While working on Kevin Smith’s film “Mallrats,” real life best friends Ben Affleck & Matt Damon worked on a screenplay together called, “Good Will Hunting” expanding the latter’s first draft intended as a 40 page one-act play. After writing and giving each other feedback, the duo completed the final draft in 1994. One year before Mallrats came out. They sold the script to Rob Reiner’s production company Castle Rock Entertainment worth a lot of money. Rob rejected the idea of a suspenseful thriller element prompting the duo to re-write the script as full on drama. Later, Miramax bought the film rights from Castle Rock Entertainment with Ben & Matt portraying Chuckie & the titular character. With support from their close friend Kevin Smith as a producer, Ben & Matt handpicked Gus Van Sant as director as they liked his films “Drugstore Cowboy” & My Own Private Idaho.” Robin Williams (may he Rest In Peace) signed up for the role as Will therapist Sean Maguire. After filming, editing, double and checking the script, Good Will Hunting officially distributed worldwide.
Good Will Hunting was released in 1997. (same year Boogie Nights came out) It received critical acclaim from critics and movie goers alike. In addition to universal praise, the film nearly made a quarter billion at the box office just $25 million shy surpassing its $10 million budget. Good Will Hunting won Oscars including “Best Original Screenplay) Ben Affleck & Matt Damon) & Robin Williams ultimately winning “Best Supporting Actor.”
Matt Damon’s latest film, “Stillwater” will be released on Christopher Nolan (my idol) & Joey King’s (one of my favorite actresses) birthday July 30th. Ben Affleck will reprise his role as Batman in “Flashpoint” set in the DC Multiverse teaming up with The Flash & Michael Keaton’s Batman. Ben & Matt will reunite in “The Last Duel” with Ridley Scott (one of my favorite filmmakers) directing the upcoming epic historical drama.
The following review contains no SPOILERS. Feel free to read my non-spoiler article.
Smart & Dumb Aspects
Smart: Matt Damon & Robin Williams both did an excellent job for their respective performances.
Other Cast Members such as Ben Affleck, Stellan Skarsgård, Minnie Driver & Casey Affleck all did a great job for their respective performances.
Ben & Matt wrote the award winning screenplay together. They made sure the story is coordinated.
Fun Fact: Before Ben & Matt played & Will & Chuckie, Brad Pitt & Leonardo DiCaprio were considered for the roles. They dropped out, because they were working on “Seven Years In Tibet” & “Titanic.” They later collaborated in “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood.”
Gus Van Sant did an excellent job directing the film.
Kevin Smith served as a producer. He’s very good friends with Ben & Matt.
The film takes place in South Boston. Ben & Matt’s hometown.
Danny Elfman orchestrated the music.
Cinematography was shot perfectly lacking technical flaws.
Chemistry between Will & Sean serves as the main highlight. There interactions moves the story forward
Although a serious drama, humor has some laughs. Particularly Robin’s improv skills.
Character Development involving Will. As the movie progresses, we learn about the gifted mathematician’s troubled background and why he has a negative attitude. We also learn about Sean’s background too.
Primary Themes are Trust, Deception, Love, Math, Maturity & Giftedness. Each theme is handled maturely.
Remember Robin’s character Sean talking to Will about a soulmate? If you’re a fan of the late Mac Miller like me, his album titled, “The Divine Feminine” has a song known as “Soulmate” which features a sample of Sean defining the meaning of the word. I would assume Good Will Hunting was one of Mac’s favorite movies. God I miss Robin & Mac.
Robin ad-libbed a story about Sean’s wife. He also ad-libbed his last lines.
My favorite line is “It’s not your fault.” It was later parodied on “Family Guy.” I also like the infamous line “How do you like them apples?”
Dumb: Harvey “Saddam Hussein” Weinstein is an executive producer. The sick bastard is getting a “taste of his own medicine.” My condolences to the victims. Now you’re free to move on.
The Final Verdict: A, FOR APEX!
From my perspective, Good Will Hunting is one of Robin Williams’ best works besides “Aladdin,” “Mrs. Doubtfire,” “Awakenings,” “Good Morning Vietnam,” “The Birdcage,” “Jumanji” and my personal favorite “Insomnia.” Robin totally deserved an Oscar. I grew up watching his work yet he’s still one of my favorite actors capable of delivering comedic and dramatic chops. Ben Affleck & Matt Damon also deserved their Oscars telling a dramatic yet feel-good movie. If you haven’t seen Good Will Hunting, I strongly recommend you to watch it right now. Trust me, you won’t regret it.
R.I.P. Robin Williams, your legacy will never be forgotten. You continue to inspire past, present and future generations.