Good Will Hunting
1999 by Raymond Weschler
Will Hunting????Matt Damon A troubled young janitor from Boston who is both an orphan and an amazing genius with a photographic memory. Gerald Lambeau????Stellan Skarsgard An extremely intelligent Math professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) who discovers how brilliant Will really is. Sean MaGuire????Robin Williams A psychologist and old friend of Lambeau who agrees to try and help Will. Chuckie????Ben Affleck Will's best friend from childhood, who pushes him to use his genius to get a better life. Skylar????Minnie Driver A British science student at Harvard University who falls in love with Will. Morgan????Casey Affleck A good friend of Will and Chuckie. Billy????Cole Hauser Another good friend of Will and Chuckie.
Will Hunting is a 20 year old Boston janitor who works cleaning classrooms at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, one of the best and most famous universities in the world. He is an orphan who grew up in various foster homes, where he had been physically abused as a child. He is also an extraordinary mathematical genius with a photographic memory, who
2 likes to solve math problems that an MIT professor writes on a hallway chalkboard. For the students, these problems are too difficult to solve, but for Will, they're easy! One day, Professor Lambeau sees Will writing the answer to a problem on the chalkboard, but Will runs away before they can talk. Lambeau soon discovers many disturbing things about Will, including the fact that he is stuck in jail for having just physically attacked someone who had beaten him up many years earlier. Lambeau arranges with a judge to keep Will out of jail, as long as Will agrees to work on mathematical problems and to get psychological help. Will agrees to these conditions. Will is too difficult a patient for the various psychologists that Lambeau asks to help, but eventually Lambeau goes to his old friend Sean MaGuire, who is teaching psychology at a local community collage. Sean has many of his own problems to face, including the fact that his wife of 17 years had recently died from cancer. Still, he agrees to work with Will, and while the relationship is extremely difficult and emotionally explosive, Sean sticks with it because he is convinced he can help Will find some stability and
happiness. Over the next few months, Will becomes romantically involved with Skyler, a British student at Harvard University who has decided to go Medical School at Stanford University in California. Skyler falls in love with Will, and wants him to go with her to California, but Will is probably too scared to become so emotionally close to another person, or too scared to even leave Boston. In the end, Lambeau simply wants Will to get a job where he would use his amazing mathematical intelligence, and even Chuckie wants Will to find a life for himself that is far from the difficult working class lives that they both have now. Ultimately though, it is Sean who patiently gives Will the courage and direction he really needs to move on with his life.
Words and Expressions that You may not Know
Will passes time with his old childhood friends, by drinking, working and solving mathematical equations that no one else on earth can.
I know many of you had this as undergraduates.
3 In American universities, education is divided into "undergraduate," which is usually when students work on Bachelor's degrees, and "graduate," where they work on advanced degrees such as a the Ph.D. It won't hurt to brush up. A nice little phrasal verb meaning to review, or study something again. chalkboard The green board used by teachers to write notes for the class. The person to do so????will be in my good graces. An old fashioned but pretty way of saying that "I will be very appreciative to this person." "The auspicious MIT Tech." Probably a reference to a school newspaper. MIT (pronounced M-I-T) stands for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which is considered one of the finest universities in the country. It is located close to Harvard University, which many consider the best university in the world. "Auspicious" is an interesting adjective implying good fortune in the future. Nobel laureates, Fields Medal winners, renowned Astrophysicists???? The first refers to those who have won the world famous Nobel Prizes. The Fields Medal is a great prize for mathematicians that Lambeau has won, although I have never heard of it myself. "Renowned" is a useful adjective meaning prominent or widely respected. Astrophysicists (like Einstein) study the laws of the universe. ????and lowly MIT professors An excellent adjective meaning humble or unimportant, and often used in a sarcastic (joking) manner when referring to oneself. Fuck you, and your Irish curse. A "curse" is considered a spell of bad luck placed on a person by a witch or some other powerful person. Like I'd waste my energy spreading my legs for that Tootsie Roll Dick? Go home and give it a tug yourself! Note the use of "like" at the beginning of sentences, used (and overused!) by many young people for "as if." The rest of the sentence is a crude sexual insult, since a "tootise roll" is a small piece of well known candy, and a
