Hollywood makes its latest attempt to depict life at Harvard in the upcoming movie “The Social Network.”
The movie has gotten a chilly reception from one Harvard graduate and former Crimson Associate Managing Editor Rebecca D. O’Brien ’06. In an article on The Daily Beast, O’Brien recalls her time with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, while they were both undergraduates in Kirkland House.
O’Brien disputes the movie’s characterization of Harvard at the time and of Zuckerberg, who she wrote was called “Slayer” by his fraternity brothers in AEPi.
She describes the movie as a sensationalized version of the truth. In her view it unfairly characterizes Zuckerberg as a “mad scientist” seeking “popularity, profit, and revenge.” She quotes a former classmate who said, “The whole notion of Mark as either an evil genius or as a deeply status-obsessed person doesn’t ring true to me at all.” Rather, O’Brien remembers him as a computer whiz with an anti-authoritarian streak.
The movie also characterizes Harvard as a place of sex, drugs, and scandal, according to O'Brien. But from her experience this wasn’t true, she wrote. She notes that the final club parties were never as much fun as they are made out to be in the film’s script and trailers. O’Brien admits she hasn’t actually been able to see the film herself, basing her piece on the script and trailers.
She’ll have to wait until Oct. 1 like the rest of us, when “The Social Network” comes out in theaters. Will you go see it?
Photo by The Harvard Crimson.