|Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake) and Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg)|
The movie is based on a book by Ben Mezrich, The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal, which apparently doesn't have much to base its facts on other than the collaboration of Eduardo Savarin, who comes across in the movie as being pretty much shafted by Zuckerberg. But apparently that's what happened, as Savarin has now been given a very handsome settlement and has been added back onto Facebook's site as one of the co-founders, after his lawsuit against Zuckerberg.
Whatever. The movie itself is not really about Facebook, but about Mark's genius and the interplay between three people: Mark (played incredibly well by Jesse Eisenberg), Eduardo Savarin (Andrew Garfield), and Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake). If Eisenberg doesn't receive an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal, I will be really surprised. He is unforgettable in this part. When I looked up Zuckerberg on Wikipedia, I was also struck at how much they look alike. I wonder if Zuckerberg talks and acts like Eisenberg did in the movie.
Sean Parker comes across as a real slimeball and Justin Timberlake plays him masterfully. I can't believe that he is really like that, given what I've read about him, but in the movie he is pretty sleazy and a really unpleasant individual. The movie may take liberties with real people, but it sure makes for an absorbing film experience. My favorite site for reviews, Rotten Tomatoes, gives the movie a 97% freshness rating, which is amazing. Obviously I wasn't the only one who liked the movie. And I can't imagine my life without Facebook.
One reviewer, Linda Cook on the Quad City Times, says it well:
It’s incredible how Facebook has become such an integral part of the lives of millions, and at so many levels — from those who check in once a month or so to those of us (and admittedly I’m one of them) who log in a couple of times daily. And it’s fascinating how such a relatively new development now has a “historical movie” dedicated to its origins.I find it wonderful that I can keep tabs with all my old friends in Boulder, that all of my skydiving friends and acquaintances for the last twenty years, my family members (every one of my siblings and most of their offspring are on Facebook) show me pictures of their exploits and tell me what they are doing on a regular basis. And our vocabulary has definitely changed when someone asks you to "friend" them you know they are talking about on Facebook.
If you see the movie, I'd be interested to know what you think of it. I found it worthwhile just for the entertainment value, and not having been one of those aware of the origins of the phenomenon, I was also fascinated that it managed to make writing code and computer programming exciting.