by pat howard

Coming soon from Aaron Sorkin: The Facebook movie

In Uncategorized on August 28, 2008 at 3:21 am

At first, I thought the news that Aaron Sorkin is writing a Facebook movie was a joke. The prolific screenwriter behind “The American President” and TV’s sensational Sports Night and slightly less sensational The West Wing has been faltering lately with the transparent, painful-to-watch Studio 60 and last season’s Broadway flop “The Farnsworth Invention.” Now he’s tackling the silver screen again with a movie about the inception of Facebook, the social networking phenomenon he admittedly knows nothing about.

Since Variety has now picked up on this, I’m assuming it’s the real deal. In that case, I see two essential problems:

  • The inception of Facebook is currently being disputed in litigation, the outcome of which could likely affect the course or plot of the film.
  • Aaron Sorkin has made no secret in the past of his intense hatred of and disrespect for the Internet and those who dwell there. Why does he want to make a film about (or at least, presumably, for) people whom he once referred to as “hysterical” in a barely veiled West Wing subplot about criticism of his work in the online community. (I guess, though, that the average Facebook user doesn’t do all that much in the way of creating original content or participating in critical thought or discussion.)

Best of luck to Sorkin, I guess. I am befuddled by his choice of this project, which almost surely would be in more capable hands with a screenwriter young enough to have had a Facebook account in the first place. I hope no one says anything too mean to him on that new Facebook page, lest he take all his coke toys and stomp out of yet another online sandbox.

Either way, it’s not like this endeavor could do much to make Facebook any worse than it’s become in recent years. I miss the days of yore, when Facebook was exclusively for students and Sports Night made me excited about the craft of writing. Perhaps this commonality will be the upshot of the film: Facebook, like Sorkin, has become a victim of its own popular success, losing its charm in the process.

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