Will ‘The Social Network’ live up to the hype?


These are photos from a screening of The Social Network last night. Justin Timberlake is in it! Except he’s not the lead, Jesse Eisenberg is. Jesse’s face got cut off in the photos, see? Yeah. That says it all. Timberlake is getting good notices from The Social Network, though, and there’s even talk (don’t laugh) about a possible Oscar nomination for JT. Would that happen? Really? Or is the studio just trying to create buzz?

That’s my problem with this – I want to like The Social Network, and I do want to see it. But I want to see it because films like this don’t get made anymore, and because I respect the pedigree of the people involved. David Fincher directed it – Aaron Sorkin wrote the screenplay. Jesse Eisenberg, a totally solid, underrated actor, gets a big starring role after years of supporting work in independent films. But all anyone is talking about is the dumb stuff, like whether Timberlake will get an Oscar nomination.

The critics universally adore the film though – it’s scoring a 97% on Rotten Tomatoes, which makes it possibly the best-reviewed film of the year, even better than Inception. My favorite go-to critic Roger Ebert thinks it’s wonderful – read his review here. At this point, I do see an Oscar campaign… for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay. But for Timberlake? Um.

So, will The Social Network live up to the hype and be regarded as one of the best films of the year?

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 29: Singer/actor Justin Timberlake and actor Jesse Eisenberg attend Columbia Pictures' and The Cinema Society's screening of 'The Social Network' at the School of Visual Arts Theater on September 29, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 24: (L-R) Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake attend the after party for the premiere of 'The Social Network' during the 48th New York Film Festival at The Harvard Club on September 24, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)

Header: JT on Sept. 29, 2010. Credit: WENN.

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38 Responses to “Will ‘The Social Network’ live up to the hype?”

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  1. Samigirl says:

    I really hope it does. I watched JT on Jimmy Fallon last night. He was funny, charming, and humble. I don’t know if he will win an Oscar, as I haven’t seen the film yet, but I’m betting it is a fantastic movie, and if it is, I hope he does get some kind of award…but if he is in the running against JGL, I will have to switch sides 🙂

  2. mln says:

    I wonder if he is going for an EGOT?

  3. carrie says:

    Timberlake is painful to see in too many movies so i can blame Fincher for that :now Timberlake is watchable and probably nominated for Oscar! After Bullock’s win all can happen(Oscar sucks)

    and JGL will not be nod for Inception:it’s sure because his character isn’t enough meaty

  4. carrie says:

    and Timberlake is not humble or charming but he’s not idiot

  5. CandyKay says:

    It looks good. And even if it isn’t, the fear of being portrayed as a creep in theaters all over the world drove Mark Zuckerberg to give $100 million to the Newark public school system last week. So someone will benefit, even if the movie sucks.

    Zuckerberg actually looks more like Justin Timberlake than Jesse Eisenberg, in my opinion, even if Eisenberg is the better actor.

  6. Kitten says:

    Gah. I’m usually turned off my overhype but I’m going to see this this weekend.
    David Fincher: WIN
    Aaron Sorkin: WIN
    Jesse Eisenberg (AKA The Poor Man’s Michael Cera): Ehhhhhh…

    I’m hearing the screenplay is “flawless” which is pretty high praise.
    I hate Facebook with a passion and I LOVE to have my opinion validated so I think this movie might be just the right fit for me.

  7. Julie says:

    I’ve seen it (an advanced screening for students) and yes, it lives up to the hype. One of my favorite movies in years.

    Maybe Timberlake isn’t humble, but if you meet him in person, the dude could charm an eskimo into buying a lifetime supply of ice. It should also be said that before Justin was even cast there was talk of whoever got the Sean Parker role getting Oscar buzz, based solely on how the character was written.

    Yes, I’ve been following the development of this movie for far too long.

  8. mel says:

    I’m already sick of this film because everyone on the internet and in the media is saying:”YOU MUST SEE IT” and that is getting reaction from me.
    It’s showed down the public’s throats for weeks now. Enough.
    If it’s good it will get it’s audiance but the paid critics ridiculous over the top praise and studio’s aggressive PR is a huge turn off.

    They all act as if it’s the best film of the past decade. It’s about facebook. We live in a recession this kind of thing isn’t on my priority list.

  9. Roma says:

    I’ve seen it at an early screening as well and it was phenomenal. I’m actually surprised by how strong of an actor JT is.

  10. Julie says:

    “It’s about facebook”

    No, it’s not. That’s just a plot device.

  11. lucy2 says:

    The trailer was just OK, but I’ve heard great things. JT might be an OK actor, but I’d be surprised if he were Oscar caliber.
    I liked Jesse in Adventureland, but honestly the previews I’ve seen of him in this all just show him talking VERY fast in a one-note voice, no emotion or change no matter the situation or who he’s talking to. I’m hoping that’s just a poor sampling for the preview, not his whole performance.

  12. Rex says:

    Inception = Dreamscape

  13. Melissa says:

    Absolutely no interest in seeing this ever. Not in the theater, not on DVD, and not if I’m stuck on a plane for 10 hours. It looks boring and annoying and why do I want to watch a movie about a guy who’s an asshole? And what really irks me is how the portray Harvard in the previews. I went to an Ivy League school (not Harvard), and they always portray these schools in movies like everybody’s rich and walks around wearing sport coats with crests on them. What is this, 1950?

  14. Kitten says:

    @ Julie-According to the film’s wiki page, the movie is “about the founding of the social networking website Facebook.”
    Or, for those of us who didn’t go to film school, it’s “about Facebook.”

