Discussion Questions for The Social Network
1) While they’re still fresh, discuss your first impressions of The Social Network. What images or dialogue from the film linger in your mind? What does it leave you thinking about?
2) One reviewer dubbed TSN, Five Angry Men. Who are the angry men in the film? Why are they angry?
3) In my review I assert that TSN isn’t about Mark Zuckberg or Facebook; it’s about relationships. In your opinion is this a fair charge?
4) There are two central male/female relationships portrayed in the Social Network: Mark and Erica, and Eduardo and Christy. Two others – Sean and Amelia, and Mark and Alice- get less face time. Describe all 4. What is it in each relationship that brings the couple together? While they’re together—and none are for very long—what is it that keeps them together?
5) Two women in The Social Network describe Mark in very different terms.
Erica: “You are probably going to be a very successful computer person. 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 a**hole.
Marilyn: “You're not an a**hole, Mark. You're just trying so hard to be.”
Which in your opinion is closer to the mark (no pun intended) and why? Which, if either, do you think comes closer to Aaron Sorkin’s view of Mark? Defend you answer.
6) Discuss how women are portrayed in The Social Network, from Facemash to romance to legal counsel. Is The Social Network implicitly misogynist? If not how does it escape that charge?
7) Imagine you were on the jury, hearing the Winkelvosses’ lawsuit against Zuckerberg just as it’s laid out in TSN. How would you have ruled? Don’t base your verdict on your understanding of intellectual property law, but on your own sense of fairness. In your opinion, who deserves to win and why?
8) Same question, but different lawsuit. This time it’s Zuckerberg vs. Eduardo Saverin.
9) In a recent review Sorkin said,
“This thing — social networking, and obviously Facebook is the king of that — which was meant to connect all of us and bring us closer together, I don't think it's done that. I think it's done the opposite. I think we're now by ourselves, inventing new identities, performing for each other. I think it's an insincere form of connection. But, let me quickly add that that is an opinion that has absolutely nothing to do with the movie. You can love Facebook, hate Facebook, never have heard of Facebook, be indifferent to Facebook, and that will not affect your enjoyment of the movie anymore than being a fan of bank robberies is going to affect your enjoyment of The Town.” Discuss this quote.
10) Are you on Facebook? If so, why? If not, why not?