I just watched this movie for the 2nd time, and my first impression isn’t changed. It’s extremely unfair to Mark Zuckerberg.
Now, I’m not talking about the allegations of him stealing the idea of Facebook from others, or cheating his former best friend out of the company, because I wasn’t there and, hey, there’s two or three sides to every story, right? The part that is unfair is how they portray Zuckerberg as a person.
The film opens with him on a date with his then-girlfriend, and he is completely clueless, and condescending towards her, acting as if he has no social skills at all. So she dumps hi, but judging by his behavior that night you can’t believe why she would ever have gone out with him in the first place. He goes home, pissed off, and writes an angry blog about her, then decides to create a new website to get his mind off of her.
I did a little research, and found out that most of that part is true. He did write a blog after getting dumped, trashing his ex (her name was changed in the film), and then documenting his creation of a site called Facemash. One big difference between reality and the film is that in the movie Facemash was used to rate the pictures of the female students, yet in real life it was to rate all the students, male and female.
Okay, that’s still immature and a violation of the various students’ privacy, yet that one little detail does make a significant difference, doesn’t it? The film makes it look like he was just some pathetic loser who couldn’t get girls, so he made this site to objectify all the girls. Well, no, he was objectifying everyone, so there.
Also, throughout the film, the recurring theme is that he was jealous because he couldn’t get into one of Harvard’s exclusive Final Clubs, like when they show Zuckerberg programming Facemash all night, they compare it with shots of a party at one of the Final Clubs, with a bunch of hot girls dancing around in their underwear. And when Zuckerberg meets Napster co-founder Sean Parker he’s so impressed with Sean’s ability to get into hot clubs and attract women. But, in real life, Zuckerberg had a girlfriend throughout most of his time creating Facebook, whom he’s still with today.
And then the film ends with Zuckerberg sending a friend request on Facebook to that ex-girlfriend who dumped him, and then he sits there continually refreshing the page, to see if she’s accepted it yet. It was pathetic. I don’t actually know the guy, but I can’t believe he’s as nerdy as they make him out to be. Especially since the film was based on interviews with everyone except him. They talked to all the guys who have an axe to grind with him, so of course they’re going to portray him as badly as possible.
As for the business allegations, even that I could take issue with. Did he “steal” the idea for Facebook from those other students? Well, I think a case could be made that he got the idea from them, but was their idea so original in the first place? It’s not like they created social networks, there was already Friendster and Myspace, they just thought of doing one that was specifically for college students. So he thought, good idea, I’ll do it myself. Hey, that’s the way the ball bounces.
On the plus side, Brenda Song is smoking hot in this film. So that’s something to praise it for.