Not often today does a movie survive at the box office without computer generated landscapes or dozens of special effects. Recently, a movie broke that barrier and set a few records of its own. Good Will Hunting not only survived, it prospered at the box office this season. Doing so well at the box office against such stiff competition as Titanic, As Good as it Gets, and other blockbusters is also notable. It was nominated for a remarkable twelve academy awards, including Best Picture of the Year. Good Will Hunting owes its success to the strength of its story line.
There are three main divi-sions of the story line that are vital to the strength of the movie. They are as follows: 1. ) character de-velopment, 2. ) believable plot, and 3. ) emotional effect. The development of characters is the strongest aspect of Good Will Hunting. Many characters by the end of the movie have changed drastically, usually due to one of the other characters. Will Hunting, played by Matt Damon, is a whiz kid from South Boston who grew up an orphan, moving in and out of foster homes.
The movies progression takes place as Will changes as he tones down his life and opens up to his psychologist, Sean McGuire. The backbone of the movie is the friendship that grows between Will and this psychologist, played by Robin Williams. Each learn something about themselves that they didnt know existed until they learn it from each other. Will learns not to blame himself for his being orphaned, and Dr. McGuire learns that it is important for him to move on in life instead of constantly mourning the loss of his wife.
By the end of the movie, Will, a 21 year old, and Sean, a man over 50, have each grown up because of each other. A plot that is believable is very important to movie-goers. Even if a movie is science fiction re-ality must be incorporated to make the story interesting, as in Independence Day. But in Good Will Hunting the realistic view of a group of four early twenties friends from Boston makes a story about a child genius seem a lot more like the real thing than Doogie Howser. Wills friends are his true friends, and from the beginning of the movie the bond between the four is illustrated quite clearly.
The turning point of the movie is when his best friend Chuckie tells Will he doesnt want him around any-more. Chuckie, played by Ben Affleck, who is also Matt Damons real life best friend, tells Will that every day he wishes he would not see him in the morning because he knows Will is wasting something that no one else has. This portrayal of a friend having to give up something he loves adds to the be-lievability of the script. The writers of Good Will Hunting did a wonderful job of making the plot be-lievable and making the characters very realistic.
The writers of Good Will Hunting are Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, the same two actors that play best friends in the movie. The two wrote the script while in college together, which might be the reason the realism of the friendships is so genuine. A major aspect of Good Will Huntings success is its emotional effect. There are many scenes in the movie that can bring tears to anyones eyes. During one such scene Will tells Dr. McGuire his problem is he married the wrong woman, at which point the kind doctor slams Will against the wall, telling him to never disgrace his deceased wife again.
The majority of people today want to see scenes like these that bring strength to each character and make people realize their weaknesses. Wills in-volvement with his Harvard-student girlfriend Skylar also makes for many memorable moments that add strength to the films plot. During one of the most emotional scenes in the movie, Skylar tells Will if he can look her in the eyes and tell her he doesnt love her then she will leave him alone forever. Will tells her straight out he doesnt love her.
Good Will Huntings use of emotional characters and heart felt meetings between them makes for a satisfying story that is also easy to follow. Though I believe Good Will Hunting is one of the best movies ever made by my previously defined standards, there is one aspect of the movie that many disagree with. There is an excessive amount of vulgarity, which, though to many is offensive, I believe adds more realism of the story. Did I say excessive? I meant every ten words or so. Still, take into account the use of this language is somewhat typical of Irish kids of that age from Boston.
Good Will Hunting is one of the best movies of the season and can arguably be ranked with the bests of all time. Against many odds it succeeded and left its mark in box office history. Almost every part of the movie goes against the grain. One, the script was written by two college buddies, two, those two writers are the stars of the movie, and three, the most serious role in the movie is played by a tradi-tionally comic actor, Robin Williams. I strongly suggest seeing Good Will Hunting, but if you or your family are uncomfortable when the “f” word comes up, The Lion King just might be a better choice.