Thank you for tuning in for the past 3 days. To be honest, its all been leading up to this. Those other blogs were just warm-ups for the most important thing that I have ever written and the biggest and most sacred part of preparing for Boston. A review of Good Will Hunting. If you haven’t watched Good Will Hunting multiple times in a Boston build-up, are you even training? My contention is that you are not. Luckily, this movie is currently on Netflix and you still have a week. So, here we go. My review of one of the greatest pieces of art ever made.
Boston Movie- Good Will Hunting 4.9/5 Dunkins
Will Hunting is a genius in the truest sense of the word. He’s brilliant in every subject and seemingly has a perfect memory. He’s also an orphan with a lot of really super unresolved separation issues. After catching the eye of a math professor at MIT and being sent to court ordered therapy, Will, with the help of a new love connection, Skylar, a therapist, Sean, and a childhood friend, Chuckie deals with these issues and learns to put himself out there and grows as a human.
A janitor and therapist become friends, then quit their jobs and go on vacations separately.
I love this movie. Everyone loves this movie. It’s so perfect. It’s funny, it’s touching, it’s got a love story, it’s got Boston accents, it’s got a band of friends who are loyal to a fault, it’s got a main character who is a true prodigy at something but has to grow as a person in order to realize it’s full potential and find happiness, and it’s got Casey Affleck yelling “tootsie roll dick” at Ben Affleck. If you just told me that you found a movie with all of that but didn’t tell me that it was Good Will Hunting, I wouldn’t believe you. That sounds too good to be true. A movie is usually great if it can find a way to incorporate 2, maybe 3 of those things. Somehow though, Good Will Hunting has it all and yet not a single second of that movie feels the least bit forced.
When the crew is in the Harvard bar. This part is so great. You have Chuckie (Ben Affleck) being kind of smooth and clever and charming when he goes over to talk to Skylar (Minnie Driver) and her friend, then you have the Michael Bolton clone coming in hot with his pre-industrial revolution talk. And then you have Will (Matt Damon) who slides in to handle the situation with a speech that is keeping Gordon Wood in the public vernacular. Will demolishes this guy with the intellectual version of when Scottie Pippen yammed on Patrick Ewing and pushed him to the ground. Even with that guy’s smug response that he’ll have a degree and Will will be serving him and his kids fries, it’s super clear that Will won that, decisively. Which is all so great to watch, but my favorite part about this scene is that, despite the fact that it’s very clear that Will has this handled, the red headed friend of the group is looking so menacing and dangerous and ready to murder the Michael Bolton clone. He’s just hovering behind Will with a scowl that says, “I’m going to grab you by the pony tail and slam your head into the bar until your eye balls pop out and I’m not going to feel bad about it.” I could watch that scene forever.
The second Honorable Mention:
I really like that, despite Will being absolutely in control and so smooth in almost every other situation, he is kind of awkward when he talks to Skylar. For example, in the Harvard bar, Skylar asks him out to coffee and he responds by saying, “we could just meet up and eat a bunch of caramel’s, when you think about it, it’s just as arbitrary as drinking coffee.” And the great thing about this line is that it doesn’t land. Will is in the perfect situation, all he has to do is just not mess it up for like 5 seconds and he gets a date with Skylar, and then he says a weird line about caramels, and Skylar is kind of taken aback. You can see her think, “wait, what? Then, Will is awkward again when he just randomly shows up at her dorm room after not calling her for a long time. He’s rushed and flustered and on the back foot and he comes off as kind of desperate, which is great because no 20 year old is smooth around a girl he likes, we all say dumb stuff that doesn’t land and then we immediately regret saying it. It doesn’t matter if you have an IQ of 700, we’re all kind of dweebs around pretty girls.
Honorable Mention #3:
Most of my favorite scenes from this movie get mentioned all the time when people talk about Good Will Hunting (i.e. the Gordon Wood speech). But, one scene that I absolutely love that never gets talked about is when Skylar makes Will explain why he is so smart. Will is basically bored because Skylar has to do homework and he wants to go to the batting cages. But then Skylar pushes him, and Will launches into a little speech that starts by Will comparing himself to both Beethoven and Motzart which is both a dooshy comparison to make, but in this situation also a fair one. He says, “Beethoven, he looked at a piano and it just made sense to him. He could just play….. I couldn’t paint you a picture, I probably can’t hit the ball out of Fenway, and I can’t play the piano…. When it came to stuff like that (referring to Skylar’s o-chem paper), I could always just play.” So, there are two things that I love about this scene. The first is that Will says that he probably couldn’t hit the ball out of Fenway. Probably? Probably?? He absolutely for sure, definitely couldn’t hit the ball out of Fenway and that is the most “guy thing” ever to hang on to a tiny shred of hope that they could one day make it to the big leagues no matter how far gone that dream is. The second thing I love is that he says, I could just play. Like, it’s an innate knowledge down in his bones that he’s right. And then, a little while later, Skylar tells Will that she wants him to come to California, and her reasoning is that she “just knows” it’s not articulable, its just this knowledge deep in her gut. And this scares the shit out of Will, because on one hand, it’s a form of knowledge that he doesn’t understand. He’s never loved or been loved in this way before. And on the other hand, it scares him because he feels it too. He knows as well, and that’s just as scary for him. I love the connection between him just knowing and her just knowing.
