Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg might not have really resented the cool kids at Harvard, but I'll bet the director and writer of "The Social Network," David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin, have some snob issues. Real Z denies being obsessed with getting into one of Harvard's social clubs. But members of the Porcellian, especially twin brothers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss (both played by Armie Hammer), come off as pious fops right out of P. G. Wodehouse. A key scene occurs after the duo narrowly loses to a Dutch team at the Henley Rowing Regatta. At a reception afterward, the athletes are wearing sport coats with white piping and look like they're about to sing "He Is An Englishman." I'd guess the filmmakers chose the location mainly so they could flash "Henley-on-Thames" on the screen.
The brothers claim Zuckerberg got the Facebook idea from them (they got a massive settlement in real life) but hesitate to sue at first because it's not what Harvard men do. The real Winklevosses rowed for the U.S. in 2008 in Beijing. Did they deserve their portrayal? Does real Zuckerberg deserve being portrayed by Jesse Eisenberg as an angry, misogynist oddball? Was Napster co-founder and Facebook consultant Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake) really the devilish manipulator (in a San Francisco nightclub, his face is actually lit like a grinning jack-o'-lantern) who persuaded Zuckerberg to betray his best friend and founding CFO?
Sorkin, creator of "The West Wing" and writer of "Charlie Wilson's War," doesn't care. A good story, not accuracy, is the thing, he says. His dialog, including Eisenberg's byte-o-babble, is as dazzling as ever. Close your eyes when Zuckerberg's hectoring his girlfriend, and you can almost hear Mary Louse Parker telling Bradley Whitford, "Dating you is like dating a Stairmaster." The ending is poignant, but again, you don't know what it has to do with Zuckerberg and Facebook. What if your problem is that real Z, who after all is only 26, is nowhere near as interesting as 500 million members and $24 billion? Call Aaron Sorkin.