The Social Network, David Fincher's movie about Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (played by Jesse Eisenberg, AKA "The Discount Michael Cera"), opens in October. Virtual fur is already flying, however, over alleged liberties taken by Fincher and author Ben Mezrich (the movie is based on his book The Accidental Billionaires). Zuckerberg, for one, is reportedly unhappy about the finished product:
At this point, it appears Facebook is going to stay mostly quiet until the film opens, although Zuckerberg said in a recent interview, "Honestly, I wish that when people try to do journalism or write stuff about Facebook that they at least try to get it right." and "The movie is fiction."
Producer Scott Rudin reportedly spent months trying to smooth the company's fears, but gave up after it was clear from an early screening for Facebook execs that "they did not like it."
Movies like this will always suffer from the "he said, she said" problem concerning historical accuracy. In the end, it won't matter if FB's founders ever snorted coke off a teenage girl's breasts, or if Zuckerberg ironically lost all his real life friends in the pursuit of virtual ones. That's because The Social Network will, ultimately, fail to capture the actual Facebook experience. And here's why...
If Fincher really wanted to give an accurate represent what it's like to spend any significant amount of time on Facebook, he'd include the following:
Every Thirty Seconds, Justin Timberlake's Character Would Remind the Audience To Join Their Mob
Or get a "Slippery When Wet" sign for FishVille, or buy the "Magical Sexual Mule" in FarmVille, or urge you to post a meaningless PSA as your status update to prove you care about issues, man, or...well, you get the idea.
And I may have made up the Magical Sexual Mule thing. I don't actually play FarmVille.
Fincher Would Be Caught On Camera Calling Scott Rudin An Asshole
It's the big cautionary tale of the age, isn't it? "Fired because of Facebook?" A lot of unnecessary hand-wringing for a bunch of people who couldn't be bothered to set a privacy setting, or -- I don't know -- not talk shit about their boss or job online. I have no idea if Fincher actually dislikes Rudin, but he probably should.
Your Location Would Be Broadcast To Every Marketing Company In America
That way, after the movie was over, you'd have to fight your way through interns and "street teamers" trying to get you to buy boner pills, Miller Lite, and -- of course -- tickets to other movies.
Random Embarrassing Photos Of The Audience Would Periodically Appear On Screen
One of Facebook's eternal joys is the ability of your so-called friends to "tag" you in photos. Doesn't matter if you never posted the picture yourself, or indeed even knew of its existence, if there's a 20-year old pic of you wearing ripped army pants, a Metallica t-shirt, and holding a can of MGD, someone's going to upload it and make sure everyone knows that's you under that heroic mullet.
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Not that I'd know anything about that.
Your Creepy Ex/That Guy Who Beat You Up In High School Will Try To Sit By You In The Theater
You know, it's great if you can maintain a cordial relationship with your former significant other. And if there's a genuine interest in keeping up with one another on the flip side, fine and dandy. It's when someone violates a TRO, or extends a friend request to the kid he used to pummel on a daily basis in 8th grade that things get a little...hinky.
If The Social Network wants to be in any way accurate, you'll end up sitting next to the guy who used to park outside your house at 3 AM during high school while your boyfriend gets wedgies from the varsity baseball team throughout the movie.