4 "dick" is very common for penis. "To tug" means to pull, and thus the last sentence implies "go home and masturbate." It's like five to two Morgan ends up marrying her. A common way of suggesting the odds of something happening if you wanted to bet on it (ie????A race horse may be "3 to 1"). There's only so many times you can bang your friend's future wife "To bang" someone is an old-fashioned and silly verb meaning to have sex with. I'm going to take off. An excellent phrasal verb meaning to leave. Use it! Stop brushing me back. Another way of saying to force back. Stop crowding the plate! A reference to "home plate," which is where a batter stands in the game of baseball. Hey, what's up? You still tough? Come on! Two of the greatest phrasal verbs in English. "What's up?" is a standard way to greet someone, and essentially means "what's new in your life?" "Come on" is the most versatile phrasal verb in English, and can mean everything from "stop lying" to "hurry up," or as in this case, "show me you can do it." Theorem. An important word in mathematics meaning a belief (or "hypothesis" ), which can be proved by logic. Who's the girl with the striped pants? She's got a nice ass. "Striped" is a useful adjective referring to a pattern of rows, often on clothes (or Zebras!) The second sentence is a compliment, though a bit forward. An "ass," as you know, is a butt or rear end. I hate that little bitch. A crude but common term, usually used for an unpleasant or mean women. Interestingly, used here and throughout this movie in reference to men(!). Perhaps common in Boston, though I had never heard it used this way myself.
5 That kid used to beat the shit out of me in kindergarten. "To beat the shit out of someone" is a vulgar way of saying beat up, or physically attack. "Kindergarten" is preschool for 3-5 year old children. It's 15 minutes out of our way. A very useful expression meaning "in a different direction from where we are going." Often, people argue whether it is worth going to a place if it's considered too far out of the way. Would you shut the fuck up? A delightful use of "fuck" as a noun, added for emotional flavor. Very vulgar, but common (Note the use of "fucking" as an adjective throughout the movie, as in "my fucking sandwich"). Stop being a prick. Very vulgar. Could mean literally a penis, but more generally, used for a jerk or ass. We'll put your fucking sandwich on layaway. A financial expression meaning to pay for something each month over an extended period of time. I think you should establish a good line of credit. Access to money, often through a bank loan. "A good line of credit" is the goal of every good middle class American. Hold up, Chuck. In this case, meaning stay, or slow down. So without further ado???? A fancy way to say "Without speaking more????" during a speech Come forward, silent rogue, and receive thy prize. A "rogue" is an educated word for an unprincipled person who behaves badly. "Thy" is used only poetically, or in a speech such as this, since it is old
Shakespearean English for "your." The gauntlet has been thrown down. Another poetic way to say "the challenge has been made (or accepted)." A "gauntlet" is, curiously, a glove used in medieval times, and is almost always never used today except in this expression.
6 Will loses his job as a janitor, but at a local bar for Harvard students, he shows who is smart enough to get the girl????
Arraignment. A legal term for a hearing at a court where a person is officially charged with committing a crime. Graffiti. Writing on building walls. A very important word in many neighborhoods! Hey, fuck you! In case you didn't know, the most common direct obscenity in all of English. Oh, you're a clever one. A nice little word for smart, or possibly creative. How hard is it to push a motherfucking broom around? The object used to sweep floors. Note that the obscene adjective before "broom" is extremely vulgar, but not that uncommon among certain types of people. I got fired because management was restructuring. "To fire" someone is to tell someone they can no longer work at the job they had. "Restructuring" has become a common word in this context, meaning that the company has reorganized itself, often firing workers in the process. Retards. A crude abbreviation for "retarded," referring to mentally handicapped people with very low intelligence. You get canned more than tuna, bitch. A semi-clever play on words. "Canned" means to be laid-off or fired from a job, and of course, to be literally put in cans. I though there would be equations and shit on the walls. Mathematical formulas. I will take a pitcher of the finest lager in the house.
