IThe Social Network opens with a fun fact: there are more people of genius-level IQ in China than there are people of any kind in America. This is significant to the appreciation of the film in two ways. First, it’s a bold appetizer that sets the stage for a sharp, intelligent opening scene — a break-up at a bar between Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) and Erica Albright (Rooney Mara). It immediately serves notice that the dismal summer is over, and mainstream movies can start to be good again. And this is a very, very good movie.
Second, there is the notion of how it’s not special to be special. Zuckerberg scored a 1600 on his SATs and is a computer genius, but all he wants is entry to Harvard’s exclusive final clubs. He wants it so badly that he feels it’s his only way to impress Albright. When she tells him, “I want you to be the best you you can be,” he treats it like a condescending remark. And after she dumps him, he goes on to create the most inclusive club in the history of humankind: Facebook, the social networking site with more than 500 million members that includes you or most people you know, all trying to be special and reflect the best them they can be.
But let’s go back a step. Zuckerberg walks home after having drinks with Albright and types an angry blog entry about her. Then he lashes out at the world even further, designing a site called Facemash that takes photos of every girl on the mailing lists at the final clubs and puts the pictures up for users to grade them based on their looks. Zuckerberg considers and then dismisses an idea to rank them against farm animals instead, and this awful consideration pops up in the movie repeatedly to make it clear The Social Network, drama, rated PG-13, Regal Stadium 14, 4 chiles