25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: DOLLFACE – HISTORY BUFF

Kat Dennings in Dollface (2019)

Starring

Kat Dennings (2 Broke Girls)
Brenda Song (New Girl)
Shay Mitchell (You)
Esther Povitsky (Alone Together)

Macaulay Culkin in Dollface (2019)

Recurring/ Notable Guest Cast

Beth Grant (Speed 2)
Connor Hines (Angie Tribeca)
Camilla Belle (When A Stranger Calls)
Macaulay Culkin (Saved)

Kat Dennings in Dollface (2019)Dollface Season 1, Episode 6, “History Buff” throws the audience an important question — what do you do when faced with seeing your ex with a new partner? The episode sees Los Angeles experience mini-quakes, and there is a fear that a “Big One” is coming to hit the city. The girls are panicking about the potential major earthquake and they are battening down the hatches by gathering supplies. But Madison (Brenda Song), controlling as always, questions her friends’ choice of supplies. Stella also realizes that Madison takes her control too far, manipulating life events to “protect them”. As for Jules, her fear of the “Big One” is running into her ex with a new girl. As always, we are introduced to the cat lady but this time in a news studio where they discuss the likelihood of bumping into your ex and being unprepared. Jules believes it is unlikely, and also, SantaCon is around the corner — what is the worst that can happen?Jägermeister-Bottle-Held-by-Shay-Mitchell-as-Stella-Cole-in-Dollface-Season-1-Episode-6-780x439While the girls prepare for SantaCon, Jules heads to a museum and ends up seeing her ex with a strikingly attractive young woman and her worst fears come crashing down on her. At the same time, Stella introduces her new date to Madison and Izzy, but Stella believes he may be a killer and starts trying to control the situation, which is irritating Stella. Madison calls Jules wondering where she is and another mini-quake hits, shutting down the museum and leaving Jules trapped with her ex and his new girlfriend. Jules does everything in her power to avoid Jeremy but eventually, they cross paths when she changes out of her Santa outfit into something more appealing, but then she is arrested for looting the museum. On the way to the museum, Stella’s date gets more and more suspect, but Stella does not want to give into Madison. Eventually, Stella’s date starts showing his true colors and they kick him off the Santa carriage. As the girls arrive in the museum, Jeremy speaks to the arrested Jules and claims he visited a museum today because he felt selfish when he refused to go visit these places when they were together. Madison demands that the security guard lets her free.Screenshot-2019-11-09-at-13.10.29A Great episode for a great series, nice to see Macaulay Culkin acting again playing a very funny but creepy character. A great episode to watch this Christmas.

REVIEW: DOLLFACE – SEASON 1

 

Kat Dennings in Dollface (2019)

Starring

Kat Dennings (2 Broke Girls)
Brenda Song (New Girl)
Shay Mitchell (You)
Esther Povitsky (Alone Together)

Brenda Song and Kat Dennings in Dollface (2019)

Recurring/ Notable Guest Cast

Shelley Hennig (Ouija)
Beth Grant (Speed 2)
Danielle Pinnock (Young Sheldon)
Connor Hines (Angie Tribeca)
Goran Visnjic (Beginners)
Macaulay Culkin.(Saved)
Matthew Gray Gubler (Criminal Minds)
Dave Coulier (Full House)
Malin Akerman (Watchmen)
Joey Lawrence (Melissa & Joey)
Tia Carrere (True Lies)
Brianne Howey (Batwoman
Ben Lawson (13 Reasons Why)
Camilla Belle (When A Stranger Calls)
Vella Lovell (She-Ra and the Princesses of Power)
Margot Robbie (Suicide Squad)

Kat Dennings and Shay Mitchell in Dollface (2019)