7 A "pitcher" is a container for pouring liquids. "Lager" is a word for good beer, and here, "the house" refers to the bar in which it is said. Do you ladies????come here often? A ridiculous, but in fact, very common way to introduce oneself at a bar or other place where people come to socialize. It must have been a survey course. Note the grammatical construction for a logical deduction in the past (Must+have+been, though pronounced by Chuckie as "musta' been????"). A "survey course" is an introductory class. I found the
class????elementary. One way to say simple, or too easy. It was just between recess and lunch. A term used in elementary schools for the time period when students can go out and play in the school yard.
I was hoping you can give me some insight into the evolution of the market economy of the Southern economies???? "Insight" is a nice word for intelligent observations, or analysis. Of course, that's your contention. A good word for belief, or claim. Hang on a second. A good way to slow somebody down when you need time to think, or as here, when you object to what someone is saying. That's going to last until next year, when you're going to be in here regurgitating Gordon Wood. "To regurgitate" is a great verb meaning to spit back out, used for both food and ideas. Wood, Garrison and Vickers are the names of history
writers that appear in the dialog about this point in the film. You going to plagiarize the whole thing for us? "To plagiarize" is a powerful verb meaning to copy or steal another person's writing or other artistic expression. Do you have any thoughts on this matter????or????is that your thing? A colloquial way to ask "Is this what you enjoy?"
You dropped 150 grand on a fucking education you could have gotten for $1.50 in late charges at the public library This is one of Will's great lines. A "grand" is $1,000. It's cool. A critical, great colloquial adjective. Used to mean fun, nice, enjoyable, or as here, "not a problem." My boy is wicked smart! An interesting adjective that most often simply means evil, although here it is used as an adverb to mean extremely! The heavy-set girl said I have a receding hairline. "Heavy-set" is a somewhat proper way to say overweight, heavy or possibly big-boned. A "receding hairline" refers to a growing loss of hair above the forehead. I was, like, "go fuck yourself!" A grammatically pointless word that is extremely common among many people, especially when used with the verb "to be." Be aware of it, but avoid using it too often. You're an idiot. A very common noun for a stupid or ridiculous person. That guy over there????the Michael Bolton clone. An interesting and useful word from biology which describes someone that looks or behaves exactly like someone else. Michael Bolton is a famous singer. Maybe we could just get together and eat a bunch of caramels. "To get together" is an excellent phrasal verb meaning to meet and/or spend time together. Caramels are delicious little candies. It's as arbitrary as drinking coffee. This is an excellent word meaning "determined by whim or personal desire, and not by law or principle." Well, I got her number! How do you like them apples?! A wonderful but very old-fashioned expression in the form of a question, which is used when you expect the listenerto be surprised or angry or perhaps amazed.
Professor Lambeau discovers Will Hunting, and decides to save him and his brain for humanity.
