Social Network is a fun, smart, embellished story of the whiz
kids behind the Facebook.com phenomena. Directed by David Fincher and
written by Aaron Sorkin, of West Wing fame, the
film follows the meteoric rise of Mark Zuckerberg and his social
network Website that is now worth $50 billion. While the real-life Mark
may be a wonderful person, the man portrayed in the movie left much to
It all begins at a Boston pub
where Mark (played by Jesse Eisenberg), a brilliant Harvard student,
falls flat on his face in an attempt to woo his date, Erica Albright.
Where he excels in extraordinary intellect and academics, he is equally
deficient in the art of personal skills and communication. One insult
after another leads Erica to get up and leave—but not without having
the final word: Mark Zuckerberg may be a genius, but he is also the
last man on earth Erica, or any other woman, would want to be in a
This scene was long and full of
sporadic, fast-paced dialogue, but it wonderfully summarizes the movie.
It is clear that Mark wants to be accepted into a Harvard “final” club,
highly selective and competitive fraternities, but deep down he knows
he will never be cool enough to get in—and Erica makes that clear.
Angry and hurt, he storms back to his Harvard dorm room and fires off
several derogatory comments about her on his blog. This leads to
hacking into Harvard’s computer system, downloading all of the face
book pictures of the female students on a site, and creating a “beauty
rating game” that crashes the university’s server. Thus, the idea for
facebook.com is born.
I highly recommend this movie to
Christians because of the underlying theme of how money and power can
never fill that God-sized hole in one’s heart, which yearns for love.
Mark’s longing to be accepted into a Harvard final club and winning the
affections of Erica Albright represent mankind’s desire to be
respected, revered, and loved unconditionally. When all of this alludes
Mark, he lashes out with his great intellect and computer savvy (his
only true abilities) and sets out to prove to the world that he is
worthy of love and acceptance. Ironically, his drive for
ensuing rise to prominence in the business world leave him friendless,
empty, and still no closer to winning Erica’s heart.
no surprise that the film chronicles multiple lawsuits against Mark,
brought by his Harvard colleagues Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss
by Armie Hammer), who claim that Mark stole their idea, and his best
and only friend, Eduardo Saverin.
Garfield plays Eduardo
and, in my opinion, is the star of the movie. His boyish charm and
emotional humor provide a wonderful accompaniment to Mark’s dry wit. He
represents the center of good, has character and integrity, and senses
danger when Napster creator, Sean Parker (played by Justin Timberlake),
befriends Mark and becomes an integral part of the company. This is
where the real drama in the story unfolds: As Facebook develops into a
mammoth organization, Mark follows the corrupt path of Sean Parker and
pushes Eduardo out, ultimately selling his soul for money and power.
I also loved Armie Hammer’s
performance as the Winklevoss twins, Cameron and Tyler, who are Olympic
crew athletes and savvy businessmen in their own right. Impressed with
Mark’s ability with his Harvard beauty rating game, they enter into a
partnership with him to set up an online face book site exclusive to
Harvard students and alumni. When Mark takes the idea and turns it into
Facebook.com, they go for revenge, but their good looks, gentlemanly
manners, and family money are no match for Mark and his lightning-fast
mind. Their attempts to bring him down reminded me of Wile E. Coyote
trying to get the better of the Roadrunner.
The Social Network
ends on a satisfying note. Mark settles his lawsuits for millions of
dollars (a small penance for him), but sits alone in a lawyer’s
conference room with nothing but his laptop and a lovely picture of
Erica Albright on the screen—it is her Facebook page with a friend
request displayed. The story has come full circle, and still Mark is no
closer to obtaining the love and acceptance that has long alluded him.
As King Solomon said in Ecclesiastes, Mark learns the hard lesson that
money, fame, and power are all vanity of vanities. We as Christians
know that these things are meaningless without the love of God that
comes through Jesus Christ of Nazareth.