The Destructive “Good Will Hunting” Fantasy

Dave Gutteridge
Aug 8, 2021 · 8 min read
Scene from the movie “Good Will Hunting” of Will looking at a chalkboard.
(Image owned by Miramax films, used without permission, please don’t sue me.)

Good Will Hunting is a terrible movie for all sorts of reasons, but I find the fundamental premise particularly toxic. It’s something that hits me on a deeper level, because I’m basically the person that the fantasy of Good Will Hunting is supposed to appeal to.

I grew up in an overly educated family. Almost everyone in my parents generation and up, all my aunts and uncles and…