Good Will Hunting is about how much I hate academia. The main character, Goodwill Hunting (original name: Dumpsterdive Diving), is not only kind of a con-man, but he’s also the biggest asshole in the history of really smart people pretending to be really dumb people. The point is that the academics are even bigger assholes, and they have it coming. Yes, this movie was written by a group of urban second graders, but that doesn’t mean its ignorant anger rings ignorant.
There’s this place called Harvard (or Yale or Notre Dame, or Duke, or Kansas City Kansas Community College, they’re all the same to me). Harvard gets dirty so it has to hire surly janitors to clean shit up. Goodwill Hunting takes the job even though he also works full-time as a construction worker. How does he do two jobs at once? Never question the ways of a genius. They can make your head explode.
Soon chalkboards all over campus start getting filled with brilliant math shit, and the brilliant math shit professor realizes that this brilliant math shit outclasses even HIS brilliant math shit. His eyes fill with dollar signs because he thinks he’s found a new person to steal from. After a week of Goodwill Hunting hunting, he finds his man by setting up half-filled chalkboards as bait. He brings the kid in and is shocked that someone can be so fucking smart and still have a Boston accent.
The kid is good at math, but everything else is just a line of bullshit. He impresses people by talking really fast and filling his speeches with appropriate sounding jargon and lingo that others can’t penetrate at such speeds. That’s his whole shtick. He’s kind of like the bum genius version of Dan Aykroyd.
The professor tries to help him, but Goodwill just throws it back in his face. Like when he tells him, “I’ve never met someone as brilliant as you. I want to see you reach your full potential and have a better life,” Goodwill retorts by farting in the guy’s face and breaking a bottle of cologne over his head.
The professor sees that he can’t connect with Goodwill because he’s too much of an elitist. So he enlists the aid of one of his two million poor buddies, this one a bearded psychologist played by Smokey the Bear.
When Goodwill tries to start shit with Smokey, Smokey breaks two of his fingers and shaves his head, finally humbling the motormouthed egghead. Next he pulls out a gun, “Fuck with me again and I’ll shoot you in the smartbrains.” Finally they see eye to eye, and real work can be done.
Unfortunately, real work has nothing to do with genius shit. It’s all about therapy. If Goodwill is going to someday be the President of the Harvard Math Club, he’s got to get through his bullshit issues. Smokey displays a knack for talking to Goodwill on his level, and beating the shit out of him whenever he gets out of hand.
What trick of psychology works best? Apparently, if you tell a bum genius “it’s not your fault,” over and over again about a million times, it will break through their tough-guy persona, and all their issues will come out in a volcano of snot, tears, and emotional awakening. This works like a charm for Goodwill, and we all get reminded, yet again, that beating your kids with wrenches will turn them into math wizards.
Brilliant math shit professor is happy that Goodwill is fixed because he wants to start exploiting him ASAP. But Smokey has bad news for him. Now that Goodwill is fixed, he’s no longer as smart because genius can only be the product of mental anguish. “Trust me, I know,” he says with a little wink. Then he goes home to his dirty ass apartment where he worships the stolen body of his wife who’s been dead for twenty-five years. After a couple hours of this, he grabs a pencil and figures out time travel.
Goodwill shows up and realizes that his mentor needs help, too. “You know it’s not your fault your wife died,” he says. “I know,” replies Smokey. But Goodwill persists. “It’s not your fault, Smokey. Smokey! It’s not your fault…” Two hours later, Smokey is running through the streets naked, howling his hidden fears and regrets to the moon. When he gets home again, he can no longer read his time travel bullshit. Genius fixed!
Like zombies, they arrive at brilliant math shit professor’s door. “What are you guys doing here?” he asks. Goodwill answers that question with one of his own. “You like apples?”
“Well, we’re gonna say, “It’s not your fault” to you until you’re not smart anymore. How you like THEM apples?”
“I told you, I don’t really like apples that much. Got any oranges?”
Smokey goes straight for the jugular. “It’s not your fault, you mathematical dick. It’s not your fault.”
“What? What’s not my fault?” For two hours they try to tell him it’s not his fault, but it doesn’t have an effect. They have just enough brains to realize that he’s immune from the treatment because he was never a genius in the first place. That’s right, brilliant math professor is not brilliant after all. So they beat him to death with the Oxford English Dictionary instead.
With this job done, Goodwill and Smokey can finally move past their problems and start living a blue-collar life of leisure. They hook up with Cole Hauser and the Affleck brothers for twenty years of drinking beer, watching Red Sox games, and beating the living shit out of trust fund college brats.
The children who wrote Good Will Hunting were all given Academy Awards. This really impressed their parents. To ensure their kids would continue on this trajectory toward success, they were regularly beaten with wrenches. Good luck, kids! I can’t wait to see how you all turn out!