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YMMV / The Social Network

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  • Alternative Character Interpretation: The film has a lot of ambiguity regarding several characters' actions and motives, implied by the possibly biased accounts of the participants.
    • Mark—"asshole" or "trying so hard to be one?" And were the makers of the film trying to portray Zuckerberg as an outright Jerkass, or did they make him more of an admirable jerk?
    • The Winklevoss twins and Narendra: Hero Antagonists who were unjustly wronged by unethical business practices, or are they sore losers filing a Frivolous Lawsuit out of revenge for being legitimately outsmarted? After the boat race scene, Tyler talks about how it is unfair to lose a race because they showed up on a Monday for a race run a Sunday. But considering their prestigious background and rich family, they were already winning the race ever since they were born.
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    • Eduardo; victim who was wrongfully pushed out of a company which he helped found and gave the seed money? Or The Load who deserved to get frozen out after not making enough contributions?
    • Everyone hates on Sean Parker but it should be remembered that he is right. In the nightclub scene, he asked Mark to look at his face and say that he did not know what he was talking about. But Sean did know what he was talking about. A good question to ask is why shouldn't Sean replace Eduardo since Sean obviously knew more about the tech world? Also, while Sean ain't no saint, Eduardo was making a point at antagonizing the guy from the moment they met, despite all of Sean's attempts at making friends or at least be cordial towards him, if only because Eduardo was Mark's friend. After Eduardo almost ruined Mark, Sean had no further reasons to try being nice towards him.
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    • As discussed on the Headscratchers page, what is the intent behind Mark's friend request to Erica at the end? Is he hoping that they can perhaps start over, with him intending to make amends? Or has he not truly learned anything, and is merely trying to validate himself?
  • Applicability: What the film's social statement or point is is ultimately up to the viewer, and just how sympathetic Zuckerberg is.
  • Award Snub:
    • Despite the movie getting a respectable 8 Oscar nominations, neither Andrew Garfield nor Justin Timberlake nor Armie Hammer were nominated for Best Supporting Actor.
      • It's possible that the Academy's votes were split by the studio's decision to push forward a total of three campaigns for Best Supporting Actor for Garfield, Timberlake and Hammer. Between Garfield's Eduardo being the most universally liked character, the "Wow, he really can act" reaction brought forth by Timberlake's performance and the impressive Acting for Two on Hammer's part, all of which were critically acclaimed, it's no wonder that three great performances with such diverse qualities cancelled each other out.
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    • While most people thought The King's Speech would win Best Picture... almost no one imagined that its director, Tom Hooper, would get the Oscar instead of Fincher, even though the director of the Best Picture usually wins the Oscar. This largely stems from Fincher winning nearly every major Best Director prize prior to the Oscars, including at the Golden Globes, Broadcast Film Critics Association, The Los Angeles, New York, and National Society Film Critics Associations, the National Board of Review, and even the BAFTAS. The latter case is the most notable, as they have a history of being partial to British performers/directors and had given The King's Speech prizes for both Best Film AND Best British Film (a first), yet they STILL gave Fincher the Best Director prize over Tom Hooper. The only major prize that Hooper had won beforehand was the Director's Guild of America award, which, fittingly enough, is the most accurate Oscar precursor available (having aligned with the eventual Oscar winner in the category all but 7 times since 1948).
    • A particularly bizarre instance: at the 2011 MTV Movie Awards, 2 of the movie's lines — from its Oscar-winning screenplay — were nominated for the Best Line From a Movie category, and they both lost to a joke from Grown Ups.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Eduardo saying that it's better to be accused of necrophilia than animal cruelty, and Mark agreeing.
  • Fandom Rivalry: Fans of the film look set to be duking it out with primary Oscar rival The King's Speech partisans for years to come. Look for plenty of Award Snub accusations to fly regardless of which film wins Best Picture. And that's not even factoring in the rabid Inception and Toy Story 3 fandoms.
  • Genius Bonus: As part of the Winklevoss group, Divya lists several of the types of people who were also attending Harvard at the time Mark Zuckerberg invented Facebook, ending with "a movie star". Mark's lawyer asks who the movie star was, but doesn't get an answer. Those with the slightest know-how of Harvard personnel at the time will know the movie star was Natalie Portman.
  • Gratuitous Special Effects:
    • The Winklevoss twins were portrayed by two non-identical actors, one of whom later had his head painstakingly replaced by a realistic CGI reconstruction of the other's head. A movie from even a decade earlier would have relied on Split Screen or would simply have hired twins, but this film went the extra mile so that the twins could do things like walk around the frame in front of each other. Effective, but arguably not really required for a dialogue-driven drama.
    • The filmmakers said they originally planned to cast twins, but couldn't find 6'5", 220-pound twins who could act and be believable as champion rowers. Also, some scenes (like the ones in the Harvard President's office) were done via split-screen. The digital reconstruction was used in other scenes because Fincher didn't want to limit the movement of his actors.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Many have noted how eerily gracious time has been to this film on a number of fronts.