Some shows you just have to give yourself over to. You just can’t fight what it’s trying to do. Hulu’s new series Dollface asks for your cooperation almost immediately. After being summarily dumped by her boyfriend Jeremy (Connor Hines), a devastated Jules (Kat Dennings) boards a bus driven by a literal cat lady (Beth Grant). The bus is filled with other brokenhearted women and makes stops in places like “Rebound Town.”Kat Dennings in Dollface (2019)From the start, you have to decide whether you’re going to be in or out on the comedy’s frequent flights of fancy. In the third episode, Jules (a homebody), gets pulled into a game of “Should She Go Out,” hosted by the cat lady (naturally) where behind one door is the “baby shower of the former co-worker’s second kid.” That joke speaks to my very core because I’ve been there, and if you are a woman in these pivotal years, you’ve probably been there too. I easily decided to go all-in on the series, because Dollface—created by 26-year-old Jordan Weiss—does a fantastic job of balancing the show’s fever-dream segments with real human pathos.Kat Dennings and Shay Mitchell in Dollface (2019)We learn that Jules and Jeremy were together for five years, and during that time Jules (who Jeremy called “Dollface”) made the mistake of letting her female friendships slip away. “Your personal relationships have all expired,” she’s told at the bus’s final stop. That means her two former best friends Stella (Shay Mitchell) and Madison (Brenda Song) are very resentful about being ignored. It also means she has no friends at work, and when she tries to have lunch with a group of Allisons, their lunch table keeps moving farther and farther away from her.Kat Dennings in Dollface (2019)The series plays out like Sex and the City for the millennial generation, but with less sex and more emphasis on friendships. There’s Izzy (Esther Povitsky) who is so desperate for friends that she morphs into whatever she thinks people want her to be. To play my Sex and the City analogy out, she’s the Charlotte of the group. Madison, the high achieving publicist whose current task is to launch a cookbook called “The Vegan Monologues,” is clearly the Miranda. Stella who has tales of sexual escapades and knows random celebrities (including both Uncle Joey and Joey Lawrence) is the Samantha, leaving Jules as the more grounded Carrie.Brenda Song, Kat Dennings, and Shay Mitchell in Dollface (2019)Dollface is full of pop culture references. Jules and Jeremy share cats named “Johnny Drama” and “Turtle.” Stella wants to hit the new bar owned by Armie Hammer and Niall from One Direction. Izzy orders a whiskey neat, which she declares to taste like “Don Draper and gasoline.” And Malin Ackerman is a hoot as the CEO of Womb, the company where Jules works—she wants Jules to be able to do things like upload the scent of a new spray into the computer. The guest stars are also fun. Goran Visnjic shows up in the fifth episode as the older man Madison is dating. She wants to impress him by inviting him to a dinner party with her friends, where acceptable topics for conversation range from the absence of the middle class to the TV show Frasier. Macaulay Culkin guests in the sixth episode as a man Stella met on a ski trip who she thinks is great, but Madison thinks may be a psychopath.Kat Dennings in Dollface (2019)Ultimately, the series really works because of the strong performances. Mitchell, who is perhaps best known for her seven seasons on Pretty Little Liars, brings a real sense of sadness to Stella’s perpetual party style. “There’s a version of settled-down me I’m interested in meeting,” she tells Jules. Song, who began her career on the Disney Channel, goes beyond the stereotype of a high-achiever. None of these actresses let their characters become a cliché. Anyone who has watched Kat Dennings (who, by the way, guested in Sex and the City as a spoiled 13-year-old planning her bat mitzvah) knows she deserves a TV hit. Her talents far exceeded the six seasons she spent on 2 Broke Girls. Dollface leans into Dennings’ innate charms. She’s a great everywoman trying to navigate the tricky landscape of female friendships in your twenties. She wants to rekindle those friendships, she just doesn’t know how. This is the journey that Dollface wants to take you on, so long as you are willing to give yourself over to it. And you should—bus-driving cat lady and all.

