The Social Network

The Social Network ★★★★★

I had a difficult time trying to decide what to watch tonight. As I approached the wall o' blu ray that resides in my living room, I determined that it must meet two qualifications: roughly two hours or less for a running time so I could try to get enough sleep before work, and it had to be brilliant. I didn't want to waste this amazingly (and unusually) peaceful home on some run of the mill 3 star comedy. No, I needed to revisit a masterpiece, but which one would it be? I considered a few titles, and then something caught my eye: the case for Zodiac wasn't put back in it's correct place since my viewing of it the other day.

That's when it hit me. Why not David Fincher's masterpiece? A film I consider to be one of the greatest I have ever seen, a perfectly paced, brilliantly scripted and acted marvel of a picture featuring one of my all time favorite scores and flawless direction.

The Social Network.

I can't describe how much I love this film, and what's funny about that is, the first time I screened it I wasn't all that impressed. I recognized it was pretty terrific, but it didn't connect like I had hoped. A solid 3.5/5 for me, a good score but nothing that would live up to the hype.

Strangely, the very next day I could feel it calling to me again. I could sense it deserved an immediate rewatch because some films just have to be better than the not so great first impression. Less than 24 hours after my debut viewing, I gave it another spin, and as I took it all in that night I had one thought go through my mind.

"Holy shit. I love this film."

A week later I gave it a third look. A few weeks later a fourth, and so on. Today it sits at the number four spot on my favorite films list. I die a little on the inside when I recommend The Social Network to someone and they say "Oh, that facebook movie?". It makes it sound so bland and uninspired, when in reality this achievement is anything but. It is a story about friendship, loyalty, and ultimately betrayal. The film brilliantly illustrates the irony of someone creating a website that is meant to connect people to each other and label every person they know as "friends", while behind the scenes the friendship that originally formed the site was crumbling.

I understand that the film tells a story that manipulates the truth to enhance it's level of entertainment. I don't care. Frankly, I don't care about the real life Mark Zuckerberg or what really happened between him and Eduardo Saverin. All that matters is the genius of the film, an incredible exercise in storytelling and craftsmanship that goes above and beyond anything I could have imagined when I first learned Fincher would be the man to tackle the project.

The Social Network is pure cinematic excellence. Plain and simple.

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