THE SOCIAL NETWORK

Brilliant?  Really?  That’s not the same movie I saw.

The Social Network is well-crafted (remember, this is fiction based on some true events!) and entertaining, which is what we expect from director David Fincher and writer Aaron Sorkin, but it strikes me as a lot more surface than substance.

Right now some of you are thinking, “Just like Facebook.”  Maybe.  But, Facebook and other social networking sites have changed the world in indelible ways.  This film will not because rather than getting at some of the context, it manipulates the story of the launching of Facebook into completely conventional narrative terms.

This doesn’t make it a bad movie – it isn’t – but it does make all of the accolades it is receiving seem out of proportion to the film itself.

It reminds me of Up In The Air.  When that film came out the buzz was a roar with Oscar mentioned breathlessly in multiple reviews.  Someone whose opinion I respect (who saw it before I did) remarked that he didn’t understand what the gushing was about because it was a good movie but not a great movie.  After I saw it, I agreed.

That’s how I feel about The Social Network, too.  In a month, when the hype dies down like the air slowly leaking from a balloon, we won’t still be talking and thinking about this film.  At least, I won’t.

 

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