Great question. I am glad you asked. To my surprise, none of my friends have seen this film. This really bugged me, so naturally I tried to get all of them to watch it. Unfortunately, they would not watch my movie recommendation, they would just continue watching episodes of The Office on repeat. I hope you make a smarter decision than my friends.
Here are 5 reasons I like this movie. Ok, maybe more than like it, considering I did print out the entire script and read it several times trying to teach myself how to make an incredible film like this one. So lets get started…
1. inner self
Let’s start with the heavy stuff. Unlike most mainstream movies these days, this film has a back bone, an underlying meaning that invites the audience to lean in and put the pieces together for themselves. So often modern films tell the viewer everything through dialogue, making film-watching a passive experience. But this film delves deeper. It focuses on Will’s inner demons, why he is the way he is, and how he can get past his obstacles. The characters’ dialogues say just enough to let the audience in on who Will thinks he is, and through his conversations with Sean, we learn who Will actually is. Instead of being rushed through the story and told who Will is in the first scene, this movie explores Will’s journey of overcoming the road blocks he was born with. Inner obstacles, as well as outer ones.
2. realistic characters
Whew, now onto the lighter stuff. If you have seen this film, you know why I added this to my list. The brotherly love between Will and his friends prove that friends can be just as much family as a biological mom and dad. The friends know each other so well and support each other, through fists fights and all. Beyond that, Chuckie really pushes Will to use his gift and not let it go to waste. Even though embracing his gift means that Will will likely move away and do great things, it also means Chuckie will not see Will every day anymore. If that isn’t a good friend, than I do not know what is. Chuckie is a good man.
Do I need to continue? Although this film has a deep meaning that is heavy and thoughtful, it is a fun, light film because the attitudes of the characters that are always poking fun at each other. Drama, with a splash of jokes and a twinkle of Boston accents, and BAM you have some wicked humor.
4. location becomes a character
Boston. I tend to enjoy films where the setting of the story also doubles as a character in the story. Examples of this are in Harry Potter (all of them) with Hogwarts, a small Italian town in Call Me By Your Name, and Hawkins in Stranger Things. By having a location become a character in the story, the audience can better create the “world” of the characters in the film. Therefore, the story suddenly becomes more relatable and immersive.
5. coming-of-age film
Lastly, I wish I watched this film while I was in high school. I think it would have changed my mind about some things. It still surprises me that Damon and Affleck wrote this film when they were my age. They were/are talented. Anyway, Will’s evolution in this film makes me categorize this as a coming-of-age film, even if it’s not typically thought of as such. Good Will Hunting has the opportunity to show youngsters (me included) how we could go our whole lives and not truly know ourselves, unless we take the time to listen and think about our inner dialogues. I know I learned a lot from watching Will grow up on screen and I think other people can/did to.
Where to watch this film:
Watch this film on Amazon, check it out on IMDb, see the Trailer on YouTube. It is worth watching, I promise. (I do not say this about films that I do not truly care about.) The picture in this post is from the film, I just edited some words on it. (And an apple.)
Sum it up already!
Dude, thanks for reading and putting up with my love for this film. I always watch it when I find it on TV and it always makes me cry. Literally no matter how many times I watch it, I still cry. Especially in that scene where Robin’s character hugs Will. Yes, that scene. Yes, I love it. It is why I will make movies. It is why I started writing screenplays.
Also, I hope you like apples. If not, how about dem apples? I wish you could see my face as I wrote that sentence, it made me smile way too much.