He's about this high???? When used with hand gestures, an effective way to describe the height of somebody. He didn't show for work today???? Usually, one would say "show up," but there it is! Parole officer. When a person is released from jail "on parole," they are allowed to stay free so long as they follow certain rules set by a judge. A "parole officer" makes sure the released prisoner follows those rules. There is a very lengthy precedent, your honor, going back to 1789. In law, a "precedent" refers to a legal opinion that was written in the past that is still considered correct. "Your honor" is the one and only way you should address a judge while in court. Beecher says????and I quote???? "To quote" is the verb to use when you are using other people's
exact words. You're making a mockery of the court here! "To make a mockery" of something is to make fun of it. Liberty????is the soul's right to breath???? This is Will's very poetic legal philosophy. The "soul" is the spiritual part of a person's life. I've been looking????at this rap sheet of yours. A "rap sheet" is a colloquial term for a person's official criminal record. Assault. Grand theft auto. Legal terms for physically attacking someone, and stealing a car. I'm also aware that you've been through several foster homes. Homes where kids are raised temporarily if they are orphans, or if their own parents have been abusing them. On occasion,
10 "foster parents" will legally adopt the children in their care. Motion to dismiss is denied. This is an expression heard in court, and is basically an official request to stop a legal action against a person. $50,000 bail. "Bail" is a critical word for those with serious legal problems. It is the money that a person accused of a crime needs to pay the court in order to be released from jail, until a trial has taken place. Good-looking. The simplest and most common way of saying handsome or pretty. It's the ugly, obnoxious toothless loser who got hammered. "Obnoxious" is an excellent adjective meaning disagreeable or unpleasant (or possibly just loud). If someone gets "hammered," they are usually getting drunk. This is just a shot in the dark????that you're pre-law. "A shot in the dark" is a nice expression meaning a wild guess. Students who are "pre-law" take classes to prepare them for law school. What the fuck do you want? Grammatically pointless, and yet there it is, with amazing Added for effect, in this case to express anger. He's agreed to release you, under my supervision. Used in cases like this to mean "personal responsibility" Combinatory mathematics. Finite math. Lambeau's specializations. I imagine it's all very difficult! Sounds like a real hoot. A "hoot" is literally the cry that an owl makes, but it has come to mean something that is fun. It is very often used sarcastically, as here, and thus this is in fact Will's way of saying that it does not sound fun at all! Therapist. This is a very common and official word for a psychologist. No more
11 Three words that essentially mean nonsense or ridiculous none of them are that common. behavior, but
You're not going to get off that easily! You can obviously "get off a bus," but this wonderful and versatile phrasal verb has several other meanings, including, as in this case, to be allowed to continue without restriction or punishment. "To get away" with something has the same meaning. Bomp bomp bomp????boom boom boom. The words to imitate various sounds, from drums or other instruments to objects falling on the floor. Do you find it hard to hide the fact that you're gay? The one word to
use for "homosexual." Very common. Look buddy, two seconds ago you were ready to give me a jump. "Buddy" is an old word for friend, but is often used today with sarcasm and anger ("Give me a jump" is Will's way of saying "a sexual advance," but I've never heard it before). I don't care if you putt from the rough. A curious golfing term that Will uses to refer to homosexual activity. Funny in context, but a stupid and useless expression. What in the heck are you talking about? Will would have said "What the fuck?????" Most young people will compromise and say "What the hell?????" / "What the heck?????" is very old-fashioned and conservative, as is the use of the preposition "in" preceding it. If you want to add emotion, stick with "what the hell?????"
A theorem????can be very erotic. An important word for sexy, or perhaps sensual or mysterious. I can't do this pro bono work anymore. A legal (and Latin) expression meaning "for free." That raving loony in there???? Someone who is "raving" is shouting or screaming wildly. "Loony" is a slangy word for a lunatic, which itself is a word for a crazy person.