The next honorable mention is Chuckies speech in the construction yard when they’re both drinking beer after a shift. It’s so amazing. For pretty much the whole movie, every scene is all about Matt Damon being a genius, and then in this one, pretty short, little monologue Ben Affleck steps right up, toe to toe with anything Damon does all movie and he delivers this perfect speech and suddenly the character of Chuckie gets folded over on itself and we see these wrinkles that we hadn’t seen for the previous 90 minutes. He says cool shit like, “in 20 years if you’re still workin’ construction, I’ll fuckin’ kill ya. That’s not a threat, that’s a fact, I’ll fuckin’ kill ya.” And, “Tomorrow I’m gonna wake up and I’ll be 50, and I’ll still be doin this shit. And that’s all right, that’s fine… you’re sittin on a winnin lottery ticket and you’re too much of a pussy to cash it in. And that’s bullshit, cause I’d do fuckin anything to have what you got.” Up to this point in the movie, I kinda always identify with Will’s desire to not get a “real office job.” Like, why can’t he just be a genius janitor or construction worker if that’s what he wants. But then, Chuckie lays the wood to that feeling. And, he lays the wood to Will too. Will is always able to talk his way out of everything, but he’s dumbfounded as Chuckie says, “Hangin around here is a waste of your time.”
So, Ben Affleck’s performance in that scene makes it great, but it’s also amazing because it comes very soon after a conversation between Will and Sean (Robin Williams), where Sean asks Will if he has a soul mate. Will says Chuckie, and Sean says that doesn’t count in part because they’re basically family but also because Chuckie, and everyone else that Will rattles off doesn’t challenge him. But then comes this scene, and Chuckie challenges the shit out of Will. Score one for Chuckie.
All those scenes are great, but they all fall at the feet of the scene where Chuckie is in the board room pretending to be Will negotiating for a retainer that we know is just gonna pay for their next night out.
It starts with Chuckie leaning back in his chair wearing a silly black 3 piece suit that doesn’t even sort of fit him. The pants stop mid shin and expose a pair of gym socks with blue stripes and boat shoes. His hair is slicked to the side like a 1920s gangster, and then Chuckie just starts kinda saying shit to the board members in a super fancy business room. It’s great. “REETAAAAAIIIINNNEEEERR” he kind of sings as he cuts off a man offering him/Will $84,000 a year, and then sort of just whispers, “retainer.” As if he can’t believe that they haven’t already fulfilled this request. The board members are obviously baffled, and say quizzically, “You want us to give you cash, right now?” And now Chuckie shines, he lays the charm on these 3 confused dudes while spouting absolute nonsense back to them in his terrific Boston accent. “Whoa whoa whoa. Easy now, I didn’t say that. Allegedly, your situation, for you, would be concurrently improved if I had $200 in my back pocket, right now.” Lol what?? The board seems baffled as well, but fumble around for some cash, ultimately offering Chuckie $73 and wondering if he would take a check. And in response to this, Chuckie cranks the “fun meter” up to a bazillion. He swings forward in his chair, gives this big dumb point at the board and says, “Let me tell you something, your suspect. Yeah you. I don’t know what your reputation is, in this town (obviously very good, they’re offering him 84k a year with benefits and are recommended by the professor), but after the shit you tried to pull today, you can bet I’ll be looking into you.” Chuckie kinda swaggers up to the table, once again exposing how poorly the suit fits, scoops up the cash, and delivers the dagger. “Now, for the business we have today heretofor, you can speak to my aforementioned attorney. Good day gentlemen, and until that day comes, keep your ear to the grindstone.” As he says this, he rubs the cash together next to his ear, and then we see the baffled board members one last time. Chuckie is for sure in flow state in this scene. It’s like when Kobe scored 81, but with hustling some big wigs for beer money. Chuckie is just such a great character, and Ben Affleck is so smooth in like a kinda sleezy but endearing way. I’ve watched this scene 17 times in the last 24 hours and each time it gets better.
Least Favorite Part-
There’s only one part in this movie that isn’t absolutely perfect to me, and it literally happens in ¼ of a second. It’s the part where Morgan (Casey Affleck) comes flying into the fight scene on the basketball court, and his first move is to kick a guy in the head.