    • Even with as critical as the film is of Zuckerberg and Facebook, the massive scandals and controversies that rocked the site in the latter half of The New '10s (most notably revolving around its influence on politics and sharing data with outside organizations and companies) make the movie's depiction of them downright quaint. Aaron Sorkin has even said he'd like to make a sequel covering this.
    • Rashida Jones plays a character who claims that she can turn an entire court against the head of a major company with just a few words. Seven years after this film came out, she unfortunately found herself having to do just that, as her remarks about how John Lasseter, then one of the most powerful men in show business, was mistreating female and minority employees got him fired from both of the companies he was in charge of.
    • This New York Times article analyzes how prescient the film seems in light of events in the decade since its release, including the COVID-19 pandemic.
    In 2010, The Social Network, with its egomaniacal antihero, seemed overdramatic, too pessimistic in the way it examined the birth of one of the biggest social media sites. Facebook was still in its infancy, far removed from what it would eventually become. [...] In 2020, as the world shut down, we’ve learned all the ways we can define distance, and social media — as one cynical film predicted — is one of them.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In Zombieland, Jesse Eisenberg's character said that the best part of the zombie apocalypse was not having to worry about updating his Facebook status. Twice as hilarious is how, according to the commentary, Eisenberg had to have the directors and cast explain to him what a Facebook status was.
    • After Jesse Eisenberg's polarizing performance as Lex Luthor in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, many of that film's detractors found his performance as Mark Zuckerberg to be a more faithful portrayal of Lex Luthor than his actual performance in Dawn of Justice.
    • And it's satisfying to compare the current state of Facebook with Mark's original vision. Now that anyone can join, not just Ivy League college students, it's not exactly the elitist, exclusive social club he thought it would be.
    • To paraphrase Zuckerberg, he's probably too busy having sex with numerous women on his gigantumous pile of money to be particularly bothered by this.
    • Also, the major difference between Eduardo and Mark's visions of Facebook is that Eduardo wanted advertising, while Mark felt it would cheapen the coolness of the website. Given that Facebook makes an astoundingly large portion of its money from helping advertisers target potential customers these days, it seems Eduardo won in the end.
    • Justin Timberlake portrays Sean Parker, who, prior to the founding of Facebook, had a hand in founding Napster. In 2011, Timberlake himself will oversee a re-launch of Facebook's former competitor MySpace, which jumps from social media to online music store. That move in itself would pit MySpace against current competitors iTunes, Spotify and, albeit a shell of its former self, Napster.
    • "You're not an asshole, Mark. You're just trying so hard to be." And it apparently paid off since Jesse Eisenberg was later cast as the ultimate rich asshole.
    • At a party, Mark and Eduardo meet a pair of Asian-American girls. The real Mark would later marry an Asian-American woman.
    • Following his highly-criticized appearance before Congress in 2017 (which soon led to numerous memes of him as a stuttering robot), fans found the movie's presentation of Zuckerberg as an ice-cold manipulator quite laughable compared to the real man.
    • Zuckerburg later became known in the late 2010s for being an extremely awkward and un-charismatic individual, with comparisons to an alien or a talking reptile masquerading as a human being particularly popular meme fodder. This can make his characterize in the film as a curt and direct, but incredibly fast-thinking and decisive individual as bizarre in hindsight. However, it also makes Jesse Eisenberg's portrayal of him (which some criticized as wooden and even robotic) surprisingly accurate as well.
    • Movie Zuckerberg's comment about people wanting to sit on his shoulders to make themselves tall becomes this after the real Zuckerberg sat on a cushion to make himself look taller during a Senate hearing.
    • Cameron's quip that suing Mark could make the brothers look like they're "in skeleton costumes chasing the karate kid around a high school gym" became this after the release of the film's Sequel Series Cobra Kai, which portrays Johnny Lawrence and his friends in a more positive light while highlighting more of Daniel LaRusso's character flaws. Furthermore, in one episode, Miguel, a modern Cobra Kai student, wears a skeleton costume as a Call-Back to the original Cobra Kai members and ends up fighting a gang of bullies at the Halloween party.
    • The Winklevoss twins later executive produced another film adaptation of a Ben Mezrich book about the 2021 GameStop stock fiasco, which was even titled The Antisocial Network after the film.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Mark. While he's an Insufferable Genius, he ultimately wants to succeed in life, and be somebody. By the end of the film, he's lost two friends and is realizing the consequences of his actions.
    • Christy may count as well, even if she's a total nutter. But her face just before Eduardo breaks up with's both creepy and "Awww..." inducing at once.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • The scene where Mark gets passed a note, reads it, and looks out to see who passed it to him. Behold!
    • The movie poster got parodied a lot, too.
    • These are not the hammer.
    • The entire scene of Eduardo storming the Facebook office has gained a huge following; then again, it's next to impossible to write a line about "'fuck you' flip-flops" that doesn't have this effect.
    • Eduardo's "You better lawyer up, asshole..." is often repurposed as a general-use Pre Ass Kicking One Liner.
