Thoughts from Good Will Hunting

Posted by at 12:42AM

After my girlfriend found out I hadn’t seen Good Will Hunting, she said I had to see it with her. Well I just watched it, and I thought it was pretty good. One-line synopsis – Matt Damon is Will, a troubled 20 year old who is a math genius, and Robin Williams plays the therapist who is unwilling to quit on him. Here are a few thoughts.

Self-Education
“You blew 150k on an education you could have gotten in$1.50 in late fees from the library.”
I’m a huge believer in self-education, and Will is the epitome of the self-taught man. He’s read from all the great minds of the ages and knows he knows his stuff. He’s math genius and clearly has a powerful memory. But some of his other intelligences are missing.

Wasting Potential
“I mean, you’re sittin’ on a winnin’ lottery ticket. You’re too much of a pussy to cash it in, and that’s bullshit.”
As a gymnast, I have seen lots of kids with tons of potential. Kids who are super flexible, and strong and learn skills easily. And it is just heartbreaking to see when they quit gymnastics out of boredom, or because they are unwilling to work hard, or they are scared of something. And that’s what Will has been doing for most of his life. Until he finally sacks up.

Vulnerability as Strength
But you’ve never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable … You don’t know about real loss, ‘cause it only occurs when you’ve loved something more than you love yourself.
Will is an orphan and was abused by his foster parents. It made him scared of getting close to people. But he hasn’t realized that to be really strong, he has to face his fears of getting hurt again. You have to embrace life for what it is, pain and all.

The challenge of doing what you really want
This is a problem that Will shares with most of Stanford students. When you have so many opportunities open to you, what do you choose to do? Will works in construction, but could have any number of jobs – from Wall Street to the NSA. The same is true for most Stanford students, truly anything is open. But then the problem becomes – what do you really want to do? And most people have a bitch of a time answering that one.

All in all, a great movie. I recommend it.

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6 Responses to “Thoughts from Good Will Hunting”

  1. Sid says:

    I loved the quote which said “You blew 150k on an education you could have gotten in$1.50 in late fees from the library.”
    nice post about an amazing movie

  2. Francesco Bellafante says:

    Great post Jason. I think you’ve captured the major themes, although maybe there’s more to this movie than you’re writing about here.
    Maybe you could have stopped at:
    One-line synopsis – Matt Damon is Will.
    The genius at Harvard who has to summon the courage to turn his back on virtual assured success in a more traditional career path to cash in a SERIOUS lottery ticket that he knows he has… he KNOWS he’s Hollywood. This kid from Harvard who loves to act AND WRITE.
    A creative genius with WORDS, not numbers, adept at transforming himself into anyone, on the spot, a guy who could EASILY actually work for the CIA if he wasn’t a movie star.
    Think about it. Remember what he says just before burning the proof in front of the professor?
    Do you know how easy this is for me?
    He’s talking about his script, not a proof, no?

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  5. Alex says:

    who does will live with? Is he renting a room? what is his status? I don’t believe the movie talks about it.

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