The Social Network Movie – Fact or Fiction

The Social Network – Written by Aaron Sorkin and directed by David Fincher
Rating ****

I had a chance to see the Social Network this past weekend. While it was a good movie and one that I can recommend, I don’t think it bears much resemblance at all to the real people and events. First off, neither the author of the book the film was based on nor anyone connected with the film ever spoke with Mark Zuckerberg. So you can’t tell me that Jesse Eisenberg’s portrayal is even remotely close to the real person. In fact, the portrayal I saw was more like the guy from the Big Bang Theory.

I’m also not going to jump on the media bandwagon on how this movie has Oscar potential. Not in my mind. It was an entertaining movie. It was more fiction than fact. The filmmakers had to condense time but in doing so they made some ridiculous choices. For example, one of the biggest story lines in the film contends that Zuckerberg stole the idea for Facebook from three other people who had hired him to develop a website. Now here’s how the filmmakers portrayed this event. Zuckerberg is asked to lend a hand in developing a school based website but instead spends his time developing what was to become Facebook. Once they find out that he was not working on their school site but was instead working on his own site they decide to sue him. Based on what? So he developed his own website instead of the website they wanted him to build. There wasn’t any revenue being generated by the site at this point. The site wasn’t anything more than just another website. So what were they going to sue for?

Here’s what really happened. Facebook eventually found a way to generate lots of revenue and these three opportunists decided to try to cash in on someone elses success. There’s no way it happened as portrayed. The sad part about it is that they got a lot for doing absolutely nothing.

The story of how Eduardo Saverin got screwed may be a little more accurate. If the Winkelvi can get 65 million because they claim to have come up with the idea, then I’m sure Eduardo did a whole lot better than that.

If you take away the fact vs fiction and just look at it as entertainment, then this is a very good movie. And whether or nor Jesse Eisenberg’s portrayal was authentic or not, I thought he did a great job. The other two main actors Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake were also good.

Bottom line. Go see it but don’t believe everything you see.


  1. […] films in the running for best picture: The King’s Speech, 127 Hours, The Fighter, and The Social Network. I’ve seen seven of the ten nominated films. This was the best of the seven I have seen. The […]

  2. […] four nonfiction films nominated for best picture. The other two nominated nonfiction films were The Social Network and The Kings Speech. All four are deserving movies, and we all know that The Kings Speech won. […]

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