My husband and I recently went to see The Social Network, and I’ve hesitated to review it because it’s rated PG-13 for a very good reason. There are some raunchy college party scenes that you don’t want your children to be exposed to — so please, don’t take your kids. As we say in our house, “It’s not appropriate.”
Aside from that warning, this is an amazing movie for parents, and it highlights a topic of extreme importance to writers, musicians, artists, and anyone with marketable ideas — that of intellectual property. Do you own your ideas? Every part of them? What if someone takes part of your idea, is a few steps ahead of you, and runs with it, becoming rich in the process? That’s what the plot of this movie centers around.
The film is based on Ben Mezrich’s book, The Accidental Billionaires, the story of how Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, became the world’s youngest billionaire at age 26. It’s directed and produced by David Fincher. When the movie begins in fall 2003, Mark (played by Jesse Eisenberg) is a sophomore at Harvard, out on a date with his girlfriend, who breaks up with him because he’s being a jerk. THE DIALOGUE IS MESMERIZING. I could watch this opening scene 50 times just because it’s so well written. (Thank you, Aaron Sorkin).
So, the dejected Mark goes back to his dorm room and starts creating a website called “FaceMash” using photos of girls from sorority houses, asking users which girl is more attractive. Within a few hours, the site gets 22,000 hits, and it gains the attention of the entire Harvard campus, including twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss (played solely by the actor, Armie Hammer).
The Winkelvoss twins invite Mark to help them code a new website, Harvard Connection, that would take the prestige of the “harvard.edu” web address and combine it with the popularity of FaceMash. After their initial meeting and agreement, Mark sort of disappears and becomes consumed with creating his own website, which he calls “Thefacebook.” Eventually, the twins decide to sue Mark for stealing their intellectual property, and the hearing for this lawsuit becomes the modern day action of the movie. Everything else takes place in the form of flashbacks.
We sat on the edge of our seats the entire movie, not wanting to miss a word. I didn’t know anything about this lawsuit, so I didn’t know how it would turn out. Justin Timberlake, who plays Napster co-founder Sean Parker, does a great job. You really feel like Mark could have been any computer whiz kid, whose great idea exploded, got noticed by millionaire investors, and took off before he really knew what happened. It’s the American Dream, right?
If you watch this trailer, you’ll quickly grasp the film’s plot:
The whole phenomenon of Facebook is fascinating. As I write this, there are around 500 million people who have a profile on Facebook. Ironically, I’m not one of them.
Although I loved the movie, I left the theater even more thankful that I haven’t gotten involved with Facebook. It’s on my to-do list, but at the very bottom, to be honest. People ask me all the time, “How do you do all that you do and keep up with five kids?” and here’s one of my secrets: I don’t do much online social networking. At this point, most of my networking takes place at real-life school, church and sports events. Beyond that, people can find me here, if they’re really looking for me online.
But as far as the Facebook movie goes, it’s important, and I’m sure it will win awards. It says a lot about our culture today, and how the world has shrunk so that we can be in contact with anyone, anywhere in the world, at any time. I hope you’ll go see it and tell me what you think.