After previously claiming that he had no plans to see the film himself, Mark Zuckerberg has finally fessed up to attending a screening of The Social Network, (the number one movie in the country two weekends in a row) and he was actually a bit more forthcoming with his thoughts than one might expect. At a start-up conference over the weekend, Zuckerberg talked about the accuracy of the David Fincher-directed film: “It’s interesting what stuff they focused on getting right; like, every single shirt and fleece that I had in that movie is actually a shirt or fleece that I own” Zuckerberg remarked.
Zuckerberg’s also not shy about his criticisms of the film. “I think it’s just such a big disconnect from the way that the people who make movies think about what we do in Silicon Valley,” he said, “They just can’t wrap their head around the idea that someone might build something because they like building things.” Hit the jump for more of Zuckerberg’s thoughts on the flick.
One of the larger details that Zuckerberg says the Aaron Sorkin-penned film got wrong was his supposed break-up that, in the movie, triggers the creation of Facebook precursor facemash.com:
The thing that I think is most thematically interesting that they got wrong is the whole framing of the movie. The way that it starts is that I’m with this girl who doesn’t exist in real life who dumps me — which has happened in real life a lot — and basically, they frame it as if the whole reason for making Facebook and building something was because I wanted to get girls or I wanted to get into some sort of social institution. The reality for people who know me is I’ve actually been dating the same girl since before I started Facebook, so obviously that’s not a part of it.
This would be news to screenwriter Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing), who had been touting the film as nonfiction during the US press tour. In his recent response to criticisms that The Social Network is misogynistic, Sorkin claims that not only was the girlfriend in the opening scene of the movie (played by Rooney Mara, currently filming the starring role in David Fincher’s adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo) real, but he changed her name to avoid embarrassment.
Whatever the validity of Zuckerberg’s criticisms, The Social Network is still poised for a big night at the Academy Awards in February. The film is an early frontrunner to be nominated for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay. Jesse Eisenberg and Andrew Garfield also have decent shots at scoring Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor noms, respectively. Don’t be surprised if Fincher’s name comes up in the Best Director field as well.