincher and writer Aaron Sorkin are no ordinary filmmakers, and The Social Network is no ordinary movie. It's an exciting, engaging film that says more about society than it does about its actual subject.
Jesse Eisenberg has played soft good guys in the past, but here is absolutely steely as Mark Zuckerberg. Zuckerberg, feeling jilted by his girlfriend (and womankind in general) takes his revenge by hacking into Harvard's computer system. This leads to twin brothers bringing Zuckerberg on to help create a social networking site. Instead, Zuckerberg goes off on his own and creates Facebook, and, well, I'm sure you've heard of that before.
I can't think of a movie I've seen recently that had the impact this movie had on me. The main character is not sympathetic, and really doesn't care to be. He stabs everyone in the back for his own gains (including that of his best friend), and feels no remorse. He sees everything as a zero or one. And that's the point of The Social Network. It's completely of its time and place. We can't really sympathize with this guy, but deep down, we are him. We spend so much time online that we sometimes reduce our friends to status updates and wall postings. We would rather IM from our couch than meet them. The Social Network shows us the story of the creation of Facebook, but also shows us where we are as a society. The fact that it can do it in such an exciting, entertaining way is just a bonus.