Remember when The Social Network came out and the Mark Zuckerberg character seemed like a possible genius but a definite jerk? The film has an edge, but you wouldn’t know it from the bouquets Zuckerberg and the filmmakers have been throwing at each other — the better for the movie to campaign during awards season and for Zuckerberg to do damage control.
Every time Aaron Sorkin picks up another award for his screenplay, he goes out of his way to say he fictionalized Zuckerberg.
And Zuckerberg himself has employed brilliant image-rehabilitation, from donating a ton of money to Newark’s schools — doing it on Oprah no less — to playing nice on 60 Minutes. Now he has popped up on Saturday Night Live next to Jesse Eisenberg, the very guy who made the damage-control necessary. If Zuckerberg ever had hard feelings, he’s smart enough to pretend they’re gone.
Here’s the tepid, make-nice SNL opener, with Zuckerberg, Eisenberg and Andy Samberg. But let’s not forget why the film is so sharp: the screen Zuckerberg (OK, fake Zuckerberg) really does behave like a jerk.