The Social Network

It seems like everyone in the whole world is on Facebook at the moment. And that’s pretty close to true: More than 500 million people have joined Facebook, which is nearly one in every 14 people worldwide. I’ve never really considered how this extraordinary social networking universe was created, but The Social Network exposed me to all of the ups and downs of bringing Facebook to life. was started by Mark Zuckerberg, a Harvard computer geek with an incredible knack for hacking and programming. After he managed to crash the entire Harvard server with his version of “Hot or Not,” he was approached by three of the big-guys-on-campus with the idea of a website called The Harvard Connection. Harvard students could use the site to create profiles and get in touch with people (and more importantly, “hot chicks”) they met at parties or in class. Little did they know that Zuckerberg was doing a little side work of his own on a strangely similar website: As expected, the “big-guys” filed a lawsuit to get their million-dollar idea back from Zuckerberg. To top it all off, he faced a second lawsuit from his best friend and co-founder of Facebook after Zuckerberg betrayed him and cheated him out of his fair share of profits.

The Social Network was based on the book The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook: A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal by Ben Mezrich, which was released in July 2009. The book, as well as the movie, was seen as a bit exaggerated in the scandalous-material department. As far as the movie goes, I think that the partying, drugs and alcohol were sensationalized and a bit over the top. The movie promotes the idea that every female Harvard student is a “bad girl.” It would have had a more realistic feel if it had featured women that were less raunchy and more intellectual.

Also, the hilarious, rapid-fire conversations coming from average college students were a bit surreal. Don’t get me wrong, I loved hearing Zuckerberg get after anyone he spoke to and point out every person’s flaws. I quite enjoyed listening as he brutally gave honest answers to questions from lawyers, because he’s under oath and doesn’t want to “perjure” himself. He knows he’s a genius, and he is far from modest about it. However, they talked a little too quickly and were a bit too witty. Nonetheless, it was great for a fictional representation of a true story, which is what this movie was.

Other than that, this movie was definitely a success, and its No. 1 box-office spot two weeks in a row reflects this. It pulled in $15.5 million in the first weekend, and rose to $46 million in 10 days. It tells the unknown story behind something that we use every day, and that’s why it’s a hit.

Ashlee Crane