ADOTAS – I’m quite fortunate that the remnants of Tropical Storm Nicole are reeking havoc on the East Coast today — overcast skies merely threatened rain last night as I enjoyed an outside Belle & Sebastian concert for my 30th birthday. Alas, now I’m hungover and it’s miserable outside — perfect time to go see the Facebook movie!
“The Social Network” arrives in theaters across the nation today after a massive marketing campaign. The critics are pretty unanimous in their praise, and the movie seems to be a shoo-in for just about every film award imaginable.
And now we see if the public actually gives a shit.
When I saw a trailer for The Social Network before “Inception” this summer, there were several shouts of “Boring.” Then again, the same audience seemed to be cheering for the 3D remake of Piranha.
Do Americans actually care about the (sufficiently Hollywoodized) story behind the world’s biggest social network, the website people spend more time on than Google? Will movie audiences screech in horror at the machinations of the sketchy creator, the hoodie-wearing Jay Gatsby (wait — does he get shot in the end?)?
Will they run straight home from the multiplex and delete their Facebook accounts? Or possibly can them right on their iPhones as they exit the theater?
You know, many inventors turn out to be not-so-great people — I’m still horrified by a short film Thomas Edison made of electrocuting an elephant, but that hasn’t stopped me from using light bulbs. People bought and still buy Ford automobiles even though Henry Ford proudly wrote antisemitic texts.
Zuck seems mainly to be a manipulative bastard and seems bigoted against twin Adonises and Olympic rowers. Then again, the Ford Motor Company isn’t trying to collect your personal data to sell to advertisers….
The weekend box office will tell us a lot about the public’s concern over Facebook, but I don’t think anyone is expecting a mass exodus from the social network. I don’t think people will blow the dust off their MySpace accounts either (sorry, News Corp.). I’m leaning toward Jessi Hempel’s view that the movie is great publicity for Facebook and audiences will only be disturbed by what a dog-eat-dog world this Internet business is. Zuck may be a tragic hero, but a hero nonetheless. Unfortunately the word hero isn’t worth quite as much these days.
It would be cliche if the opening hand drums for “Sympathy for the Devil” cue the credits, but it would certainly be appropriate.
Now If you want to see Zuckerberg as a real hero — fix that: a real American hero — check out “Zuckerberg!”, the real tale behind the construction of Facebook, written, directed and starring… Mark Zuckerberg!
You see, Zuck built it all by himself (even writing code on note paper!) while his bastard friends ate cheese puffs and planned to steal it. Then he made out with lots of hot girls. Instead of Justin Timberlake, we have R&B artist Ray J as cohort Sean Parker (getting one of The Backstreet Boys to play Parker would have been far funnier). And the tag line speaks for itself: “You can’t make millions of friends without making Facebook all by yourself.”
On a final note, my friend JP posted: “Wanted to go see ‘The Social Network,’ but I found out that halfway through your parents join and start talking about their farm.”