The Net (1995): Movies were quick to exploit the information superhighway, and the conclusion remains thus: No, sir, it’s not good. Though Hackers portrayed its titular assholes as heroes (and depicted cyberspace in hilariously flashy ways), this Sandra Bullock vehicle launched a torrent of Internet horror films with its paranoid tale of hunky British baddies who’ve been unleashed by fearsome new technology.
My Sassy Girl (2001): Before Julie & Julia , this wildly popular South Korean rom-com—later remade into a DTV Elisha Cuthbert vehicle—culled its inspiration from a series of love letters posted to the Internet by Ho-sik Kim, in which he recounted his fling with a more violent variation on the Manic Pixie Dream Girl.
Hard Candy (2005): The inspiration for this psychodrama—in which Ellen Page baits paedo Patrick Wilson then psychologically tortures him—originated on the web, where there had been tall tales of Japanese girls who ambushed men looking for underage dates.
Hostel (2005): Proof that items on the ’Net don’t have to be true to make an impact: Eli Roth claimed his torture porn was “inspired by true events”—said “true events” coming from a Thai site that advertised “murder vacations” for wealthy psychotics. Even Roth claims he’s not sure if it’s the real deal.
Julie & Julia (2009): Ah, the first movie based on a blog. (Or based on a book, by Julie Powell, based on a blog.) Usher forth the Stuff White People Like movie.
The Social Network (2010?): I’d love to say that this threatened Facebook movie, detailing the rise of founder Mark Zuckerberg, is a pox on humanity. Except that the union of Aaron Sorkin and David Fincher sounds like a fascinating clusterfuck. ■
Not that Julie & Julia is any great shakes, but it’s a breezy little bauble, coasting on the formidable charisma of its stars and crafted with an attention to detail heretofore unseen in the Ephron oeuvre. Yes, it’s a trifle. But when it’s over it feels like you’ve seen an honest to gawd movie—one that’s thematically coherent and a bit wiser than expected.