This movie is two hours of Mark Zuckerberg being an asshole. The viewer should be able to feel some sort of compassion for the protagonist of a film, and character flaws, such as his “assholery” should represent some deep-seeded flaw or conflict that the character is trying to make up for. That is, if such a relatable inner conflict exists.
Mark Zuckerberg steals the idea from facebook from a couple other students, who row crew, in an attempt to make himself feel better about his recent break-up, during which, his (ex)girlfriend stated she “had a thing” for guys who row crew. He convinces his best friend to join him in his venture, mainly because he needs money. He turns around by, supposedly, falsely planting a story in The Crimson (Harvard newspaper) about his roommate abusing an animal. He does this out of jealousy from his friends’ acceptance into a Final Club, which at the beginning of the film, is shown to be Zuckerberg’s one wish in college.
A horribly undeveloped subplot of the movie is Zuckerberg’s failed relationship with a Boston University girl. This is never fully developed, and it left me with a sense of unease. Right after his break-up, in a drunken fit, Zuckerberg blogs many terrible things about the girl, knowing full well she would read them. Then when facebook starts taking off like wildfire, he makes sure there is a story in the Boston University newspaper, a final “fuck you” to the girl he loved, as if to say, “look how good I am without you.”
Zuckerberg made his money from being good and being an asshole. I usually appreciate people who do what they have to do in order to succeed, but Zuckerberg seriously overdid it.
All that being said: great script, great actors, great director, but there just wasn’t a movie worthy story here. I have a lot of respect for Jesse Eisenberg (See: The Education of Charlie Banks, The Squid and the Whale) and David Fincher (Fight Club), so it’s a shame for both of them to have their names attached to this.
C+ (and that is being generous)