  15. suki says:

    @kaiser – just wanted to second your nomination for Roger Ebert as the go to critic. He is always right on the money.

    That said, i never read reviews before i see the movie and i try to stay away from any plot spoilers. I really love seeing a movie without knowing anything about it and it is a good way to keep your expectations neutral.

    I guess it is hard to stay away from the reviews if you write a blog and need to report the buzz 🙂

  16. Annicka says:

    I can’t believe the story of Facebook was even made into a movie. It’s a stupid idea. It’s a WEBSITE. Am I on Facebook right now? Yes I am. But I don’t need or want to see a movie chronicling it’s creation.

  17. gem says:

    I hate fb dumb concept, i won’t be spending my money on the tenth “must see” movie of the year no thanks no interest

  18. Delta Juliet says:

    I’m with Melissa. Thank goodness because I thought I was the only person who thought this looks like the.most.boring.movie.ever.

    But I’ve been wrong before 😉

  19. DetRiotgirl says:

    I hate facebook with a passion. So, no matter how douchey they manage to make the founder look, I will continue to have zero interest in seeing this film. I don’t need my disdain for facebook to be validated in order to feel confident about my opinion.

  20. Rianna says:

    Saw it at a screening in LA. It’s excellent. Even Justin Timberlake will surprise people. He’s really good. And Trent Reznor (NIN) did the score — very impressive.

  21. Lindsay says:

    I had no interest in seeing it at all. I was offered a chance to see it early for free and so I went. It was REALLY good.

    @Julie- then what would you say it is about.

  22. lu says:

    Just because he gave a good performance doesn’t mean he is a good actor.
    Bullock, Roberts, aren’t that great and they won an oscar for their good performances. I still don’t want him to be nominated nor anywhere near that oscar.

  23. artista says:

    I hate Timberlake. You are not a young George Clooney. You are a former mouseketeer, and member number one of the worst boy band ever.

    PS a movie about stealing classmates.com’s idea and making it free doesn’t interest me.

  24. jen says:

    Movie Exec #1: “Let’s make a movie about Facebook!”

    Movie Exec #2: “Yeah, that’s a great idea!”

    Hollywood is truly out of ideas.

  25. Camille says:

    I have no desire to see this movie at all. I would probably only watch it if it came onto TV and I had nothing better to do.

  26. Missy Aggravation says:

    I am one of the few members of my generation to not have a facebook account.

    Don’t get me wrong – I’ve considered it briefly from time to time, but I have a cell phone and a forum account (here!) and that’s about as much personal information as I want to concede over the internet.

    So a movie about self-important people who market a networking site for other self-important people to stay in contact their self-important friends?* No thanks.

    (*I should add the disclaimer that I feel like I lost out on a job I was abundantly qualified for and really, really wanted because I’m not in “the social network.” Fuck you, D* Public Library. Hire all your fucking facebook friends. I’m only reading ebooks from here on out. . . Fuckers.)

  27. Confuzzle says:

    A two hour ad for a fad website? Wher’s the movie about ICQ? Second Life? Yawn. Facebook will die and some other fad will take its place.

  28. Julie says:

    The movie portrays Mark Zuckerberg, the found of facebook, as a near sociopathic jerk. I’m not sure how that would be considered an ad.

    But hey, if you all want to act hoity toity, that’s fine, you’re missing out on a great flick.

  29. SoulLovah says:

    I’ve never heard of the lead actor, and I wish I could hear more of him and less of Justin, but just from the commercials he looks pretty talented. I wanna see it.

  30. anon says:

    I think Facebook is really for old people who have no business, so they can see what their young relatives are up to 🙂 If I was of the Facebook generation I would not have an account. I would be doing something else. It’s also good for catching up with other old people you haven’t heard from that you knew 30 years ago and I don’t go to the movies. Still I always hope they (movies) do well, so I hope the people that count show up.

  31. Mouse says:

    Never liked Justin, never will. Does he actually need those glasses or is he trying too hard to get people to take him seriously? Whatevs.

    Jesse is adorable. Will you add him to HGF this week?? Yum!

  32. M.Adhler says:

    I might see it if JT wasn’t in it.

  33. CB Rawks says:

    “I wonder if he is going for an EGOT?”

    Nice 😀 Loves me some 30 Rock.

  34. CB Rawks says:

    SoulLovah, Jesse Eisenberg is in Zombieland, which you should see just because it’s thoroughly awesome!

  35. Zelda says:

    When I went to see Inception they showed the trailer for this. Everyone in the theatre laughed. How do you dramatize facebook and copyright laws in any way that is not laughable and self-important?
    I cannot believe it is getting such rave reviews. Countdown to the e-Harmony romantic comedy starts here.

  36. Chris says:

    @Celebitchy: Are you kidding? I claimed I’d seen the movie and wrote a ridiculous fake spoiler where I said the movie ends in bloodshed when Timberlake’s character gets gunned down by the My Space Posse.

    Then I underneath I wrote “But seriously” I’ll probably just wait to see it on DVD, which indicated that I hadn’t seen it and I’d made up the spoiler. So on the upside at least I haven’t ruined it for you. 🙂
    Sometimes when I’m sitting on a train and someone’s reading a book I’ll point at the book and say he dies in the end. Some of the reactions are priceless. 🙂

  37. Jazz says:

    Who let Timberlake in movies? :-/

  38. Tiffany says:

    I want to see this movie, but with Timberlake out promoting the hell out of it like he is the lead is what is turning me off. I cannot contribute to this guy continuing to make movies. When he was on SNL last week, Andy Sanburg asked a great question, ‘When are tou going to start make music again?’ Truer words never spoken.