So, I saw “Social Network” tonight, and I liked it quite a lot, and it made me think of about this concept: VOOB.
That would be: Value Over Originating Book.
I think “Social Network” has a very high VOOB. I’m a fan of Ben Mezrich, who wrote the excellent Bringing Down The House (which was turned into the inferior 21 — a minus-7 VOOB). But I was not a fan of Mezrich’s “The Accidental Billionaires” the book which “Social Network” was based on. I just thought it got swallowed up by the many gaps that were impossible for a reporter to fill.
But the movie — and movies can do this because they don’t have to be quite so faithful to the facts — used those gaps to create something deeper (and filled other gaps with stuff that probably isn’t exactly true — I guess Mark Zuckerberg has basically said the movie is fiction). In any case, I thought the movie was a 29 VOOB — the highest in recent memory. In other words, the movie was WAY better than the book.
I actually tweeted that it was the highest VOOB ever, but of course that was a rash tweet and people immediately started listing off dozens of movies that had higher VOOBs. Social Network does not have the highest VOOB ever. That was a pretty clear fanbole.
But what does have the highest VOOB? Well, that’s why we have a comment section here. Pick the highest VOOB of your life — that is the movie that most thoroughly thrashed the quality of the book it was based on. But choose wisely, for I only want one good movie per commenter.
And while your at it, you can also choose one movie that scored the lowest VOOB — which, I think, is infinitely easier to choose. I personally gave the Twitter Title to Bonfire of the Vanities, which I scored at a minus-498483747. But then someone mentioned “The Great Gatsby” and I realized that it wouldn’t be so easy.