The Social Network, or How Aaron Got His Groove Back

I’d been looking forward to The Social Network for months. I tend to keep an eye out for anything by Aaron Sorkin, and I’d heard rumblings that this screenplay was his best work.

Better than The American President.

Better than The West Wing.

Better than Sports Night.

I didn’t think it possible. Those three pieces are the Holy Trinity of Sorkin’s work, and most of what he’s tried since comes close to the same quality, but often fails. (See Studio 60, Charlie Wilson’s War.)

By the 4th minute of the movie, I knew. This is his best work ever.

It’s not just the sheer quantity of the verbiage in the script–Sorkin, on Jimmy Fallon Friday night admitted the script is 160 pages long. A standard movie script is 120 pages.

No, it’s not just the quantity, it’s the quality. It’s the snarky Karate Kid reference. It’s how he makes Mark Zuckerberg vacillate from detestable smart-aleck in one scene to pitiful wannabe in the next.

I never wanted the movie to end, and it was the first time in a long time that not once did I want to know how long I’d been sitting in the theatre. To know how long I’d been there would have told me it was going to eventually end.

I’m not familiar with David Fincher’s work, but the film is beautifully shot. It couldn’t have been easy to make computer programming look hip, but combination of editing, soundtrack, and dialogue in the first 15 minutes of the film made me think, “If I could write code, I’d be cool.”

And there is a fabulous crew race, set to Trent Reznor’s reimagining of Grieg’s “Hall of the Mountain King” that is beautifully shot and made me think I could possibly enjoy a movie about crew.

I really, truly, saw no weak links in the film–and I definitely thought that the adorable Justin Timberlake would have been an extraordinarily weak link. He wasn’t. His Sean Parker party boy was spot on, and if Timberlake picks his parts right, I think he can actually have a viable film career.

I rarely see movies in the theatre more than once–Moulin Rouge (7 times) and The Bourne Identity (2 times) notwithstanding–but this is one that I plan on seeing again in big screen glory.

This film was heavily hyped all week, and usually when that happens, I find at least one little thing wrong with a film. But not this time. And granted, some of that could be my giant blind spot for Aaron Sorkin. After all, even though I know Studio 60 is some of his worst work, I still try to justify it as worthy of my time.

I am an Aaron Sorkin fangirl, and I love that he’s given me something to truly rave about.


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