Sunday, October 3, 2010

What's on your mind?

It's huge. Everyone has one. Even my grandmother. No, it's not a bible (though she does have a fair share of those too). It's a Facebook profile. And, one day, it's going to take over the world (if it hasn't already).

I've always had split feelings about Facebook. Some parts of it are very useful, like the email system and the instant messaging and the wall posts. But the way people use (and abuse) it are very annoying--status updates about every breath they take, friending and unfriending people, liking a endless stream of dumb things that no one cares about. I have two friends who post a status update every day, with a different "inspirational quote", that sounds really wise, but really means nothing, like "Live every day as if it is your last". Yeah, I don't need to be "inspired" like that everyday. And random people add me as a friend all the time. Sometimes I know who they, sometimes I don't. More often than not, they are not my friend in real life. All of these things are very annoying. But they don't make Facebook any less addictive, or necessary to my everyday life.

So, you know, I was interested when the Facebook movie came out (official name: The Social Network):

And I got even more interested when I found out that the movie was made by Aaron Sorkin, aka the creator of West Wing, aka The Best Show of All Time. So, when my friends wanted to go see it on friday night, I was all for it. I love me some CJ Cregg and Sam Seaborn and Josh Lyman. And I like me some Facebook. So it seemed like a perfect fit.

And it was! The movie Gods did not let me down. I wanted to see a smart, interesting, unusual movie. And I did! And it was funny too! All these good things, in one package. Now, that's a hard thing to find. Applause for Aaron Sorkin and Jesse Eisenberg and even Justin Timberlake (I know, I can't believe it either). And extra applause for that guy who play Eduardo. I love him. He was so funny. And mighty cute too (he's the one on the left):

Yes, a fine film. It follows the creation of Facebook, from the beginning, to almost present day, and all the problems and fights and lawsuits that ensued to create the social network site we all sign on to at least once a day. It all started at Harvard University, when Mark Zuckerberg made a site called Facemash to get back at his girlfriend who just broke up with him. The ball started rolling from there, with the site gaining more users by the minute, slowly gaining more universities, and eventually taking over the world. The movie focuses on two lawsuits against Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook: one from Eduardo Savrin, his best friend, and one from the Wincklevoss twins, creators of a rival site. Now, normally, this would not be a movie I would enjoy. I don't care at all about computer companies or big business or court room drama. But this wasn't just any corporation. This was Facebook. And this wasn't just any set of actors and writers and producers. This was Jesse Eisenberg, playing the wip fast Zuckerberg, Justin Timberlake playing the slimy creator of Napster, and Aaron Sorkin, applying his magic touch, as always. This was a great movie.

It was also a pretty hilarious movie (you wouldn't expect that, right?). Here are some of my favourite lines:

1) "And all of a sudden I'm accused of forced cannibalism!" and "Fish eat other fish!"
Oh god, this part of the movie was funny. Eduardo is awesome! I love him! This part was just classic. I know, you don't understand. Just go, watch the movie. Then you'll understand the epicness of these lines.

2) "The Winklevi"
This is an example of the genius that is Mark Zuckerberg (or, at least, the genius he is portrayed as in the movie). The two main antagonists in the film are the Winklevoss twins. He calls them the Winklevi when taking about them in plural, like octopuses=octopi. Genius, pure genius.

There were lots of other lines, but I can't remember them at the moment. The movie is a not comedy, primarily, but it has lots of funny moments. Kind of like West Wing. Kind of like a hip, young West Wing (since WW is my favourite show of all time, this says a lot). So yes, I liked this movie.

It's also interesting to note how Facebook has responded to this film. You think they would be supportive. It's a ton of free advertising. It gets people talking more about Facebook (as if that were possible). But no, Facebook has totally ignored it, and criticized it in any way it can. That would make sense if the corporation was portrayed badly in the film. But really, it's not. To me, the film seemed pretty honest. Of course, I don't know how everything went down. And I don't know what Mark Zuckerberg's actually like. But the movie portrayed him in a pretty nice light. He was super smart and super skilled. I mean, yeah, he did some bad things. But at the end of the movie, you still like him. And you like all the characters. You like Mark and you like Eduardo and you like the Napster guy and you even like the Winklevi twins. You come to understand that the world of business is a ruthless place, and that sometimes people do some pretty bad, nasty things. But you don't hate anyone for it. You certainly don't hate Facebook for it. And you certainly don't "unlike" West Wing from your list of favourite shows on your profile. I mean that seems a little immature (ahem, Mark Zuckerberg).

The funniest part of the whole thing, to me at least, was what happened after the movie. 'Cause you know what was the first thing I did when I came home? Checked my Facebook page. I was almost going to quote the classic "FISH EAT OTHER FISH" line in my status update, but that felt too ironic.

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