You’ll believe a social can network.
Aaron Sorkin recently signed up for Facebook and it’s apparently for a purpose… he’s writing Facebook: The Movie for Scott Rudin. This has caused some weird consternation among folks on the internet, and I simply don’t get it.
First of all, Sorkin has said that he’s writing a movie about the founding of Facebook. There’s some controversy surrounding the founding of the site, including a lawsuit alleging that the platform uses source code that was intended for another social networking site, HarvardConnection (now called ConnectU). But even if the film isn’t about that, this is a story of entrepreneurship in the digital age, and that’s not a story we’ve seen a lot of in the movies. There’s a Greg Kinnear film coming out about the guy who invented intermittent windshield wipers, but the stories of the digital age have been largely untold in narrative fiction films.
But beyond that, I somehow doubt Aaron Fucking Sorkin signed on to make some sort of weird, tween-oriented adaptation of a social networking site or a kids movie with Facebook at the center. And that goes for producer Scott Rudin, too – that guy is not exactly a dumbass.
The problem people seem to have with the Facebook: The Movie concept is Facebook. It’s the same problem they have with MySpace – being a large platform, it’s used by people they don’t like. It’s snobbishness, plain and simple. I’d like someone to explain to me what’s wrong with Facebook or MySpace without going into a tirade about the users. The concepts of both sites are pretty great, and it’s easy to use both sites to maintain contact with friends and to do networking without ever running into 14 year olds with massive glitter content on their pages. Honestly, bitching about Facebook or MySpace feels to me like bitching about email.
Anyway, I’m interested to see where Sorkin takes this. He’s a master at small, interpersonal dramas, and no one can make a bunch of people in a room talking as exciting and funny as he can. Now, maybe it’s too early for a Facebook: The Movie, because the site’s arc isn’t fully complete, but that’s the only complaint I can bring to bear on this concept. And even that complaint isn’t really worth much since the founding of Facebook will likely be used as a stand-in for the new wave of internet start-ups, a way of looking at the new information economy in a specific context.