    • The Internet got a small bit of leverage out of filling in its own answers to Sean Parker's question of what's cooler than a million dollars.
    • Whenever there's executive-level drama going on with Facebook, people will often invoke the climatic scene where Eduardo's ownership share was diluted down to point-zero-three percent.
  • Misaimed Fandom:
    • Some people characterize it to be a demonization of Mark Zuckerberg, when he's portrayed somewhat sympathetically, having some good qualities, along with some bad ones.
    • Not to mention the film's story is from the point-of-view of characters trying to defeat him in a legal battle.
    • On the opposite end, you had more and more people sympathizing with the real-life Eduardo based on the events that transpired in the film. It's easy to forget that in real life, Eduardo actually won the lawsuit (or more specifically, they settled out of court with him) and that the real guy has been on record saying that he didn't care about being part of Facebook's operations, he just wanted his deserved financial stake.
    • When Jesse Eisenberg was cast as Lex Luthor, it raised some eyebrows, but a lot of people who defended the decision said that he can pull it off because he played the same character in this movie...which is really stretching things. Yes, both Mark (in the movie) and Lex are arrogant billionaire geniuses, but Mark (in the movie) is a Jerkass at the very worst; Lex in most depictions is a mass-murdering sociopath with a God complex (also, Mark is a computer whizz and internet billionaire while Lex is an Omnidisciplinary Scientist and major industrialist). Evidently a lot of Social Network fans either think that Lex Luthor isn't that bad a guy, or they think that Mark Zuckerberg (in the movie) is an evil supervillain bent on world domination.
    • Believe it or not, there are even some people who think this film's villain is Eduardo! Yes, he's got anger problems, but he is easily one of the most decent people in the film.
  • Moral Event Horizon: "Interns?" Mark admired and defended Sean, but was visibly uncomfortable with his "interest" in a young intern working at Facebook. The fact that Sean's arrest at a college party involved several interns, all underage, was unforgivable and inexcusable to Mark for more than just PR reasons.
  • Narm: As universally acclaimed as the screenplay is, it would be remiss to claim there aren't a handful of lines that left some scratching their heads.
    • One line commonly regarded as weirdly written came when Cameron finally got on board with Tyler and Divya's plans to pursue Mark. Of all the declarative statements in the world to show them that he's finally switched sides, he chooses "Let's gut the friggin' nerd," which sounds far more appropriate for a bully on a kids show to say with genuine conviction than a Harvard student.
    • During the scene in which Eduardo is explaining how Mark first approached him with the idea for Facebook, there's a close-up on his face as he utters the very strange line: "In a World... where social structure was everything, that was the thing." In context, it sounds incredibly bizarre and out of place, almost as though someone accidentally included a page from the script for the trailer voiceover in the screenplay itself.
    • The incredibly intense, brilliantly acted confrontation between Eduardo and Mark is undone slightly by mentioning the chicken when it could have easily just used "the Crimson article". They at least lampshade it and it doesn't throw things off course, but it is still odd to see a powerhouse actor on the verge of tears, fully committing to dialogue about a chicken while sorrowful music plays. It doesn't help that Sean keeps interjecting to sincerely ask what the hell they're talking about.
      Eduardo: Tell me this isn't about me getting into the Phoenix. (Dramatic Pause) did it, I knew you did it! You planted that story about the chicken!
  • Narm Charm: Eduardo has this famous line when he's ripping into Mark after having his shares reduced to a mere 0.03% while the other top dogs of Facebook get to keep theirs. While it might seem out of place in the midst of a very dramatic scene about betrayal, it also encapsulates just how done he is with the way Mark is running the company and leaving him for Sean.
    Sean: You think we were gonna let you parade around in those ridiculous suits, pretending you were running the company—
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • Christy burning Eduardo's scarf. It's Played for Laughs but is surprisingly dark. The implication is that, had he not had a fire extinguisher nearby and put the fire out right away, the whole apartment would've burned down.
    • The hazing rituals in Phoenix house involve guys standing in the freezing cold snow and being forced to remove items of their clothing when they get a question wrong, including one guy who vomits.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • Douglas Urbanski as Larry Summers appears in only one scene where the Winklevoss brothers try to persuade him to take action against Mark, and completely steals it with impeccably timed snarky retorts.
    • A less literal version: Rooney Mara as Erica Albright only appears in three scenes, one of them very brief, for a total of roughly five minutes of screen time, but is considered by some to be one of the best parts of the movie. And she impressed David Fincher enough to land the lead role of Lisbeth Salander in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
  • Signature Scene: Eduardo confronting Mark and Sean in a Facebook office after he finds out that the investor contract diluted his ownership share down to near-zero while Mark and Sean keep their existing shares.
  • Shipping: Yup.
  • Special Effect Failure: The cold breath in one scene is obvious CG.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: On the other hand of the scale, the Digital Head Swap for the Winklevoss twins is so seamless, you'll have a hard time telling which is the real Armie Hammer.
  • The Woobie:


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