Sometimes I look around me and feel so alone. This happened when everyone online started talking about Facebook: The Movie and how dumb the idea was. I was baffled by this; first of all, Aaron Sorkin was writing. Aaron Sorkin is a lot of things, including an ex-crackhead, but bad writer isn’t one of them. If Sorkin was on this, this movie was quality.
Secondly, people didn’t seem to understand what the movie could be about. This was maybe even more troubling than the first thing, since it pointed to a huge lack of… well, not even imagination, but just paying attention (yes, I’m talking about you, Hunter Stephenson). The founding of Facebook was a drama, a real rags to douchebags kind of story, and it’s a fascinating one. All over the web people joked about a film that focused on Friend Requests or something, utterly ignoring the fact that the story was right there. It was covered in major magazines and books. It was a modern business drama.
Anyway, the script has escaped into the wild. Yesterday Latino Review’s El Mayimbe got a hold of it and was Twittering about it as he went along: ‘Mark my words, best adapted screenplay nom down the line for this one w/what I read so far. Sorkin’s dialogue alone is genius.’
Now a site called ScriptShadow has weighed in with a full review on what is now being called The Social Network and they too think it’s great.
The script is sprinkled with a lot more humor than I expected – to the point where I wondered if it should be classified as a comedy. What’s wonderful is that all of it works. 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 stuid 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 (Parker ended up selling his portion of the company for – I believe – a couple hundred million dollars).
Part of my love for this 162 page script is that Sorkin doesn’t use any discernible structure. I was constantly looking for a base, an obvious story or goal. And there isn’t any. 99% of the time when this happens, the script’s a disaster (don’t try it. just, don’t) But Sorkin uses some crazy unknown voodoo screenwriting tricks to keep us riveted. In the end, our curiosity is what drives the story as we’re wondering if Sean – who’s already sacrificed his personal life – will end up getting sacrificed out of a business as well. Did he indeed steal this idea from Cameron and Tyler? Or are these two spoiled brats lashing out because they can’t handle the one time things didn’t go their way?
I knew it.
David Fincher is circling this one. I’m hoping to have time to take a look at the script later on today myself; I think this is a big film, not a joke like too many web commentators have treated it. I can’t wait to see this sucker moving forward.
From last summer:
Behind every great book adaptation is a forgettable first try. — By Ryan Covey