on The Social Network

Which I suppose is appropriate because today is Valentine's Day and I love this movie, and because I want to post this before the Oscars, which I honestly don't think TSN will win. Except maybe for best adapted screenplay and best editing. Whatever those categories are called.

DISCLAIMER: If you didn't like The Social Network, you should probably just mark this as read. Or you could read it and get really inflamed about why I like it, but I hear inflammation's not good for your skin. Also, this post will probably bore you because it has no pictures. Also, I italicize for emphasis too much in this post. Also, I am definitely a The Social Network fangirl. Also, the fandom on tumblr ships Jewnicorns, and if you haven't heard the term yet, just tumblr-search TSN and, if you are like me, you will be both extremely amused and a little creeped out, but mostly amused.

TL;DR: I like The Social Network. Judge me.

Despite the fact that I don't have a Facebook account, I find myself a complete sucker for this movie for several reasons:
  1. Aaron Sorkin, for whose dialogue I now have a gravitationally large amount of respect, especially because he mentioned in an interview that he doesn't do plot well; he does people talking in rooms, and as someone who used to turn scripts in to her theater group that averaged 1 minute per 2 pages of dialogue, I get that. And the first thing I'm planning on watching after my Netflix free trial expires is West Wing. Or Sports Night, if I can find it.

  2. David Fincher's tilt-shift Henley Royal Regatta scene. Justin Timberlake called the ad exec scene Aaron Sorkin's cameo; the Regatta scene is David Fincher's cameo.

  3. Andrew Garfield's slightly Brazilian, slightly Miami(an) accent and his physicality as Eduardo Saverin. As a linguistics student, I just dig the decent accent, period, (nothing like Audrey Hepburn's My Fair Lady abomination), especially because you know he's fighting his default British accent. In terms of physicality, honestly, watch him in interviews to see how Andrew Garfield the person moves, then watch him in Boy A and Red Riding: 1974 and Never Let Me Go. His body language shifts precisely and comfortably.

  4. Jesse Eisenberg's nuanced line deliveries and obvious theater background. He just works with words so well. (If you doubt me, see how he handles his mouthfuls of lines in The Living Wake and pretty much every inflection he makes in Zombieland.)

  5. I actually really liked Justin Timberlake in this movie. He is so gross. He's like a really slippery eel. Covered in lesions and hairy moles. But wearing Louboutins and carrying a Chanel handbag, or something. Coated in butter. I don't know.

  6. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for this movie are absolutely genius. Every time I hear "Hand Covers Bruise," I feel deeply unsettled, like a thousand gears are turning my head and I'm about to drunk-blog and compare women to each other to rate their hotness. (Well. Unsettled, anyway. Like everything is falling out of my grasp and I need to figure out how to keep something, anything, under my control.)

  7. I completely understand Andrew Garfield describing Eduardo's relationship to Mark as being "his boyfriend in every way but a sexual way." And it is heartbreaking to watch if you have ever felt like that about someone. Like a mother, almost, except you have a breaking point, one that you never would have expected to reach, not with that one person whom you would forgive everything if only they realized how much they hurt you.

  8. As part of the generation dubbed "The Millennials" (couldn't they have called us the zeroes instead? The empty sets? The nothings? Oh wait, is that too bleak?), I'm inclined to see the movie's Mark Zuckerberg as a hero and an artist, not a traitor or a thief. It's not about money; it's about doing something huge. It's about not wanting to be mediocre. (It's about distinguishing yourself in a population of people who all got 1600 on their SATs; can you tell this is the part that hits home for me?)

  9. And yet under all that, it's a story about belonging to something, about isolation, success, friendship, loyalty, betrayal, and power (or powahhh if you're Andrew Garfield). It's about turning what hurts you into something that makes you stronger and about what we choose to value. It's human. [EDIT: The thing is, I think that anyone who doesn't feel like this movie had enough of an emotional core wasn't young enough when Livejournal was still the preferred blogging platform, and has never felt like Mark coming home after being painfully socially wounded and retreating into a shell of online respite where you can control everything, and the utter isolation that fuels great bursts of creativity. Mark is bitter when he starts blogging about Erica Albright and, frankly, it was fucking shameful to watch because I know I have that in me. That is all.]
After the jump, a truly disgusting number of snippets from the screenplay, because I am smitten. (Actually I realize the jump message is going to say "I write stuff after the jump," but that's a lie. Aaron Sorkin writes stuff after the jump.)

MARK ZUCKERBERG is a sweet looking 19 year old whose lack of any physically intimidating attributes masks a very complicated and dangerous anger. He has trouble making eye contact and sometimes it’s hard to tell if he’s talking to you or to himself.