12 It's a figure????it's hovering over me. "To hover" means to float in the air, as in what helicopters can do. It's touching me down there. Often the way little kids refer to their sexual organs. Jesus. Yes, him, of course, but put here to show you how often the name is used to simply express anger, joy, disgust, surprise, etc. For God's sake, Will???? Another religious expression, usually placed at the beginning of a sentence to express anger. A little old-fashioned. You can't pin that on me! "To pin" something on someone is to blame them for it. In a clinical situation???? Used to describe when psychologists are working with patients. A breakthrough. An important word meaning a great amount of progress, often coming suddenly or unexpectedly. Oral fixation. A reference to Sigmund Freud's theory of sexual development, specifically the phase when children are obsessed with their mouths. Wow, that's very deep. A funny and sarcastic line. "Wow" is used often at the beginning of sentences to express surprise. If something is "deep" in a philosophical sense, it is important or insightful. Nail them while they're vulnerable. "To nail" someone can colloquially mean to attack. "Vulnerable' excellent word meaning weak or fragile, or easily open to attack. That's my motto. A "motto" is a brief expression that describes a person's or organization's general goal or belief. Why didn't you come to the reunion? A "reunion" is a party for people who attended
13 the same school, often years or decades before. Come on, submit! A very official way to say surrender, or give up. Leniency. To be "lenient" is to be forgiving, or perhaps liberal. "Leniency" is the
noun. I got probation. When a person in prison gets out "on probation," this means they are released, but only so long as they follow rules set by a judge. You're a real smoothie. Someone who speaks "smoothly" is a person who can convince another person to accept their side of a story, and thus a "smoothie" is a persuasive or perhaps charming person. Ramnujan. A famous 19th century Indian mathematician who, like Will, was never formally educated, but was an amazing genius. He was able to extrapolate theories that had baffled mathematicians. "To extrapolate" means to infer or figure out logically. "To baffle" is an excellent verb meaning to intellectually frustrate. His genius was unparalleled. Without comparison, or unique. I need someone who can get through to him. "To get through" to someone is to truly communicate with, or possibly, to reach them in some sort of emotional way. He's from Southie? The name of the working class neighborhood in Southern where both Will and Sean were raised.
How many shrinks did you go to before me? A great colloquial word for a psychologist. Perhaps from the fact that psychologists are thought to "shrink heads."
Sean and Skyler enter Will's life.
I'm pumped! Let the healing begin! "Pumped" is a very colloquial way of saying excited. Note that "to heal" is simply to get better, either physically, or in this case, psychologically. You buy all these books retail or do you send away for a shrink kit????? "Retail" is what is for sale to customers at a store, as opposed to "wholesale," where stores themselves buy the product at a cheaper price. "A kit" is a box or container with useful goods inside. Read Howard Zinn's "People's History of the United States" that book will fucking knock you on your ass. "To knock someone on their ass" can be a crude and colloquial way to say amaze or shock them. The book in question tells the history of the United States from the perspective of workers, poor people and various minorities. Highly recommended! Better than Chomsky's "Manufacturing Consent?" A reference to Noam Chomsky, the MIT Professor who is the most famous linguist in the world and a well known political radical. "Manufacturing Consent" is Chomsky's book on how the manipulates public opinion. Also highly recommended! Hey, whatever blows your hair back. Will's version of "whatever gets you through the night," which basically expresses the opinion that you should do what you want as long as you're not hurting others. You'd be better shoving that cigarette up your ass. A crude comment on cigarettes and health, put here to show you that "shove" is a somewhat more forceful verb than push. Do you work out? The critical phrasal verb for "exercise," often used for lifting weights, but also just for running. Sculpt. The verb
for carving rock into statues, as Rodin did. It's a real piece of shit.
15 A very crude and direct way of describing anything. It's a very muddled composition????it's also a Winslow Homer rip-off. "Muddled" means unclear, or perhaps confused. "To rip off" someone means to cheat them, as in charging them too much money, but when used as a noun, it is an excellent way of describing a fake version or poor imitation. In this case, of a painting by Winslow Homer. It's painting by numbers. A reference to those books that allow children to draw by tracing their pencils from one number to the next on a page. You're one step away from cutting your fucking ear off. A reference to the Dutch artist VanGogh, who cut off his own ear. "Any port in a storm." A nice expression meaning you should use any available help when you are in a lot of trouble. The oars are about to snap. "Oars" are wooden tools used to help steer a canoe or other small boat. "To snap" is a dramatic verb meaning to break. Bingo! A common colloquial way of saying "exactly!" Literally, a really stupid game in which people gamble on the numbers that a machine or wheel of fortune will choose for them. Watch it right there, chief. Literally, the head of a Native American tribe. Used by Sean colloquially as a word for boss, or possibly friend Time's up. The typical way a psychologist will end a session, and often considered a bit irritating by the patients who are paying over $100 an hour to talk! At ease, gentleman. A term used in the military for "relax." You look lovely in those glasses. British English for "pretty."
