You’re going to be successful and rich. But you’re going to go through life thinking that girls don’t like you because you’re a tech geek. I want you to know, from the bottom of my heart, that won’t be true: It’ll be because you’re an assholeI managed to watch The Social Network the other day, catching the last showing. Even in a country with short theatrical releases, the movie was initially slated to run in many nearby theaters for only three days. Did local distributors think the understated style, dense jargon, American patter, and techno-centric subject matter create a high barrier of entry? (internet usage is still comparitively low) But Manila is as cosmopolitan a city as any, with plenty of savvy internet users. Filipinos are avid consumers of Hollywood imports. And The Social Network was riding on a wave of critical acclaim. Or are films featuring geek/nerd protagonists perceived to be relatively less profitable by distributors, especially if they spotlight unlikeable characters? (For example, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World has yet to receive an official release date or audience rating)
- Description of Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, from The Social Network
There's something typically American about this mythologizing of Mark Zuckerberg - a maladjusted youth barely out of his teens and claiming to not care about the views of his peers, yet still smarting from the rejection of Harvard's prestigious final clubs. So he retaliates against tradition and class privilege by creating, carefully managing, and profiting from, a more inclusive virtual community. In a sense it's an updating of Revenge of the Nerds. The experience of social rejection is universal, but probably less so is the film's particular milieu. Then there's the choice to portray Zuckerberg as a Jay Gatsby-like figure pining after the girl that got away, even as he answers the siren call of Palo Alto. This makes him a little more intelligible. But like Gatsby, he's still primarily an enigmatic figure. This is a film that for all its dialogue, requires audiences to read between the lines. Ultimately, it says more about the views of filmakers David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin than about the real-life Zuckerberg.
Eh, whatever. I'm sure The Social Network still found an audience. Its success is too big to ignore at this point. And it makes for a great Halloween flick. Scream in horror at the slow death of your privacy dweebs!