It’s a Generation Facebook instinct to expect (hope?
) that a pop star will fall on his face in the cinema, but Justin Timberlake, as Sean Parker, neatly steps over that expectation: whether or not you think he’s a shmuck, he sure plays a great shmuck.
(“Final clubs,” says Mark, correcting Erica, as they discuss those exclusive Harvard entities, “Not Finals clubs.”) He doesn’t understand what’s happening as she tries to break up with him. To create this Zuckerberg, Sorkin barely need brush his pen against the page.
We came to the cinema expecting to meet this guy and it’s a pleasure to watch Sorkin color in what we had already confidently sketched in our minds. To get money, which leads to popularity, which leads to girls.
This despite the fact that I can say (like everyone else on Harvard’s campus in the fall of 2003) that “I was there” at Facebook’s inception, and remember Facemash and the fuss it caused; also that tiny, exquisite movie star trailed by fan-boys through the snow wherever she went, and the awful snow itself, turning your toes gray, destroying your spirit, bringing a bloodless end to a squirrel on my block: frozen, inanimate, perfect—like the Blaschka glass flowers.
Doubtless years from now I will misremember my closeness to Zuckerberg, in the same spirit that everyone in ’60s Liverpool met John Lennon.
I’m so utterly 1.0 that I spent an hour of the movie trying to detect any difference between the twins.) Their arms move suspiciously fast, faster than real human arms, their muscles seem outlined by a fine pen, the water splashes up in individual droplets as if painted by Caravaggio, and the music!It’ll be a long time before a cinema geek comes along to push Jesse Eisenberg, the actor who plays Zuckerberg, off the top of our nerd typologies. The shifty boredom when anyone, other than himself, is speaking. Eisenberg even chooses the correct nerd walk: not the sideways corridor shuffle (the Don’t Hit Me! An extended four-minute shot has him doing exactly this all the way through the Harvard campus, before he lands finally where he belongs, the only place he’s truly comfortable, in front of his laptop, with his blog: Oh, yeah. If it’s a three-act movie it’s because Zuckerberg screws over more people than a two-act movie can comfortably hold: the Winklevoss twins and Divya Navendra (from whom Zuckerberg allegedly stole the Facebook concept), and then his best friend, Eduardo Saverin (the CFO he edged out of the company), and finally Sean Parker, the boy king of Napster, the music-sharing program, although he, to be fair, pretty much screws himself.), but the puffed chest vertical march (the I’m not 5'8", I’m 5'9"! It’s in Eduardo—in the actor Andrew Garfield’s animate, beautiful face—that all these betrayals seem to converge, and become personal, painful.This vision is also wafer-thin, and Fincher satirizes it mercilessly. A billion dollars.” Over cocktails in a glamorous nightclub, Parker dazzles Zuckerberg with tales of the life that awaits him on the other side of a billion.Again, we know its basic outline: a velvet rope, a cocktail waitress who treats you like a king, the best of everything on tap, a special booth of your own, fussy tiny expensive food (“Could you bring out some things? I don’t know, tuna tartar, some lobster claws, the foie gras and the shrimp dumplings, that’ll get us started”), appletinis, a Victoria’s Secret model date, wild house parties, fancy cars, slick suits, cocaine, and a “sky’s the limit” objective: “A million dollars isn’t cool. Fincher keeps the thumping Euro house music turned up to exactly the level it would be in real life: the actors have to practically scream to be heard above it.
At the time, though, I felt distant from Zuckerberg and all the kids at Harvard.