 

REVIEW: SUPERSTORE – SEASON 2

 

Mark McKinney, America Ferrera, Ben Feldman, Colton Dunn, Lauren Ash, Nichole Bloom, and Nico Santos in Superstore (2015)

Starring

America Ferrera (Ugly Betty)
Ben Feldman (As Above So Below)
Lauren Ash (She-Ra and The Princesses of Power)
Colton Dunn (Bad Internet)
Nico Santos (2 Broke Girls)
Nichole Bloom (Project X)
Mark McKinney (3rd Rock From The Sun)

America Ferrera, Ben Feldman, and Colton Dunn in Superstore (2015)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Johnny Pemberton (Son of Zorn)
Kaliko Kauahi (Hall Pass)
Ryan Gaul (Identity Thief)
Josh Lawson (Anchorman 2)
Cecily Strong (The Boss)
Tara Lipinski (Kidding)
McKayla Maroney (Bones)
Sarah Dumont (Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse)
Carla Renata (Living Bibilically)
Michael Bunin (My Boys)
Nate Torrence (Get Smart)
Brooke Dillman (Superbad)
Azie Tesfai (Supergirl)
Ravi Patel (American Housewife)
Jeremy Howard (Breaking Bad)
Artemis Pebdani (Son of Zorn)
Isabella Day (The Escort)
Tony Plana (Ugly Betty)
E.J. Callahan (Bubble Boy)
Brenda Song (Dollface)

America Ferrera and Ben Feldman in Superstore (2015)Superstore, the NBC sitcom began as a pretty ho-hum network comedy. Created by The Office writer Justin Spitzer, Superstore updates that show’s small-town, regional paper company to a fictional big-box chain store called Cloud 9 in St. Louis, Missouri — the kind of place where the employees of a small-town regional paper company might find themselves working when they’re inevitably laid off.By the end of Superstore’s first season, the show had deepened its critique of the soul-crushing nature of retail work: The season ended with the store’s employees — led by Amy (America Ferrera) and Jonah (Ben Feldman) — walking out in solidarity with Cheyenne (Nichole Bloom), a pregnant, 17-year-old worker who was denied maternity leave. Consequently, its second season has been more urgent and focused than the first, even as the show’s universe has expanded to include minor characters who were essentially background players at the series’ start.Mark McKinney in Superstore (2015)In one episode midway through the current season, “Ladies’ Lunch,” Cloud 9’s hardboiled assistant store manager, Dina (Superstore MVP Lauren Ash), takes a group of female employees out for lunch after the whole store discovers that Amy and her husband are in marriage counselling. There, the timid Sandra (Kaliko Kauahi) — a character who, up until then, was notable mostly for getting herself stuck on a high shelf without a ladder when the employees accidentally lock themselves in for the night — takes advantage of a rumor that district manager Jeff (Michael Bunin) is dating someone in the store. A misunderstanding leads the Cloud 9 employees to assume that Sandra is the culprit, and when the women ask her what it’s like to date Jeff, she gets a far-off look in her eyes and goes into a little too much detail describing her fantasy relationship.America Ferrera and Ben Feldman in Superstore (2015)It’s a moment that forces the viewer to look closely at a character we probably hadn’t really noticed before. The writers did this a lot throughout the second season, subtly widening the show’s scope to include minor characters in major plotlines. Despite the traditional, situation-of-the-week format, several through lines began to surface over the course of the second season: Glenn (Mark McKinney), the softie store manager, makes multiple references to the family hardware store — his nirvana — he used to run, before Cloud 9 bought them out; warehouse manager Marcus (Jon Barinholtz, Ike’s brother) is constantly asking co-workers to socialize after hours, an offer no one seems to want to take him up on; casual remarks about the store’s vulnerability to tornadoes (it’s the Midwest, don’t forget) aboundAmerica Ferrera, Ben Feldman, Colton Dunn, Carla Renata, Nichole Bloom, and Nico Santos in Superstore (2015)Those remarks finally take their toll in the finale, “Tornado,” in which the store gets hit by a tornado. One of the show’s dominant themes — the lack of control Cloud 9’s workers have over the conditions of their labor — is writ large when the impending storm traps everyone in the store, powerless to do anything but wait.Mark McKinney, America Ferrera, Ben Feldman, Colton Dunn, Lauren Ash, Nichole Bloom, and Nico Santos in Superstore (2015)On top of everything, in the finale, Glenn must choose six associates to lay off, as per corporate’s instructions — a task that paralyzes the boss and sends his employees into an anxiety spiral. The nature of Cloud 9’s corporate hierarchy means even Glenn has little influence over the store he manages: In a previous episode, the store’s heating system breaks down, but since it’s controlled by corporate, there’s nothing he can do; feeling depressed and obsolete, he admits he doesn’t even need to be there to unlock and lock the doors each day, since that’s all done by a computer somewhere far away.America Ferrera and Ben Feldman in Superstore (2015)Glenn learns what the rest of his employees have already figured out, namely, that they can only control their relationships with each other. That’s a bittersweet realization. A job is only as good as the people you work with, but the people you work with can’t give you paid maternity leave, or a living wage, or the guarantee of a safe work space. But there’s one thing they can provide that the Cloud 9 corporate overlords sure won’t: The dignity of being treated like a human being.

