The Social Network

aka The Anti-Social Network…..

The Social Network tells the personal story behind the rise and rise of the Facebook phenomenon, of Mark Zuckerberg – its morally questionable, socially inept “inventor” – and of the whirling group of allies and adversaries that surround them both. Jesse Eisenberg is absolutely riveting as Zuckerberg, a man exhibiting Shakespearean proportions of brilliance, vanity and self-destructive tendencies, who invents the website that changed human interactions in his dorm room, drunk and in a snit. Along the way he jettisons relationships with his long-suffering girlfriend (“Dating you is like dating a Stairmaster”) some Herculean twins (“I’m 6’5, 220lbs and there are two of me”) and his best friend (“Sorry, my Prada is at the cleaners, along with my hoodie and my ‘fuck you’ flip-flops, you pretentious douche bag!”)

Yes, the man who created the most important social tool in human history is essentially incapable of holding together any relationship outside of the cyber. So the film is fascinating, somewhat dark, with blistering dialogue (the University Chancellor is completely fantastic) and great performances throughout.

Although the movie is set primarily in Harvard, the campus interiors were actually shot at the Johns Hopkins University; I wonder why? There’s a stand-out rowing scene too, different to anything else in the film, that at the Eton College Boat Club’s impressive Dorney Lake facility, that will be the site for the London Olympics rowing tourney in 2012. In a past life, I assisted Eton’s rowing tour to South Africa.

One last thing: Rooney Mara plays Zuckerberg’s ex. I take it back. She’ll make a gutsy Lisbeth Salander.