MARK: How do you distinguish yourself in a population of people who all got 1600 on their SAT’s?
ERICA: I didn’t know they take SAT’s in China.
MARK: They don’t. I wasn’t talking about China anymore, I was talking about me.

MARK: I’m saying I need to do something substantial in order to get the attention of the clubs.
MARK: Because they’re exclusive. And fun and they lead to a better life.

MARK: Wait, wait, is this real?
MARK: Okay, then wait. I apologize, okay?

ERICA: Why do you keep saying I don’t have to study?!
MARK: Because you go to B.U.!

MARK (V.O.): Next is Elliot. They’re also open but with no indexes on Apache. I can run an empty search and it returns all of the images in the database in a single page. Then I can save the page and Mozilla will save all the images for me. Excellent. Moving right along.

The best and the brightest are checking out the hottest and the easiest.

We see a shot of uniformed FEMALE BARTENDERS making a couple of drinks with top-shelf bottles, a DJ working the highest end equipment and 20 year old guys, some of whom look 15, in blazers, khakis and club ties.

EDUARDO SAVERIN, a sweet-looking Brazilian sophomore wearing a three-piece suit is rushing up the stairs two at a time.

It’s MARK and his LAWYERS again but this time on the other side of the table are TYLER and CAMERON, DIVYA and their lawyer, GAGE, whose family had first-class seats on the Mayflower.

MARK: At a party at Alpha Epsilon Pi.
GRETCHEN: What’s that?
MARK: The Jewish fraternity. It was Caribbean Night.

The hall has been converted into “Alpha Epsilon Pi Caribbean Night, 2003” and the party is about as lame as it sounds.

CAMERON: (he’s already seen it) It says “A Mark Zuckerberg Production”.
DIVYA: On the home page?
TYLER: On every page.
DIVYA: Shit, I need a second to let the classiness waft over me.

MARK: I went to my friend for the money because that’s who I wanted to be partners with. Eduardo was the president of the Harvard Investors Association and he was my best friend.
GAGE: Your best friend is suing you for 600-million dollars.
MARK: I didn’t know that, tell me more.

CHRISTY, the one sitting closest to EDUARDO, is wearing a short skirt with a white shirt open one button too far down the front and we can see a hint of the red bra she’s wearing underneath.

CHRISTY: (whispering) Facebook me when you get home. Maybe we can all go out and grab a drink later.
EDUARDO: (whispering) Certainly. Absolutely I will do that.

EDUARDO: She said “Facebook me” and we can all go for a drink later. Which is stunningly great for two reasons. One, she said “Facebook me”. Right? And the other is, you know--
MARK: They want to have drinks later.
EDUARDO: Yes! Have you ever heard so many different good things packed into one regular-sized sentence?

EDUARDO: You’re talking about fashion? Really? You?
MARK: I’m talking about the idea of it and I’m saying it’s never finished.
EDUARDO: Okay, but they manage to make money selling pants...

GAGE: Why hadn’t you raised any of these concerns before?
MARK: (quietly) It’s raining.
GAGE: I’m sorry?
MARK: It just started raining.
GAGE: Mr. Zuckerberg, do I have your full attention?
GAGE: (beat) Do you think I deserve it?
MARK: What.
GAGE: Do you think I deserve your full attention?
MARK: I had to swear an oath before we began this deposition and I don’t want to perjure myself so I have a legal obligation to say no.
GAGE: Okay. “No” you don’t think I deserve your attention.
MARK: I think if your clients want to sit on my shoulders and call themselves tall they have a right to give it a try. But there’s no requirement that I enjoy sitting here listening to people lie. You have part of my attention--you have the minimum amount. The rest of my attention is back at the offices of Facebook where my colleagues and I are doing things that no one in this room, including and especially your clients, are intellectually or creatively capable of doing. Did I adequately answer your condescending question?

SEAN: I don’t go to school.
AMY: You’re kidding?
AMY: Where did you go to school?
SEAN: William Taft Elementary for a little while.
AMY: Seriously, you’re not like 15 years old or anything are you?
SEAN: No. (beat) You’re not like--
AMY: No. So what do you do?
SEAN: I’m an entrepreneur.
AMY: You’re unemployed.
SEAN: I wouldn’t say that.
AMY: What would you say?
SEAN: That I’m an entrepreneur.
AMY: What was your latest preneur?
SEAN: Well...I founded an internet company that let folks download and share music for free.
AMY: Kind of like Napster?
SEAN: Exactly like Napster.
AMY: What do you mean?
SEAN: I founded Napster.
AMY: Sean Parker founded Napster.
SEAN: Nice to meet you.

SUMMERS: (into phone) Catherine, I have students in my office now. Students. Undergrads. I don’t know, from the looks of it they want to sell me a Brooks Brothers franchise.