 

REVIEW: NEW GIRL – SEASON 3

Starring

Zooey Deschanel (Bridge to Terabithia)
Jake Johnson (Jurrasic World)
Max Greenfield (Veronica Mars)
Lamorne Morris (Game Night)
Hannah Simone (Oldboy)

Zooey Deschanel and Jake Johnson in New Girl (2011)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Merritt Weaver (Signs)
Dreama Walker (Compliance)
Eva Amurri Martino (Saved)
Curtis Armstronng (American Dad)
Brenda Song (Dads)
Riki Lindhome (The Lego Batman Movie)
Jon Lovitz (Happiness)
Taye Diggs (Go)
Damon Wayans Jr. (Let’s Be Cops)
Jessica Chaffin (The HEat)
Brian Posehn (The Big Bang Theory)
Bob Gunton (Daredevil)
Gillian Vigman (The Hangover)
Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween)
Ben Falcone (Enough Said)
June Diane Raphael (Year One0
Josh Gad (Frozen)
Prince (Graffiti Bridge)
Adam Brody (Jennifer’s Body)
Mary Elizabeth Ellis (Santa Clarita Diet)
Tiffany Haddish (Girls Trip)
Linda Cardellini (Scooby-Doo)
Alexandra Daddario (Baywatch)
Stevie Nelson (The Mad Ones)
Kerri Kenney (Wanderlust)
Rob Reiner (EDTV)

Zooey Deschanel, Mark Proksch, Angela Kinsey, and Dreama Walker in New Girl (2011)Coach’s return was a little unexpected, there was already a great ensemble, why mess with it? For those who don’t know, Coach was one of the original characters from the pilot. Wayans’s was already cast in Happy Endings, but with Happy Endings suffering in the ratings, it was expected to be cancelled, leaving Wayans’s free to find another role. It didn’t get cancelled, and New Girl even benefited with the addition of Winston. Eventually, Happy Endings was cancelled, and Coach comes back. Coach’s return to, guess what, coaching was inspired, and his slight change in focus really benefits both him and Schmidt, as well as the show as a whole. By the end of the season, it feels like Coach has always been there!Max Greenfield and Jake Johnson in New Girl (2011)Then there is Winston. It really is a testament to Lamorne Morris’s ability as an actor and comic that he has got so much out of character that doesn’t really have much to do. I think he’s one of the least developed characters, and with so much focus on Nick & Jess, the re-introduction of Coach and Schmidt’s all round issues, he’s left to fill out episode storylines without getting much development himself. The comic relief Winston provides is necessary to balance out the drama with the other characters, but it’s a shame so much of it is just short story arcs or lasts just a single episode. If there’s any area I’d like season 4 to develop, it’s Winston. There is just too much talent and comedy to ignore.Zooey Deschanel, Max Greenfield, Damon Wayans Jr., Lamorne Morris, and Jake Johnson in New Girl (2011)New Girl continues its solid track record, producing a classic relationship season without losing the fact it’s a comedy at heart. Well executed by all involved.

