The Social Network + Wayne’s World

Double feature: So what does a deadly serious, intellectually and psychologically ambitious film like “The Social Network” have in common with a thin but endearing satire like “Wayne’s World”?  Quite a bit, it turns out.

Both center on pairs of sartorially and tonsorially indifferent young men engaging in entrepreneurial pursuits.  Both convey the headiness of turning an idea into reality and watching it gain traction in the larger world.  And both depict the strain that this traction, building into momentum and then mass popularity, can put on the relationship between the founding friends.

Both take place in the messy (implicitly: fetid) living quarters of emotionally immature males who don’t spend that much time socializing with their female peers, preferring to relate to them via objectification and/or idealization.

Both let their protagonists make a case for the purity and non-commerciality of their motivations, and then have them fall under the sway of corrupting mercenaries.  In both films, these villains’ suave ways with women not only contrast with those of the protagonists, but also partly explain their influence over them.

For a marathon: Contrast “The Social Network”‘s take on intellectual collaboration and problem-solving with that manifested by the NASA employees in “Apollo 13.”

After “Wayne’s World,” check out “Reality Bites” for another irony-infused, meta-twinged take on the sullying of ’90s-era indie creativity by commercializing interests.

(Creative Commons licensed original images courtesy of “quinn.anya” and “Mykl Roventine” at Flickr)

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