Aaron Sorkin's Facebook Script Might Actually Be Amazing
Ah yes, Aaron Sorkin's movie about Facebook. "Imagine going from nothing to a billionaire in less than a year. How do you even grasp that kind of success? How do you live a normal life? How do you address the constant lawsuits that eat into your everyday existence? And how do you do this at 22 years old?" That's not the official pitch for The Social Network, as it's better known, but it might as well be. That was written by Carson Reeves who just published an early review of Sorkin's screenplay on his blog. And what did he think of it? "I just read a script that amazed me. Easily going into my top 10." Apparently it's that incredible.
We first heard that Aaron Sorkin had been hired to write this script late last year. But everything changed when it was announced a few weeks ago that David Fincher would be directing it. It seems that no one can believe that a movie about a popular social website could actually be any good. But that's because no one knew what it was really about. Following that Fincher news we posted an update saying that it was actually based on a book called "The Accidental Billionaires" written by Ben Mezrich that chronicled the story of how Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook in his dorm room at Harvard. The Social Network is that exact story.
Without spoiling too much of the story, The Social Network starts with Zuckerberg in a bar being dumped by his then girlfriend because he keeps changing conversations. From there the creation of what is to one day become Facebook begins, as those who are familiar with the story know that it started as a "Hot or Not"-like site for Harvard women before being re-imagined as a social community. While Carson says the script doesn't have a framework, he explains that it often jumps in and out of a present day legal battle that involves Zuckerberg being sued by his former business partners for all $16 billion that Facebook is worth.
Now you might start to understand why this is a bit more than a simple story about a website. "It's a story about greed, about obsession, about our belief that all the money in the world can make us happy. But it's also unpredictable, funny, touching, and sad. It gives us that rare glimpse into the improbable world of mega-success." Comedy, in a script like this, doesn't sound too appealing, but apparently it works very well.
Those unoriginal moments you've seen in every comedy spec written in the past year (including my own), where couples are arguing over Facebook-related issues (Girlfriend: "Why does your relationship status say you're single??") Well Sorkin uses them too. The only difference is that it's happening to the inventors of Facebook. And so the unoriginal becomes original, the stupid becomes hilarious. -- And don't get me started on Sean Parker - a character that can become iconic if the film is made. The brash techy rock star revels in his own ego, and is a key player in why Facebook is on our computers today.
That Sean Parker he is talking about is the very same Sean Parker that founded Napster in the 90's. Yep, he is even in this, too! I don't want to give away any more of his story, because he's one the greatest parts of this and his introduction is a key part of the founding of Facebook. As I tried to say when David Fincher's name first popped up in connection with this project, a director of his caliber obviously wouldn't have even considered this if it weren't a great story (and a great script), so I'm not sure why everyone thinks this will suck. According to Reeves, Sorkin's script is pretty amazing, which is both shocking and exciting to hear.
Ever since that Fincher news hit, I've been trying to convince people that this might actually be good, and that it is definitely not what anyone is expecting. I'm glad I now have a real review of Sorkin's script to back up my initial gut feeling. After learning more about the real story and exactly what Zuckerberg has had to go through - mainly with losing his best friend and ending up in enormous legal battles with almost everyone else - I suggest you go back and re-read that list of questions in the introduction to this article. Those are the kind of fascinating themes that I believe Sorkin is trying to address and that Fincher connected with.
I am very interested to see how this continues to develop. After this review and all the previous news about the adaptation of "The Accidental Billionaires" and so on, I would be more than happy to see Fincher direct this next. Not only is the time right (with social networking being as popular as it is) but I just think this sounds like it could be a great movie. That is, as long as it's just as amazing on the screen as it is on paper.