Best thing to do is start with my most recent activity and work backwards.
The Social Network
On the recommendation of Rob Thomasson I went and saw this film about the creator of Facebook. I nearly said “ostensible creator of Facebook”, but there is little doubt that Mark Zuckerberg did create Facebook; where the doubt comes in is where he got the idea from, which is essentially what the film is about. That, and Zuckerberg’s apparent lifestyle choice of “If I am going to be characterised as a cock, I am going to be the cockiest cock on the planet”.
It was a pleasure to see an old school film that was story driven rather than special effects driven or dependent on the star’s charisma. It was also an achievement to make a film about a bunch of incredibly intelligent, handsome (except Zuckerberg), privileged (ditto) young nerds and geeks that does not require the frequent use of sick bag.
Yes, there were scenes such as the one in the elite fraternity house in Harvard and one at the Henley Regatta when you started thinking that maybe the Taliban wasn’t all bad, but that was surely the intention of the film, to contrast loner Zuckerberg’s obsessive drive to create his own club (the old Groucho Marx maxim probably applies here) because he knew he would never be accepted by the upper echelons of society, despite having a brain the size of a planet.
Lots of witty lines in it, many of them given to Zuckerberg, to leaven the otherwise unremitting diet of dorkish behaviour on his part. At times he is his own worst enema.
The only wholly sympathetic character in the film is Eric Albright (played by Rooney Mara – well, as names go, it’s better than Rooney Wayne), the woman who dumps Zuckerberg at the start of the film (“You are hard work. It’s like going out with a step trainer,”) and who apparently inspires Zuckerberg to set up his phenomenally successful web site (of which I am not a member).
“You're going to be successful, and rich, but you're going to go through life thinking that girls don't like you because you're a nerd, and I want you to know, from the bottom of my heart, that that won't be true. It'll be because you're an asshole.”
A solid 7/10, though according to Internet Movie Database – a web site visited by a high proportion of computer nerds, I’d venture – it is rated 8.5/10, which makes it the 124th best film ever made.