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Steve Rogers Watches Movies: ‘Good Will Hunting’

by on December 4, 2014

In ‘Steve Rogers Watches Movies’, I discuss watching old movies that I had never seen before. Like Cap, I somehow missed the boat on many classics. If you’ve missed some of the same films, I’m here to tell you whether watching them is worth your time. If you’ve seen them, I’m here to tell you whether your memory is serving you correctly. On Friday, I watched “Good Will Hunting”.

This is the first Robin Williams movie I watched since his untimely death earlier this year. I thought it would be tough emotionally to get through one of his performances, but his character’s journey in this film was so positive and uplifting that it was hard to feel sad. This movie just made me wish he had watched it one more time before taking his own life, to remind him that there is light at the end of the tunnel.SP12OUTMAIN

As a whole, “Good Will Hunting” is a very optimistic movie. Much of it revolves around Will Hunting (Matt Damon) refusing to open up to those close to him and hiding his past and self from them. He’s comfortable in the life he’s made for himself and feels no need to try and move up in the world.

The thing is, though, he’s really smart and loves showing that off. Eventually, this leads to him reaching a point where he needs to make a change. He just doesn’t know if he can bring himself to do it.

In the end, though, the movie comes off hopelessly romantic. Will helps his psychiatrist (Robin Williams) begin to live and adventure again, and his psychiatrist helps him to come to terms with who he is and pursue true love and happiness. Meanwhile, Ben Affleck wastes away blissfully in his blue-collar job.

I found it all a little cheesy and the loose ends tied up a bit too neatly, but all in all, it is an enjoyable, heartwarming film. The performances by Matt Damon and Robin Williams really elevate the rest of the movie, and some of the scenes with them together are fantastic. With lesser actors, the too-perfect story arc, largely conflict-free character journeys and boring visuals would have stuck out much more awkwardly.

Watching it today, I was a little bothered by the smart-ass genius who struggles to get in touch with his emotions, a tired trope in 2014. But maybe in 1997, this felt fresh and new. Even then, scenes like the argument in the Harvard bar were ludicrous and would certainly never happen. But I guess if they hadn’t proven Will to be smart somehow, the movie wouldn’t have worked at all.

I struggle with the cleanliness of this movie and the “boy genius” aspect of it, but overall I liked it. And it is certainly worth seeing for the two lead performances alone. The scenes with Damon and Williams definitely brought up some interesting concepts relating to self-worth and openness that really resonated with me. It may be hard to wrap your head around the idea that you deserve someone, but is it even harder to accept that maybe they deserve you?

Should you see it?

Yes, but don’t forget the coffee.

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