Movie Review: ‘The Social Ones’

Review by Bradley Smith

The Social Ones is a mockumentary style film that chronicles the lives of a group of social media “influencers”, a new type of “celebrity” defined as a person who has “established credibility” in a specific field, usually with millions of “followers” on any given social media platform, excluding Myspace. It might be humorous if it were not so plausible that people are this self-centered and obsessed with social media.

As the film starts, The National Influencer (a parody of Vanity Fair that focuses on social media celebrities) is preparing to celebrate their fifth anniversary. As part of their celebration, they are gathering five top influencers for a cover story and photoshoot. Among the celebrities are a chef who sees all food as able to be deep fried or stuffed with cheese, a guy who creates memes, a young woman obsessed with animals, an eccentric fashion expert, and Dan Summers (Colton Ryan), a guy who does non-specific stunts while 25 million people watch. Somehow, Dan is the most “influential” as things start to fall apart when an interviewer asks him about Instagram (which he apparently hates).

The magazine’s two main editors/writers try to pull the story together while the documentary examines their lives and the lives of their subjects. We get to see these “influencers” deal with their status in therapy, in their homes, in their “work” environment(s). And they present “expert” opinions from authors, professors, and therapists. During a breakdown, Dan, seemingly to me to be inspired by The Matrix, makes his way to “the source” of all social media, where he meets “The Architect” (played by Richard Kind), only to disregard what he says and “save the world” in his own way.

The actors are enjoyable and would likely do well with characters that had another dimension or two. The whole story is interesting with a good lesson for those who are obsessed with social media (are we humans or handles), though it loses some credibility by trying to be a comedy and not quite hitting the mark. I know I do not have the greatest sense of humor these days, but I have been watching season 3 of Brockmire, which also features Richard Kind, and I have been laughing my ash off, while this movie barely got a chuckle once. But I digress, maybe you have a wider sense of humor, or haven’t seen these jokes countless times before, and will laugh hysterically.

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