The Social Network

The Social Network ★★★★★

"You're not an asshole, Mark. You're just trying so hard to be."

The Social Network is the movie that started it all for me. While Drive was the movie that made me realize filmmaking was something I wanted to pursue, The Social Network made me think of film as more than just something to pass the time. Every time someone asks me what my favorite film of all time is I always reply with "that's impossible I have way too many to pick from"; but the truth is my mind always instinctively goes to this one. There was even a point in my life where for months I wouldn't be able to go to bed without watching TSN first.

I'm not someone to write long reviews, every time that I attempt to I always want to instantly delete them because I suck ass at writing. I'm not capable of putting my thoughts into a cohesive piece and any time I try to I want to rip hair out. But I made myself a promise that I would write more serious reviews starting 2018 and I want to stay true to that. While I did write, I think like two, serious reviews already I want to take a different approach with The Social Network.

The Social Network for me is not just a love story, and I honestly think that it is a love story but necessarily a typical romance. I like to think of this as Eduardo being so in love with Mark (and I state again: it doesn't have to be romantic) he loses himself in attempts to gain validation from Mark. And that's ultimately what I think TSN is about: validation. Any way you want to think of this movie, I argue it all leads back to the instinctive nature to prove oneself, not just to yourself, but to the world. The need to shout out that you exist and you can create so much if only the world would give you a chance.

From the very start, when Erica doesn't validate Mark's desire to join a final club to the creation of FaceSmash. To Eduardo being punched by the Phoenix to the twins seeking out Mark's help. It all revolves around the desperate want to be accepted, to belong. It's hard to hate Mark after he so brutally betrays Eduardo because despite it all it's not so hard to see oneself in Mark. The same goes for Eduardo and his fruitless attempts to please Mark and prove his worth. That's the magic of TSN; it creates such human characters that when watching the movie it's hard not to empathize with the actions of the main characters.

I first watched this movie in the 8th grade, it was everything I needed. It spoke to me not just because it was visually beautiful and the music was stunning. It spoke to me because I was in a weird stage in my life where I was questioning my every action and I was questioning the actions of others more critically than before. I should mention that at this time I was very into my Tumblr phase and my beliefs were being to form. But as I watched this continuously for months on end I was able to question myself and relate to the characters. I honestly can say, without hesitation, that The Social Network helped me define who I am. Because I was so desperate for validation, like Mark and Eduardo, I was stupid things and saying dumb shit. I then started to question, whose validation is worth so much that I don't stay true to myself or my friends.

I then went onto high school where I started to watch this movie less and less to a point where I stopped entirely but didn't stop claiming it as my all time favorite. I think a time I would have benefited from the theme of this movie would have been my senior year. I, like Mark, betrayed my best friend; the one who stood by me and supported me in all my stupid decisions. We went through our emo phase together, that's how you know it's real love. But I was so desperate for acceptance and to feel like I belong somewhere, I turned my back on her.

Watching this now, after having seen so many more movies than the first time I saw this on HBO that fateful night, I love The Social Network even more. The very real characters who face very real internal struggles. That endless drive to belong somewhere, even if it's online. That validation from others maybe mean more to us than we would like to admit. The Social Network is a very human movie about the lengths anyone is willing going to prove themselves. In a time where movies feel too plot driven rather than character driven, I always turn back to this movie.

I have no idea how to end this, but I want to suggest that you all watch A Quiet Place because that is also, in my opinion, a very character driven story. Also The Florida Project is amazing movie following how a 6 year old girl remembers her last summer, that again is not plot driven but the characters own the story instead. A few others being: Lady Bird, Mysterious Skin, and Mommy. If you have any other suggestions please leave them below. And if you read all the way to the end honestly I want to say that I love you and I appreciate you taking the time to read my rambling.

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