The chances are slimmer than an iPhone 4 that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg will be impressed with the blockbuster-to-be The Social Network scheduled to hit theatres this October. Neither he nor any facebook staff would speak with writer Ben Mezrich for the book the movie is based on, Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal (Doubleday). Instead, Mezrich consulted Zuckerberg's ex-business partner Eduardo Savarin (allegedly a butt of some of that betrayal), and other secondary sources for his information. Not surprising, then, that the result portrays Zuckerberg in an unflattering manner. However, as usual, I will play devil's advocate; coding since he was a pre-teen and a veteran of the caffeine-enabled all-nighters typical of the computer nerd culture, Zuckerberg, nice guy or not, did a mind-blowingly killer job of what he set his mind to.
If you don't remember the book, it could be because it wasn't terribly eloquent. It has the potential to be a watchable movie, though. The dramatic and sensationalized storyline will work well squashed into two hours, especially minus some of Mezrich's clumsier lines. One of my favourites is his description of Facebook's growth pattern as "almost startling." Actually, that's more funny than clumsy. And I'm banking on the chance that the book's punchline makes it in; you can practically hear Mezrich giggling at his own bit of the clever before he finally blurts it out: "A computer program can get you laid."
Actor notes: Jesse Eisenberg, who plays Zuckerberg in the film, looks like Michael Cera in the right light so that counts as nerd credibility. Justin Timberlake's in it, too. What the? That's intriguing. Not to mention Rashida Jones, one of the most beautiful women on the planet, which is fitting since the first versions of Facebook existed primarily to help computer types meet hot girls.