How is it that an amazingly antisocial guy could have created one of the largest social areas on the Internet? The Social Network is an exciting look at the creation of Facebook -- and the falling out among its creators.

The structure of The Social Network is a legal deposition in the present, with flashbacks showing what happened in the past. According to the movie, Facebook started with a breakup. Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) is a student at Harvard who, in the opening scene, shows himself to be brilliant, successful, antisocial, sarcastic, and condescending. This gets him dumped by his girlfriend Erica (Rooney Mara), which leads to Mark getting drunk and, with the help of his friend Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield), hacking several Harvard sites and making a website ("Facemash") where people vote on which of two Harvard women are hotter. This website gets so much traffic that Harvard's server crashes.

Facemash gets the attention of Harvard elites Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss (both played by Armie Hammer), who want Zuckerberg to make an exclusive dating site for Harvard students. While helping them, Mark decides to make his own social website, with Eduardo as chief financial officer. Eduardo wants to get advertisers involved with "the Facebook," while Mark wants to keep it pure, not knowing how big it can become.

Their devil is Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake, using his celebrity experience to the hilt). Sean is a rock star of the online and business world, as the creater of Napster. He's also crashed and burned two businesses, is being sued by millions, and describes himself as broke. He also pushes Mark to move out to California -- and attracts the animosity of Eduardo.

The Social Network is a very energetic drama, thanks largely to the sharp script by Aaron Sorkin and directing of David Fincher. There's almost no background given to any of the characters here, but it doesn't seem necessary. Facebook is what defines these characters: Jealousy from the Winklevoss brothers, concern from Eduardo, opportunity for Sean, and an almost artistic creation for Mark.

Jesse Eisenberg played a slightly awkward but lovable nerd in Zombieland; he does a 180-degree turn for The Social Network, making Mark Zuckerberg a nerd and awkward -- but obnoxious and pretty unlikeable. The rest of the cast is very good (again, kudos to Justin Timberlake as the charismatic, dangerous celebrity to these Facebook founders). It may a little simplistic that Facebook is ultimately all about the woman who got away, but The Social Network is an interesting, fast-based and absorbing drama.

Overall grade: A
Reviewed by James Lynch

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