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3 reviews, 6 user ratings

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by EricDSnider

"The Internet? Is that thing still around?"
4 stars

"Startup.com" is an extraordinarily insightful documentary, chronicling not just the rise and fall of dot-com companies in the late 20th century, but also the perils of mixing business and personal relationships in any era.

At the center is a grand idea for a Web site: a portal that would allow you to pay parking tickets and handle other municipal government business over the Internet. Long-time friends Kaleil Tuzman and Tom Herman are the brains behind GovWorks.com, and the film takes them from the beginning, with eight employees, up to 233 employees, and back down again.

Kaleil is the more charismatic, forceful and mercurial of the two; Tom is quieter, less social and more brooding. Both show signs of a Machiavellian nature, though Kaleil would call it being aggressive in business, and Tom would call it getting what's rightfully his.

Directors Chris Hegedus and Jehane Noujaim were lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time: They set out to document a rising Internet business, not knowing where it would ultimately lead. But credit them for rising to the occasion. "Startup.com" tells the story fairly and without reenactments or movie gimmickry. Hegedus' long experience with documentary work is brought to bear, as is Noujaim's work as a producer for MTV. (Yes, some moments here are a bit like "The Real World," only more real.)

The details of the business are not discussed; there are rooms full of people doing something, but I have no idea what it is. It's not relevant, anyway. Kaleil and Tom's friendship, and the strains placed thereon, is ultimately the point. And along the way, it's a fascinating view of Internet business in the 2000s.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=5303&reviewer=247
originally posted: 07/06/03 06:12:26
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User Comments

2/18/09 brian Producer D.A. Pennebaker's doc is more interesting any better edited than any he directed 4 stars
8/15/03 LoudChris Fantastic true life story! 5 stars
3/28/02 The Bomb69 well made, gripping portrait of friendship vs. business, all about the Benjamins!!! 4 stars
3/26/02 seldom scene what a movie!! unrehearsed and captivating, they came so close to fame! 5 stars
9/24/01 Monday Morning Interesting, but adding a 3rd person "narrator" track would have enhanced it a lot. 3 stars
6/13/01 Crash Davis If you want to know what a startup is like, or see yourself in a mirror... go see this! 5 stars
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  18-May-2001 (R)



Directed by
  Chris Hegedus
  Jehane Noujaim

Written by

  Kaleil Isaza Tuzman
  Tom Herman
  Bill Clinton

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