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October 3, 2010


The Social Network and DFW

The Social Network bar scene

The Social Network is #1 this weekend, which is lucky for whoever decided to saturate the universe with ads for the last 2 months.

I don't whole-heartedly love David Fincher's movies, or rather, I completely love them for the first 1/3, think the second 1/3 is pretty good, and the last 1/3 either runs out of steam or falls off a cliff. But this one was a lot more even and consistent, and the movie's energy didn't start to flag until the last 20 minutes or so.

The acting is fantastic--Jesse Eisenberg is going to be Hollywood's biggest sweetheart, and Armand Hammer (really!), the man who was born to play the uber-WASP Winklevoss twins, is really hilarious. For some reason I hadn't been expecting much comedy, but these actors could handle Aaron Sorkin's po-faced earnestness and make it sound like how normal, funny people talk.

At the end of the opening scene when Mark Zuckerberg gets dumped, his ex-girlfriend's closing line went something like this: "You're going to think that girls don't like you because you're a nerd. And that won't be true. It will be because you're an asshole."

Anyone else think about David Foster Wallace's 1997 essay about John Updike and the other Great Male Narcissists when she said that? The essay presents a thoughtful argument about the weird sexual obsessiveness, loneliness, and misogyny in Updike's books, and then ends like this: "It's not that [Updike's main character] is stupid ... His unhappiness is obvious right from the book's first page. But it never once occurs to him that the reason he's so unhappy is that he's an asshole."

Maybe a little bit of unintentional DFW inspiration/lifting from Aaron Sorkin by way of Erica Albright, there.

categories: Books, Movies
posted by amy at 9:50 PM | #

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That may be my favorite DFW line ever. I seriously use it, like, once a week.

Posted by: That Fuzzy Bastarrd at October 5, 2010 11:15 AM

It's a really good one. That "he's an asshole" comes as such a brusque slap in the face after DFW's characteristic page-long sentences and emotional vacillation.

Posted by: amy at October 6, 2010 1:10 AM

And so perfectly captures what's irritating about Updike---that utterly 50s sense of (sexual) entitlement, masquerading as a free spirit.

Posted by: That Fuzzy Bastard at October 6, 2010 11:05 AM

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