"It's Not Your Fault...It's Not Your Fault."
It's strange, if you think about it, that "Good Will Hunting" in its current form was ever produced. Strong efforts were made to populate the cast and creative team with established, commercially acceptable stars (how different would this film be with Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt as the leads?), but the film ended up being host to slightly more...eccentric picks: Gus Van Sant (probably the most straightforward film he's ever directed), Danny Elfman (likewise for composition), and of course the breakout stars of the project, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. And oh my God, it's so funny and weird watching them when they were young working on their passion project. It's damn inspiring, is what it is.
This film is almost 20 years old (yikes), so the question is, how well as this film aged? Does its reputation still feel deserved?
I mean, yeah. Yeah, I think it does.
"Good Will Drinking": The Rules
1. Drink for Title Drops. That's the full title, "Good Will Hunting".
2. Drink when they drink
3. Drink for daddy issues. Hahahahaha.
4. Drink for monologuing. For the purposes of this game, "monologuing" should be defined as 30 seconds or more of uninterrupted text.
5. Drink when someone drops the name of a class or a piece of academic text
All the above rules apply. Also...
1. Title drops: Drink whenever someone says "Will Hunting".
2. Drink for shouting
3. Drink when someone writes on a chalkboard. Or a chalkboard equivalent.
All the above rules apply. Also...
1. Title drops: Drink whenever someone says the name "Will".
2. Drink at the start of each therapy session
Krissy Pappau: Has a friend at Hahvahd. (Medium)
Dame Poppy Middleton: Probably would have been on the receiving end of the Boston Tea Party (Easy)
Champjagne Austgin: Used to live near Stanford (Medium)
Levi: Thinks it's hilarious this film was directed by a gay man (Hard)
Vicky the Raptor Queen: Knows these accents all too well (Hard)
The Bishop: In Grad School, so they're wicked smaht (Hard)
Oh God I'm going to cry again.
I am surprised that he never won an Oscar after this. This performance is not what I think of when I think of his career, and this might have something to do with the rest of the cast. In many of his films, Williams pulls a lot of the weight, or else the project was created for him to showcase his talents. In "Good Will Hunting", there is no weak link.
You got Ben Affleck, who is doing a wonderful job as the role he inhabits best: a schlubby, affable jerk who gets the chance to do some wisecracking. Except for the one moment where he shows he's a person with feelings, which makes you settle on liking him.
Foster Daddy Issues
"I had a college professor who was like, this is an example of terrible therapy," said Dame Poppy Middleton.
Yep. This is kind of the point of his character I guess, but Sean is an awful therapist. He's overemotional and easily baited by Will, and obviously still too wrapped up in his own personal demons to deal with anyone else's. Sean and Will are constantly blurring the lines between a proper doctor-patient relationship and...something deeper.
But Will STILL needs a therapist.
Will is a loose cannon. He's a pathological liar, has deep anger issues which coupled with his mistrust of authority lands him in jail ALL the TIME. We see him later on in a fight with Skyler lose his temper completely and I think he clocks her at one point, I can't remember, we'd been drinking for a while when we got to that scene, and while he feels remorse he doesn't take responsibility for his behavior until it's too late to do anything about it. Will is in serious danger of hurting himself and the people he loves CONSTANTLY.
Sean is not qualified to deal with Will's behavior, as evidenced by HIM HITTING WILL IN THE FACE during one of their later sessions.
It's tough, because in the context of the film, Will and Sean needed to meet and this was the only way it was going to happen. It's possible that Will wouldn't have grown to respect Sean if he hadn't been forced into a room with him twice a week, and it's possible that Sean wouldn't have given this kid the time of day if he'd met him in passing. So this informal teacher/therapist (teacherpist) arrangement worked for them.
But this is fiction. I kind of get the feeling that a lot of people who've never been in a therapist's office think it's like this, and it's not. Or it shouldn't be.
Like I said. Hard to say. Makes for a good movie, though.
We all had a good time with it. Except for Dame Poppy. She had some issues with Skylar, which I shall now address.
I don't believe that Skylar is being nuts by asking Will to come with her across the country, but I do think it says a lot about her character. Of the two of them, Skylar is easily the most driven. She's studying organic chemistry for god's sake, she has a plan in place. And now she's met this guy who makes her feel amazing, but doesn't have a lot going on himself. When she asked him to come with her, she probably thought he'd say yes because she didn't see what else was keeping him here. In fact, for Will to get her to stop he had to act aggressive and cruel.
Dame Poppy also took issue with the fact that Skylar still wants to stick around Will after her verbally abuses her, which she chalks up to an instinct to mother him. "She's just like 'Let me fix you!'" she said at one point.
"She's just acting on some whims," Champjagne Austgin put in. "She's a child."
And that's really the important thing to keep in mind, not just about Skylar but about Will. Will is not old enough to purchase alcohol legally during most of this movie. Skylar isn't much older, and she's been spending her life in a rich girl bubble since she was born. They are not emotionally mature enough to handle the feelings they're having. And in my opinion, they're too young to be asked to think about their futures. But this was 1997, a very different time with a different set of expectations for young people.
I had this same feeling while watching "Clerks" for the first time. Dante is 22, and everyone's telling him he's wasting his life. Meanwhile it's 2015 and I'm 25 and nobody I know has a decent job. I can't imagine being Will Hunting, pressured from all sides to use an inborn talent with a big scary world all around him and no clue what to do with himself. And I can't imagine being Skylar, thinking she's found "the one" right out of college and not knowing how to make him commit.
So in short, I like the love story, and Skylar's not crazy. She's just young, and allowing herself to be impulsive for the first time in her life. Young women should be allowed to do that.
So maybe the first time watching this film should be done sober. For the other times? I've got some new rules for you.
Drink whenever someone smokes.
"I am dying for a cigarette because of this movie," Levi moaned about halfway through the film. This rule seems like a safe bet.
Drink when someone talks about Will when he's not in the room.
Adults have the right to do this, I suppose, but they should make sure to do it when they know the kid won't be around for a while.
Drink for unfortunate fashion choices.
"Stop wearing dark lipstick!" shouted Dame Poppy at one point. When I asked her why, she responded "Because I hate the past!"
I just have one question for you...do you know where the truth ends, and the lies begin?
For Your Inebriation is written by Krissy Pappau (Hollis Beck). All "Good Will Hunting" images are owned by Lionsgate.
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