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OPINIONS

Girl, You Know It’s True: The Next Great Technology Movie

This weekend, “The Social Network” rode its Aaron Sorkin-based walk-and-talks to its second week as the No. 1 film in the country. Considering this is basically a movie about a lawsuit between one set of rich WASPs and some other billionaire guy who went to Harvard, it seems likely that the vast majority of the popularity is piggybacking on the fact that it is The Facebook Movie rather than being especially torn up over the travails of various Winklevosses and Zuckerbergs and Timberlakes. Old people want to see the movie that captures the spirit of the younger generation, young people like to see what old people think captures the spirit of our generation, and the circle of life continues.

The Movie That Defines a Generation comes out every so often, and as far as this goes, it could be worse. Fifteen years ago, the equivalent movie was called “Reality Bites,” and it starred Ben Stiller, Winona Ryder, Ethan Hawke and America’s sweetheart, Janeane Garofalo.

Though I am not original enough to think of a good idea, I am unethical enough to steal someone else’s and capitalize on it myself without sharing credit (like our collective hero, Mark Zuckerberg!). And the great idea here is to take some random boring movie about a dull legal procedure or some such and suddenly tie it into a technology or product that people care deeply (and irrationally) about. Here are a few ideas for how to do that.

Just Ask: The Story of Ask Jeeves

A disgruntled butler (Michael Caine) realizes he has a gift for answering his boss’s (Ashton Kutcher) moronic questions. What color is a knife? What is normal blood pressure? Who you attracting with that line, what’s your name, what’s your sign? So in 1996, he takes to the interwebs to personally answer people’s questions, the world over. (Sample dialogue—Random Attractive Woman: The site got 2,200 hits within two hours? Jeeves: Hundred. Twenty-two hundred. RAW: Yes, that’s what I said. Jeeves: Oh. Right then.)

Jeeves’ newfound wealth allows him to quit his job and hire a butler of his own, an action that he is deeply conflicted about. However, he gets over it and eventually begins making his butler do all the humiliating tasks he resented doing.

Unfortunately, other search engines realize that there are better ways to gather information on the Internet than having one person sit at a computer and type in answers, so Jeeves’ website loses all its value, and he is forced to go back to his old job as a butler, where he will serve out the rest of his days primarily functioning as a footstool.

Twelve Little Twits

Twelve tweeters think they have won a vacation to an exotic island locale, before they start being murdered one by one, only to realize that the killer all along was…

Jobs! The Official Steve Jobs Story


How do you go from getting fired from a company to becoming the guy whose health outlook affects its stock prices? The story opens in a dorm in Reed College where young Steve Jobs (Denzel Washington) is the most beloved man on campus, but he would really like to be part of the school’s elite social clubs. Upon learning that Reed doesn’t really do weird, elite social clubs, he drops out and soon is running Apple, where some jealous idiots fire him for being too awesome. They soon regret their horrible mistake and rehire him at which point he is awarded over 230 patents and single-handedly invents everything that makes Apple worthwhile.

The biggest drama surrounds when that stupid jerk Bill Gates (Vin Diesel) starts trying to look good by getting all his billionaire buddies to agree to donate large sums of their fortunes. Steve Jobs has no interest in participating, and is mad that Bill Gates gets any credit for this. The problem is resolved when Jobs realizes that for no apparent reason, young and socially conscious people arbitrarily regard Apple as a “responsible” brand, and Bill Gates as the evil, money-hoarding rich guy. In the closing scene, everyone high fives and laughs hysterically as an ad for something called a “Microsoft Zune” comes on TV. Written and Directed by Steve Jobs.

Have a pitch? Make it to Jordan at jcarr1@stanford.edu.