In an otherwise laudatory review of David Fincher’s 2010 film “The Social Network,” Garry Mulholland offers this astute observation: “… (the film) plays one of the oldest Hollywood tricks in the book: the capitalist comfort-food trick. You know the one. You’ve spent your last pennies entering the cinema. All you can think about is your s–t job and whether you can afford the mortgage and you kids’ new shoes this month. And the next couple of hours of pictures puts an arm around you and tells you what you need to hear in order to just keep going until someone finally pays you a pitiful pension and consigns you to final years of visiting stately homes and being horrible to your family. It tells you the Rich aren’t happy. That they’re not as nice as you. That the reason that they have everything is actually because they’re not as nice as you … And this one has real legs, because it’s about real millionaires who are still alive and didn’t sue anyone when they were portrayed as bitter, greedy, elitist, misogynist a–wipes. So it must be true. Ergo, the reason you must accept your lot and play the game is because people don’t get money and power in this world unless they are soulless monsters. So accept your place, and like it. Because you’re nice.” Ouch!
By the way, Mulholland’s book on teen films (where this observation comes from), “Stranded at the Drive-In” is one of the most brilliant collections of cultual criticism I’ve seen in a long time. If you have any remote interest in this subject, pick this up IMMEDIATELY!!! And (yes, yes), it’s available in Kindle format.