Sunday, August 31, 2008

Good Will Hunting on Relationships

Good Will Hunting was recently on TV and as I watched Will's childhood gang go bar-hopping and street-fighting I was reminded of the masculine ability to form intimate tribes between the ages of 17 and 25. Towards the end of the movie Chuckie (Ben Affleck) confesses to Will (Matt Damon) that he hopes one day Will won't answer the door when he comes to pick him up because he has used his knowledge to get out of south Boston. Through most of the movie Will rejects opportunities at love and work guarding himself and staying safe with his gang. At the end of the movie Will finally leaves his tribe for both love and career. I can in many ways relate to leaving my tribe at around this age. My hunch is that men become increasingly lonely after the age of 25. There may be a period from 25 to 30 where we are absorbed enough in pursuits not to notice it too much but it eventually surfaces. Are the sorts of relationships portrayed in this movie only applicable to a certain stage of life? Does our culture of romantic love and powerful career sever these relationships unnecessarily? Anyway, I miss my old tribe. And in case you forgot, here is a great scene.

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