16 Med school. Short, and common, for "Medical school." I inherited the money. "To inherit" is the verb to use when you receive something from people who die, especially parents. Stanford. A very prestigious and famous University in California, near San Francisco (currently attended by Chelsea Clinton!) Anatomy class. Study of the human body. You need my wand. The stick that witches wave for creating magic. I don't really date, you know. "To date" is to go out with someone you like. A scary verb (and noun), which can be both romantic and dangerous. I was hoping to get goodnight laid, but I'll settle for a kiss. "To get laid" is a very slangy and crude way to say to have sex. In more innocent times, boys just hoped for a goodnight kiss. "To settle for" something is to accept it, even though you want something better. How very noble of you. "Noble" is another way to say honorable.
As Sean slowly wins Will's trust, Skyler tries to win his heart.
So what's this? A "Taster's Choice" moment between guys? A very clever line, referring to a famous coffee commercial in which couples share romantic moments while drinking Taster's Choice coffee. You got a thing for swans? A very slangy way to ask "Do you like swans?" Swans are the beautiful white birds found on certain park lakes. You don't have the faintest idea what you're talking about.
17 A good little word meaning "slightest," but note that it is only used in negative sentences. You'd give me the skinny on every art book ever written. A rare colloquial expression for "briefly summarize." I ask you about love, you'd probably quote me a sonnet. A type of romantic poem, often associated with Shakespeare. Visiting hours don't apply to you. The time that hospitals let people visit patients. I see a cocky, scared shitless kid. "Cocky" means acting too confidently. "Scared shitless," is a crude and colloquial way to say very scared. Does that encapsulate you? A fancy way to say describe, or perhaps summarize. Freak! A powerful word for a very strange or disturbing person. It was your mother's 900 number. Telephone numbers with the 900 prefix are often used for phone sex services. Why don't we get off of mothers; I just got off of yours. The complex beauty of phrasal verbs! In the first one, "to get off of" means to stop talking about (her), whereas in the second sentence, it is describing the physical act! Note that if the sentence had been "I get off on your mother," that would have an evenmore sexual connotation! Nickel. As in pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters???? Keep antagonizing me. "To antagonize" someone is to make them angry. What is this, some kind of staring contest? "To stare" is to look at something for an extended period of time. In a "staring contest," two people often stare into each other's eyes. We'll be cruising at 35,000 feet.
18 "To cruise" is to travel at a steady or consistent speed. You know, all I can use right now is a fucking blow job and a cup of coffee. A "blow job" is a very common term for oral sex performed on a man. It works better if I tell it in the first person. Using "I," as opposed to in the 3rd person, using "he" or "she." People often prefer to tell jokes in the first person. I got laid????big time. This implies either a lot, or possibly, with great success. So, call her up, Romeo. Refers to Romeo of "Romeo and Juliet," the very romantic play by Shakespeare. My wife used to fart when she was nervous. She had all sorts of wonderful idiosyncrasies. "To fart" is the vulgar but necessary verb meaning to pass intestinal gas. You can just say "pass gas." An "idiosyncrasy" is a word meaning the odd behavior of one particular person. And she had the goods on me. She knew all my peccadilloes. The first sentence is a way of saying "she knew all of my secrets." A "peccadillo" is an educated word meaning imperfection, or flaw. The only way you're finding out that one is by giving it a shot To give it a shot" is a common way to say take a chance. Even if I did know, I wouldn't tell a piss ant like you. A sharp insult, meaning a little or cowardly person. Hence the word: Remarried. A great word meaning "therefore," often used to show the logic behind a previous question or statement. I'm sorry, you know????I blew it. "To blow it" is a wonderful and common colloquialism meaning to do something poorly, or in this case, to make a bad mistake.