Archives For The Social Network

The other day I was driving in my car and The Rolling Stones’ You Can’t Always Get What You Want was playing. It is an iconic song from the Stones but it is also the memorable opening song played during the funeral procession in the movie, The Big Chill.

I remember my parents in the 1980s sharing how much that movie meant to them and how it captured their generation and its joys and struggles. My parents were born in 1944 and 1945 so they would associate themselves with the Baby Boomer Generation but as the joke in the movie Field of Dreams went, they had two fifties and movies straight into the seventies. In other words, they didn’t fully associate themselves with the hippie movement yet they experienced the complexities of the Vietnam era. Like my parents, I have always felt like I was in a lost generation being born in 1978 and am often thrown in either the younger part of Generation X or older in Generation Y.

parenthood-1989

Harper Lee said it best in the book and movie To Kill A Mockingbird,

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view . . . until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

Lee’s wisdom applies to how we feel about people of different generations. In my observations, it seems like the newest generation seems to be labeled as the most “selfish” when if we study history, each younger generation was judged in a similar way. For example, in life I have witnessed many people blame the Baby Boomer generation for their perceived lack of morals but as they are getting older, it has given us time to let history tell their story better. By giving them time, we are learning that they are a generation with great strengths and complexities and we can better understand their impact on the way we live today.

I believe we will be better people if we take time to learn about each other, which will minimize incomplete judgments. The past century has been defined by many things but one of them is the way movies can tell each generation’s story. I have compiled a helpful list of movies that best define each generation. The list is compiled from my personal observations, research and comparison of similar lists online and from polling friends. I don’t expect everyone to agree with this list but my hope is for this to be a way to learn more about our generations through the art of movies.

I isolate three types of movies for each generation; cultural, comedy, and war. I want to know what makes people laugh, how they live and what they fight for. I have watched all of these movies and appreciate them uniquely for what they represent. I hope you will enjoy them too.

The Greatest Generation – The “G.I. Generation” or “WWII Generation” (1925-1939))

Silent Generation / The Boomer Generation – “The Sandwich Generation” or “War Babies” Born 1939-1964

Generation X – The “Gen X’ers” or “MTV Generation” Born 1965-1979

Generation Y & Millennials The “Millennial” or “Echo Boomers” Born 1980-1991

Generation Z – The “iGeneration” Born 1991-present

Which movies do you feel best defines your generation? Why?

This past week I’ve watched two fantastic films: The Social Network and The King’s Speech. Both are tremendous works of cinematic art.  Both were successful at the Golden Globes and most likely will do well at the Oscars.  Most importantly, they tackle some key issues that make the movies relatable and by all means fit in the “great” category.

The themes of these films are classic Shakespearian: Friendship, trust/betrayal, duty, love, insecurity, and courage.

As a man these themes came right out from the screen and hit me in the heart.

The Social Network is a breakdown of the things that can make men great.

The King’s Speech is a build up to those things that do.

They are equally important to learn from.

In life I’ve learned that every person is flawed.  It’s what one does to overcome it that matters.


Here is what I learned from these core themes:

Friendship. Find your Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush’s character).  He is the guy we all want to turn to in life.

Duty. Sometimes whether we don’t feel like we deserve to be in a certain position (or don’t want it), we must rise up to honor those before us.

Courage. Know that you can overcome anything with the help of others and the willingness to risk.  Stand up for what you believe in.  It’s not supposed to be easy.

Trust/Betrayal. Be aware of those around you.  We’ve all been betrayed.  It is human nature to a degree.  I’ve betrayed friends before unfortunately.  Ask forgiveness and forgive but learn. Trust can be earned back over time.

Insecurity. We don’t have it all together. No one does.  Be open about that and trust in God, in others who love you, and remember that you’re not alone.

Love. Need I say more.

If you haven’t seen these movies, please do.

I’m challenged by the deeper themes here.  What about you?