“The other day, I went to an outdoor screening of this film. Appropriately, it was in Southie. A nice little park between some apartment complexes, where the city that Robin Williams embraced as his own, even thanking the town in his Oscar acceptance speech, could take a couple hours to honor the man who touched us all. It was a beautiful evening really. Applause broke out when he first came on screen. We cheered for all the classic moments and laughed together at all the Boston in-jokes. The tone was reverent but not somber, just a nice way to bring the community together.
Every so often I talk about movies that I like more with every viewing. That’s true of Good Will Hunting, but more so that as I’ve grown as a person (ew cheesy) and as a film aficionado, I find more and more to love with each viewing. I’m not sure if I was still in high school or newly at MIT when I first saw this. I didn’t care much for it. I think I got too hung up on the romance and was just not having it. The next time, I’d been in Boston for a little while. I was watching for the city that I was still getting to know. I was distracted by trying to recognize landmarks and noticing Casey Affleck (who I wasn’t familiar with on previous viewings).
I think there may have been another viewing here or there, but this was the one where I could really appreciate the whole film. The writing. The setting. The acting. Yes I may have specifically been zeroing in on Williams, but the whole cast is incredible. Matt and Ben (Casey too!) have come so far since they exploded on the scene in this film, and looking back at where they came from is fascinating.
I have even more appreciation for the city now too. Before, I was happy about the MIT references they got right (The Tech! Building 2!). Now I could recognize the park bench in the public garden, where a memorial had been set up a couple weeks ago. There were sights around Harvard Square, just down the street from where I currently live. And little things I’d missed or forgotten (“”Morgan wanted to get ya a T pass!””)
Last night I was talking to my Mom. We were talking about movies I’d gotten her that were sitting unwatched in a cabinet by the TV. She named this one before I could. I pleaded with her to watch it. Originally I’d gotten it for her because of the MIT connection, but I wanted her to watch and love it for the whole shebang. She intends to soon. I hope so”