Good Will Hunting

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Good Will Hunting (1997) is an award-winning movie drama starring two of Hollywood's most liberal actors: Matt Damon and Robin Williams. Damon, who co-wrote the screenplay with supporting actor Ben Affleck, plays a young man in Boston whose desire to fit in with his peers conflicts with his desire to succeed in career and love.

Will isn't impressed by money. He's an underachiever living in a one-room apartment in a slum neighborhood. He isn't impressed by knowledge, because he's a page-at-a-glance reader blessed with an excellent memory. But power means a lot to him.

Will Hunting and his best friend Chuckie (played by screenwriters Matt Damon and Ben Affleck) lived in South Boston ("Southie") since they were kids. Chuckie has a good job in construction. Will works as a janitor and can't even afford a car.

Blessed with academic genius, Will is a poster boy for underachievement. A page at a glance reader, gifted with perfect recall, he has taught himself so well in mathematics and history as to win bar debates with Harvard grad students. But he just sits alone in his room at night.

It all changes when two things happen (and three new people come into his life: a college girl, a famous math professor, and an underachieving shrink).

The film was particularly notable for single-handedly making Howard Zinn's anti-American textbook A People's History of the United States widespread and required reading for high school and university-level history courses, due to Matt Damon's character telling Robin William's character "You wanna read a real history book, read Howard Zinn’s People’s History of the United States. That book’ll f**kin’ knock you on your ass.” Before then, it was only read by a minority of people and not known by anyone save for subscribers to the left-wing Socialist magazine The Nation.[1]

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