Hey, isn’t that the Facebook movie?

The Social Network came out in theaters this weekend, backed by a substantial buzz for a film that is certain to have viewers intrigued and talking about their favorite online pastime.

The Social Network came out in theaters this weekend, backed by a substantial buzz for a film that is certain to have viewers intrigued and talking about their favorite online pastime.

Years before you spent hours posting the mundane and exciting events of your life, passive-aggressively debating politics or striving for the highest score in Robot Unicorn Attack, Mark Zuckerberg was busy being a bit of a misfit in college.

For example, while attending Harvard in 2003, a heartbroken and drunk Zuckerberg decided to create a highly offensive website rating his fellow female students according to attractiveness. Doing so involved hacking a number of protected university websites and writing computer code overnight. Of course, doing so entertained some while offending even more and made a minor stir in the news.

Shortly after the incident, Zuckerberg would throw himself into a much larger project, something he called “The Facebook,” a social network that highly emphasized exclusivity—initially only available to Harvard students. He brought his best friend Eduardo Saverin on board to basically fund the project for a mere $1,800. After months of work, The Facebook went online and was an instant success.

But of course, as any good story goes, it wasn’t so simple. The Social Network tells not only the story of the popular Facebook, but also relates what happened on a personal level regarding various players, including two lawsuits over the site that Zuckerberg found himself in—one case involving fellow students claiming to have had the idea first, and another involving his best friend Saverin. Between these two cases lies the story of the most well-known social network we all love to use.

Jesse Eisenberg, known for his roles in Zombieland or Adventureland (maybe they should have called this film Social Networkland) takes on the character of Zuckerberg and more than pulls it off. Eisenberg has suffered a bit of typecasting that has placed him in a variety of squirmy and nervous character roles—to many moviegoers, he is interchangeable with Michael Cera—until now. The Social Network should serve to highlight Eisenberg’s acting in a much more serious way and set him apart from his previous roles.

The character of Zuckerberg, while a little nerdy as a computer programmer, is rather complex. Basically, he’s a bit of a prick who, while having great talent in programming, may suffer from a lack of business sense. Best friend Saverin is the opposite, knowing nothing of computers, but savvy in business—though perhaps he suffers from not thinking big enough.

It is slightly humorous to find Justin Timberlake, a product of the music industry hit machine, playing Sean Parker. Parker was the co-founder of Napster, the computer program that turned the music industry on its head and ultimately revealed Lars Ulrich to the world as a huge asshole.

The Social Network has a story that will captivate you. It takes on various angles on the founding of Facebook—the people who contributed and who got screwed over—the friendships created and the many enemies forged.

If that is all the pre-viewing information you can handle, then stop reading now. While this doesn’t ruin or give a single thing away, I will say that the ending is rather abrupt—finishing the film suddenly after building an intense momentum and perhaps leaving a few questions lingering, such as how Facebook ultimately achieved its financial success.

The real-life counterparts to the film’s characters, such as Zuckerberg, have denounced the film as being more fiction than an accurate account. The Social Network, however, does achieve success as a film when all is said and done. In addition to being one of the most intriguing behind-the-scenes stories I’ve ever come across, every aspect of the movie is remarkably well done. When award season hits, don’t be surprised to find The Social Network nabbing a few nominations. At the very least, the film will leave you with the sense that people who go to Harvard are spoiled pretentious jerks.