The Social Network

So I finally saw it. The year’s inevitable Best Picture. I have a theory about how films come to win best picture, and it’s a pretty straightforward equation. Well made + slightly political. But not too political, unless the topic is extremely trendy.

That’s pretty much it.

I actually wish The King’s Speech would win because I sort of have a film-goers crush on pretty much everyone in it. Alas, my bets are on The Social Network, and since we only bet cokes in this house, I’ve got all my soda for the month riding on this one.

Not that I disliked the movie. It’s extremely well-made, the script all tight and sparkly… super sparkly, in fact. Apparently in Aaron Sorkin’s world every tongue is well-oiled, every brain set to super speed. Basically if you crossbred The Social Network and The King’s Speech you would end up with a fairly normal sounding person.

A fantastically wealthy but normal sounding person.

My real annoyance with this movie doesn’t actually have much to do with the movie. Probably because there’s not much to pick on about the movie. It’s great. It does exactly what it set out to do, and it looks good doing it.

But I couldn’t help noticing how literally EVERY time they wanted to signal “Bad idea! Ominous Feeling! Danger!” they used women. Not joking. You could set a clock by it.

First there are the women taking their clothes off. This happens a lot, and it’s always bad news. The groupie turns out to be crazy. The club is where Parker fuels Zuckerberg’s greed. The exclusive Harvard parties are supposedly why Zuckerberg turns on Saverin later.

Parker is bad news, and he’s surrounded by women. When he calls the waitress by name, it tells you something about who he is. How smooth and dangerous. When he shows up with a Victoria’s Secret model you also understand she’s not a person, she’s a trophy.

Then there are the women doing drugs. These also show up a lot. At the house in California they gambol foolishly around in the background to give context to Saverin’s anger about the way things have changed since Parker showed up. Who are they? We don’t know. They never show up again.

I get that it’s a movie about Facebook, and Facebook was developed by a bunch of guys. But according to the handful of articles I’ve read, Zuckerberg has actually been with his girlfriend since college days. In other words, during at least half of the movie all of the random, reaching allusions to the girl from scene 1 make no sense.

So yeah. It’s a great movie. If you’re a guy with a fascination for money, a big ego, and a dim view of women.

In other words, I’m winning me some cokes come Oscar night.

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6 thoughts on “The Social Network

    • Hmm. That’s not really what I was talking about, but if you want me to hazard a guess I’d say this one’s probably not your cup of tea—more because it’s a backstabby downer than because there’s anything especially graphic. As I recall, you don’t actually see anything beyond what you would see at the beach. Everything else is implied/off-camera.

      What I meant to convey is that I’m not a huge fan of how the women were used strictly as symbols in this film. Empty shells to convey meaning. To me that’s a whole lot more concerning than a flash of skin.

  1. Did not even consider that perspective, but now it is all making sense. I hope you get your Cokes.

    I also hope True Grit gets a prize or two. Have you seen it? It’s slightly violent, but other than that it is pretty non-offensive. It also has some sweeping scenic shots and quite the screenplay. Plus Hailee Steinfeld definitely has her “a star is born” moment.

    • Cran, I missed True Grit, but Carl gave it two thumbs up so I’m sure I’ll find an excuse to watch it eventually. I’ve heard really good things!

  2. Well, it’s always good to know a movie that I don’t have to be sorry about not having time for. I have zero interest in a movie that portrays women as disposable, two-dimensional harbingers of evil. Bah. It sounds like the only thing that film is good for is earning you a few cokes.

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