REVIEW: NEW GIRL – SEASON 2

Starring

Zooey Deschanel (Bridge to Terabithia)
Jake Johnson (Jurrasic World)
Max Greenfield (Veronica Mars)
Lamorne Morris (Game Night)
Hannah Simone (Oldboy)

Zooey Deschanel in New Girl (2011)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Parker Posey (Superman Returns)
Rachael Harris (Lucifer)
Nelson Franklin (Captain Marvel)
David Walton (Bad Moms)
Raymond J. Barry (Falling Down)
Josh Gad (Murder on The Orient Express)
Kali Hawk (Bridesmaids)
Rebecca Reid (I Live With Models)
Carla Gugino (Watchmen)
Molly Cheek (American Pie)
Rob Riggle (21 Jump Street)
Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween)
Rob Reiner (This Is Spinal Tap)
Lauren Dair Owens (Astrid Clover)
June Diane Raphael (Year One)
Jeff Kober (Buffy: TVS)
Olivia Munn (X-Men: Apocalypse)
Dennis Farina (Get Shorty)
Nate Corddry (Mom)
Brenda Song (Dads)
Brooklyn Decker (Battleship)
Satya Bhabha (Sense8)
Michael Vlamis (Roswell, New Mexico)
Odette Annable (Supergirl)
Margo Martindale (Sneaky Pete)
Ellen Albertini Dow (Wedding Crashers)
Nick Kroll (Sing)
Dermot Mulroney (Young Guns)
Ron Funches (Powerless)
Merritt Wever (Signs)
Johnny Pemberton (Son of Zorn)
Curtis Armstrong (American Dad)
Mary Lynn Rajskub (2 Broke Girls)
Taylor Swift (The Giver)
Ajay Mehta (Anger Management)
Ariela Barer (Runaways)