EDUARDO: What’s goin’ on?
MARK: They have 10 minutes to get root access to a Python webserver, expose its SSL encryption and then intercept all traffic over its secure port.
EDUARDO: They’re hacking.
MARK: Yes, all behind a Pix Firewall Emulator. But here’s the beauty.
EDUARDO: You know I didn’t understand anything you just said, right?
MARK: I do know that.
EDUARDO: What’s the beauty?
MARK: Every 10th line of code written, they have to drink a shot. And hacking’s supposed to be stealth, so anytime the server detects an intrusion, the candidate responsible has to drink a shot. I also have a program running that has a pop-up window appear simultaneously on all five computers--the last candidate to hit the window has to drink a shot. Plus every three minutes they all have to drink a shot.
DUSTIN: (calling out) Three minutes.
EDUARDO: Can I ask--what part of the interns’ jobs will they need to be able to do drunk?
MARK: You’re right. A more relevant test might be seeing if they can keep a chicken alive for a week. (pause) That was mean.
EDUARDO hands MARK a thick envelope--
MARK: What’s this?
EDUARDO: I opened a new account and put $18,000 in it. Will that get you through the summer?
MARK looks at EDUARDO...

GIRL #2: The more bad I get at this, the more wasted I get. I meant the more--
SEAN: We understand.
EDUARDO: How old are they, Sean?
SEAN: It’s not polite to ask.
EDUARDO: Sean, how old are they?
SEAN: You think you know me. Right?
EDUARDO: I’ve read enough.
SEAN: You know how much I’ve read about you? Nothing.

MARK: How’s it going? How’s the internship? How’s Christy?
EDUARDO: How’s the internship?
MARK: Yeah.
EDUARDO: Mark...Jesus, I quit the internship. We’ve talked about this on the phone, were you even--I quit on my first day.
MARK: I do remember you saying that. How’s Christy?
EDUARDO: Christy’s crazy.
MARK: Is that fun?
EDUARDO: No I mean she’s actually psychotic. She’s insanely jealous, she’s irrational and I’m frightened of her.
MARK: Still, it’s nice you have a girlfriend.
EDUARDO: I do not want that guy representing himself as part of this company.
MARK: You gotta move out here, Wardo, this is where it’s all happening.
EDUARDO: Did you hear what I just said?
MARK: The connections, the energy--
MARK: I’m afraid if you don’t come out here you’re going to get left behind. I want-- I want--I need you out here, please don’t tell him I said that.
EDUARDO: What did you just say?
MARK: It’s moving faster than any of us ever even imagined and--
EDUARDO: What do you mean get left behind?
MARK: It’s moving fast and Sean even thinks that--
EDUARDO: Sean is not part of the company.
MARK: We have over 300,000 members, Wardo, we’re in 160 schools including--
EDUARDO: I’m aware of that.
MARK: --five in Europe.
EDUARDO: I’m aware of that, Mark, I’m the CFO.
MARK: We need more servers than I ever imagined we’d need. We need more programmers. And we need more money. And he set up the Thiel meeting. He’s set up meetings all around town.
EDUARDO: He’s set up other meetings?
MARK: Yes.
EDUARDO: Without me knowing anything about it?!
MARK: You’re in New York!
EDUARDO: I’m in New York riding subways 14 hours a day trying to find advertisers!
MARK: And how’s it going so far?!!
EDUARDO: What did you mean get left behind?

MARK: Did you like being nobody?! Did you like being a joke?! Do you wanna go back to that?!

EDUARDO: This is because I froze the account?
SEAN: You think we were gonna let you parade around in your ridiculous suits pretending you were running this company?
EDUARDO: Sorry, my Prada’s at the cleaners along with my hoodie and my fuck-you flip-flops you pretentious douchebag.

EDUARDO: (turning to MARK) Tell me this isn’t about me getting into the Phoenix! (pause) You did it. I always knew you did it. You planted the story about the chicken.
SEAN: (pause) What is he talking about?
EDUARDO: You had me accused--
SEAN: Seriously, what the hell’s the chicken?
EDUARDO: And I’ll bet what you hated the most is that they identified me as a co-founder of Facebook--which I am! You better lawyerup, asshole, ‘cause I’m not comin’ back for my 30 percent, I’m comin’ back for everything!

EDUARDO looks at SEAN...then suddenly and quickly cocks his fist back to punch him in the face. SEAN flinches as EDUARDO holds his punch and lets out a small laugh.
EDUARDO: I like standing next to you, Sean. It makes me look so tough.

(This is not from the screenplay, but I have to ask... would it have been awkward for Mark to have said "My S-Q-L" back in 2003 or 2004, or should that line have been delivered as "my-sequel"? I didn't catch it until I heard someone else say "my-sequel," but it might just be like how I choose to say "P-N-G" and not "ping." Then again, I am neither a programmer nor a computer scientist.)
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