Now, to fully understand why I don’t like this part, we need to break away from the movie for a second. I have to tell you a story. One night in the summer of 2013 (pretty sure it was 2013 because it wasn’t 2012 because I wasn’t 21 then and I definitely never used a fake ID to get into bars), my friends and I went to a club called Holocene, which was hosting an event called, “Booty Basement.” Booty Basement was a night where Holocene played 90’s era rap music and projected videos of women shaking their back sides on all the walls. As you can imagine, 21-year-old Scott was super into this. My friends and I rolled up to Holocene after drinking 40s at one of their apartments, as one does before going to Booty Basement. There was a line, so the 8 or so of us slid into the back and waited. When we were almost to the front, the night took an unfortunate turn. 3 guys hopped off a bus and joined a group of girls who were right in front of us in line. I, personally, didn’t care because I would have done the same thing. But other members of our group didn’t take too kindly to this. There was some jawing, our side making fun of this person’s fedora, (it was pretty stupid, to be fair) their side saying a few homophobic slurs and a C-word, which obviously led to some pushing. Right when shit was about to go down the two biggest hot heads in our group just kind of walked away. Everything calmed down for about 75 seconds until the two hot heads from our group came flying out of nowhere, stole the guy’s fedora, and called the group “a bunch of pussies” and took off running and laughing down the street. Now, obviously fedora guy et al., didn’t just watch this happen. They took off after my friends, and I took off after them. By the time I caught up, punches were being thrown. Fedora guy had one of my dipshit friends by the collar of his shirt with his arm raised and he was going to absolutely clobber my friend. So, I did exactly what my adrenaline and instincts told me to do. I checked fedora guy before he could attempt to break my friend’s orbital bone. Pretty much as soon as I put my shoulder into fedora guy, I was punched in the side of the head by one of the other guys’ crew who was late to the party. Being the guy I am (a guy without much experience getting into street fights) I stumbled, and was then punched again, at which point I fell to the road and got kicked repeatedly in the face and ribs until one of my other friends showed up and sucker punched the guy who had been kicking me, in the ear. Everything broke up after approximately 4.5 seconds when someone yelled that they were gonna call the cops. I was left sitting of a curb and bleeding profusely from my nose. I was definitely embarrassed that I had just been squarely beaten up by a crew lead by a man wearing a fedora, but mostly sad that I was not going to be going to Booty Basement that night.
The moral of the story is, I do not support any kicking to the face by anyone in any scenario. And that’s the only thing stopping this movie from getting 5 out of 5 Dunkin’s.
Best Boston Accent-
Affleck and Damon go head to head and Damon gets the win because if you cut the video and just played the audio of Damon talking and then told me that immediately after saying that line Damon got into a physical fight, I would for sure believe you.
Worst Boston Accent-
I hate that I even have to give this award, because everyone in this movie is just so great. But, honestly, this was an easy call, it goes to Robin Williams. He’s supposed to be from Southie, so he should sound, at the very least, similar to Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, but he doesn’t. He just sounds like regular Robin Williams. ☹
Best Boston Accent Line-
We only have one honorable mention for this one and it’s when Morgan (Casey Affleck) says, “My boys wicked smahht.” The term, “wicked smart” has been scientifically proven to be the most fun 2 words that you can say with a Boston Accent, followed very closely by “fuck you.”
The winner comes when Will and Chuckie are at the batting cages, and for some reason, Will is just pitching to Chuckie while everyone else is using the machines around them. Will hits Chuckie with a pitch and then the interchange starts:
Chuckie- you’re gonna get chahhged.
Will- You think I’m scayyed of you, you big fahhk. You’re crowding the fahhking plate.
Chuckie- Hey ahhh, Case’s bouncing at a bah up at Hahhvahhd next week we should go up there.
Will- What are we gonna do up there?
Chuckie- I don’t know, we’ll fahhk up some smahht kids.
It’s 100% the most fun Boston accent interchange ever.
How could the Boston Marathon be incorporated?-
This one came to me really quickly, and I immediately liked it. So, I am taken to understand that in the past, the marathon was run really late in the day, like 1:00 and there would also be a Red Sox game that would get out around 2 or 3 so a ton of fans would get out of the game and then watch the runners finish. This is where the Marathon gets written into Good Will Hunting. So, in this telling, the gang goes to this game, but is pre-gaming in a bar. They stumble out of the bar at like 11:00 and encounter some people putting up some last-minute barriers for the marathon. Morgan says something stupid like, “who the fuck wants to put on short shorts and run for 3 hours.” Chuckie responds, “Shut the fuck up Morgan, you can’t even run a block.” Then the read-headed guy in the crew smacks Morgan in the back of his head with a newspaper, and everyone laughs at Morgan.