Zooey Deschanel in New Girl (2011)The first season of New Girl established the will-they-won’t-they pairing of Nick and Jess and the they-did-will-it-last coupling of Schmidt and CeCe, so the second season is all about raising the stakes for them. For Nick and Jess this takes the form of bad relationships keeping their minds off messing with the loft dynamic by dating a roommate. Though each has some legitimate opportunities for happiness, be it Jess’ commitment-phobic Dr. Sam or Nick’s sexually adventurous stripper girlfriend (played by Olivia Munn.) However knowing that there remains a chance they could end up together leads to frequent self-sabotage.Zooey Deschanel and David Walton in New Girl (2011)As much as Deschannel is the star of the show, Johnson has quietly become just as integral, as Nick grows and discovers himself, with the help of his future self and a water-massaging elderly Asian gentleman (the show can get weird sometimes.)For Schmidt and CeCe, reality is far less promising, as CeCe begins to sense her biological clock is ticking, and finds herself on a course for an arranged marriage to a pleasant man who just isn’t Schmidt. Meanwhile, the one true Schmidt seeks to alleviate the impending loss of his caramel queen by running back to his one true love, Elizabeth, a girl he dated in college, when he was hundreds of pounds heavier. It sets up a troubling love triangle, as the real Schmidt is just right for Elizabeth, but the Schmidt he wants to be is a perfect match for CeCe.Zooey Deschanel, Maria Thayer, and Jake Johnson in New Girl (2011)While there’s a grimy aspect to Schmidt keeping two women secret from each other, on the other hand, Greenfield makes it work by showing Schmidt cares about both women and is, oddly, doing it to not hurt either of them, rather than out of some sort of romantic greed. It’s an unusual situation, and one the show handles well.The focus on Schmidt and CeCe this season unleashes the show’s secret weapon, as Simone proves to be one of the most consistently funny performers in the series, popping in a look or a delivery that’s just perfect for the situation. Many of the show’s best moments this season grow out of CeCe’s on and off again connection with Schmidt, with the season’s home-stretch existing only thanks to the culture clash that grows from her arranged marriage, Part of what makes her so entertaining is how her exotic beauty gets betrayed to hilarious effect by her ability to be wonderfully silly. (The other benefit of having CeCe around is the presence of her Russian modeling pal Nadia (Rebecca Reid), who is economically hysterical, with a higher laugh to word ratio than anyone on TV.)Jamie Lee Curtis, Zooey Deschanel, Max Greenfield, and Hannah Simone in New Girl (2011)The mix in the loft is why the show works so well, as the quartet of roomies and friends behaves realistically, no matter how offbeat the situation may be or how odd the four may sometimes get. So whether it’s Schmidt feeling old thanks to some hipsters who have imoved in and befriended Jess, the exploration of the group’s most annoying aspects (a.k.a. “pogos”) or Winston struggling with his period, they mercilessly tease each other, but have each other’s back to the end. This is never more clearly illustrated than in “Virgins,” where the crew one-up each other with their horrible tales of their first sexual experiences. The way they interact is as close to real friends as anything on TV.Zooey Deschanel and Hannah Simone in New Girl (2011)With the series expanding upon the world created in the first season, we get to meet more of the people in the lives of the four roommates, and those additions were rather impressive, to go with returning speicial guests, like June Diane Raphael (playing Jess’ lesbian gynocologist.) The late Dennis Farina had a great turn as Nick’s con-man father, while Margot Martindale plays his brassy mom, Nick Kroll is his dim-witted brother and Bill Burr is his Beantown cousin. Meanwhile on Jess’ side, they snagged Rob Reiner and Jamie Lee Curtis to play her feuding parents (and Reiner should become a series regular as her dad). Add in Rob Riggle as Schmidt’s brother, Carla Gugino as his sexually-aggressive boss and Brenda Song as Winston’s new lady friend, and the show managed to cultivate a fine ensemble outside of the core five, expanding and improving the series.Zooey Deschanel, David Walton, Olivia Munn, and Jake Johnson in New Girl (2011)The natural progression of the relationships between Nick and Jess and Schmidt and CeCe, along with the changes in the world around them, made for an entertaining season that balanced silly fun with genuine emotion.

REVIEW: THE SOCIAL NETWORK

 

CAST

Jesse Eisenberg (Batman v Superman)
Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spider-Man)
Armie Hammer (The Lone Ranger)
Justin Timberlake (Friends With Benefits)
Rooney Mara (Her)
Dakota Johnson (Fifty Shades of Grey)
Rashida Jones (I Love You, Man)
Josh Pence (The Dark Knight Rises)
Malese Jow (The Vampire Diaries)
Lacey Beeman (Power Rangers Time Force)
Jason Flemyng (Snatch)
Jessie Heiman (Chuck)
Riley Voelkel (The Originals)
Joseph Mazzello (Jurassic Park)
Barry Livingston (Argo)
Max Minghella (Horns)
Brenda Song (Dads)
Oliver Muirhead (Like Crazy)
Caleb Landry Jones (Get Out)

