Hollywood creativity is a rarity these days. Maybe they should take a leaf out of Good Will Hunting… in more ways than one.
Nowadays, it seems the world of entertainment has been stunted in its creativity. Now, more than ever, almost every single movie coming out is either a sequel to a very old movie or a reboot. Even popular franchises need to create an extremely different or fresh entry to avoid becoming stale (cough cough superhero movies cough cough).
The point is that not a lot of brand new content is being made now. If anything is even remotely successful, it needs to be cashed in on and made into a franchise or series. Of course not every success falls under this umbrella, but hey, I’m generalising to make a point here.
A Relevant Story
This is where the 1997 drama Good Will Hunting can be observed. Matt Damon’s titular character Will has a genius intellect, but chooses not to use it in favour of working in construction with his friends. After repeated criminal offences he begins therapy under the eye of Dr. Sean Maguire (Robin Williams). Simultaneously, he trains to hone his creative abilities with renowned mathematician Professor Gerald Lambeau (Stellan Skarsgård).
While Will finds Gerald’s teachings dull and a waste of time, Will and Sean strike up a close bond as they reveal things about each other that they did not want to face. After Will deduces that Sean cannot move on from his wife, he attempts to break him through taunts of possible infidelity.
Sean angrily reveals that the woman Will had mocked had passed away from cancer, shocking the boy. In an iconic scene by a pond, Sean breaks away all of Will’s layers to reveal that the reason he’s never done anything productive with his life is because after his childhood abuse Will has become caged and never wants to stray from comfort, familiarity, and ease.
While Gerald and Sean bicker and argue over whether to push Will into becoming another Gerald or following his heart and pursuing a relationship with his love interest Skylar (Minnie Driver), Will’s best friend Chuckie Sullivan (Ben Affleck) brings down the hammer.
He tells him in not-so-eloquent terms that it was upsetting to see Will wasting his life and not living up to his potential. This is the kick in the rear that Will needs in order to leave his home and all of his friends and travel to California to attempt to make things work with Skylar.
Will is finally able to break out of his comfort zone and take a risk. He realises that sometimes things close to the heart are worth pursuing over the easy and comfortable option. HINT HINT MOVIE INDUSTRY! Passion projects are a beautiful thing and those who endeavour to see them through should be admired.
It’s not always the easy option, and many production companies are known for not being willing to move forward with new material. But hopefully that doesn’t stop writers and directors from pitching them. The world needs more new material, now more than ever. The power lies with the creators.
How do you like them apples?