Good Will Hunting

One of the best scenes from my favorite film. It is timeless and gets me every time. (Screenplay by Matt Damon & Ben Affleck)



Sean and Will sit in the bleachers in the mostly empty park. They look out over a small pond, on which a group of schoolchildren on a field trip ride the famous swan boats.

WILL: So what’s this? A choice moment between guys? This is really nice. You have a thing for swans? Is this a fetish maybe we got to devote some time to?

SEAN: I was thinking about what you said to me the other day, about my painting. I stayed up half the night thinking about it, and then something occurred to me and I fell into a deep, peaceful sleep and haven’t thought about you since. You know what occurred to me?


SEAN: You’re just a kid.

WILL: Why, thank you.

SEAN: You’ve never been out of Boston.


SEAN: So If I asked you about art you’d probably give me the skinny on every art book ever written…Michelangelo?

You know a lot about him I bet. Life’s work, political aspirations, him and the pope, sexual orientation, the whole works right? But I bet you can’t tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You’ve never actually stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling. If I asked you about women, you’d probably give me a syllabus of your personal favorites. You’ve probably even been laid a few times. But you can’t tell me what it feels like to wake up next to a woman and feel truly happy.

You’re a tough kid. If I asked you about war, you’d probably throw Shakespeare at me. “Once more unto the breach dear friends.” But you’ve never been near one. You’ve never held your best friend’s head in your lap and watch him gasp his last breath, looking to you for help. If I ask you about love, you’d probably quote me a sonnet. But you never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable, known someone that could level you with her eyes. Feeling like God put an angel on earth just for you, who could rescue you from the depths of hell. And you wouldn’t know what it’s like to be her angel. To have that love for her to be there forever. Through anything, through cancer. You wouldn’t know about sleeping sitting up in a hospital room for two months holding her hand because the doctors could see in your eyes that the term visiting hours don’t apply to you.

You don’t know about real loss, because that only occurs when you love something more than you love yourself. And I doubt you ever dared to love anything that much.

When I look at you, I don’t see an intelligent, confident man. I see a cocky, scared shitless kid. But you’re a genius, Will, no one denies that. No one could possibly understand the depths of you. But you presume to know everything about me because you look at a painting of mine and rip my fucking life apart. You’re an orphan right?

Will nods quietly.

Do you think I know the first thing about how hard your life has been, how you feel, who you are, because I read Oliver Twist? Does that encapsulate you? Personally, I don’t give a shit about all that because you know what, I can’t learn anything about you I can’t read in some fucking book. Unless you want to talk about you, who you are.

And I’m fascinated. I’m in. But you don’t want to do that, do you, sport? You’re terrified of what you might say.

Your move, chief.