MV5BZmRiMzA2MzAtNzAxZC00M2EyLTg1NDctODJkOWQ1MGEyM2UzXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMzY5MzAxMDc@._V1_David Fincher’s The Social Network is a business procedural played with the intensity of a thriller and the ingenuity of a screwball comedy. It’s something of a departure for the filmmaker, whose pictures lean toward visual pyrotechnics and darker, more disturbing themes. Handling a screenplay by Aaron Sorkin that consists primarily of people in rooms talking, and in which the violence is purely psychological, he curbs his occasional excesses and cooks up his most satisfying film to date. Though mining (with some significant departures from the official record) the origin story of Facebook, a presumably of-the-moment phenomenon, Fincher and Sorkin have made a movie that is about more than its ostensible subject. Yes, The Social Network examines, at least implicitly, the cultural moment that precipitates the explosion of a site that aims specifically to make the social experience a virtual construct. But where the film strikes oil is in understanding the kind of guy who would want to create that experience.His name is Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg), and the opening scene that introduces him is a whiz-bang Sorkin special–a flurry of rat-tat-tat dialogue and cranked-up interplay in which characters talk non-stop while revealing themselves only accidentally. Zuckerberg, a smug Harvard sophomore obsessed with the university social hierarchy that he cannot penetrate, is out with his girlfriend Erica (Rooney Mara); he clearly sees himself as smarter than her (she attends lowly Boston University), but she’s so adroit at conversational maneuvers that before he realizes it, she’s broken up with him. Depressed and half-drunk, he goes back to his dorm, blogs some hurtful things about her, and concocts a website called “facemash” that pulls pictures from campus sites and lets students rank the women against each other. Fincher gives this embryonic sequence the finesse and energy of an action scene–particularly as he intercuts the rich and powerful “club” kids living the life Mark longs for, the velvety seductiveness of the haves in sharp contrast to the laptop tappings of the have-nots.MV5BYjUyYzEzNTMtYzVlYS00ZDJlLWE0MzAtZDU0ZWM2YjE3NWU4XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMzQ3Nzk5MTU@._V1_The program crashes Harvard’s server and gets him called on the university carpet, but it also catches the attention of would-be power broker Divya Narenda (Max Minghella) and irritatingly entitled rich twins Tyler and Cameron Winlevoss (both played by Armie Hammer). The trio approaches Mark with an idea for a new networking site–“The Harvard Connection,” a school-wide apparatus for profiles, pictures, and so on. Mark jumps in, but decides almost immediately that he can do this thing better than they can; he builds on the concept, hits up his best friend–and occasional conscience–Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield) for a grand or so in start-up funds, and launches his version, “the facebook.”The complex saga of the rise of Facebook (and of Zuckerberg) is told in interlocking depositions (“I’m currently in the middle of two lawsuits,” Mark explains, somewhat impatiently), which sounds like the dullest imaginable framework for a narrative. But the picture gets a kick from Sorkin’s distinctive conversational rhythms and considerable skills as a wordsmith. The Social Network is a whirlwind of talk–invigorating, intelligent, fast-paced dialogue, from the throwaway lines to the occasional loquacious show-stopper. Every Sorkin script has one (Nicholson’s “You can’t handle the truth” bit in A Few Good Men is the obvious example, though Baldwin’s “I am God” speech in Malice is nearly as quotable); here, it comes when the Winlevosses’ lawyer asks Mark, “Do I have your full attention?,” unleashing a perfect storm of Sorkinian attitude, snark, and barely-contained impatience. “You have part of my attention–you have the minimum amount,” Mark snaps. “The rest of my attention is back at the offices of Facebook, where my colleagues and I are doing things that no one in this room, including and especially your clients, are intellectually or creatively capable of doing. Did I adequately answer your condescending question?”Performances are universally strong–Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spiderman) is immensely likable and marginally heartbreaking, Hammer’s double-playing is simple but effective, and Timberlake, as the well-connected but semi-flaky Parker, handily sells his multi-layered portrait of the guy who knows all the angles but can’t quite hide his own rough edges. But Eisenberg’s is the breakthrough performance; as good as he’s been as shy, stuttering, would-be intellectuals in Adventureland and Zomiebland, this is a darker and more complicated piece of work. His performance here is somehow both showy and deftly underplayed–you get the sense, from that very first scene, that he’s already tired of always being the smartest guy in the room.Jesse Eisenberg in The Social Network (2010)When The Social Network was announced, it seemed such an oddball project that snickers and jeers were the prevailing response (. But from the unveiling of its mesmerizing trailer, it was clear that this wasn’t just “the Facebook movie,” any more than Citizen Kane was a film about newspapers.