Republicans on The Town

So amid all the recent debt ceiling drama, Republicans reportedly used a scene from The Town to persuade fellow party members to back Speaker Boehner’s plan.

Director Ben Affleck’s reaction? He spoke to the Huffington Post and explained “I don’t know if this is a compliment or the ultimate repudiation — but if they’re going to be watching movies, I think [layoff drama] The Company Men is more appropriate.”

Vulture also felt that Ben’s other films might have some more appropriate scenes, offering Seven Other Ben Affleck Scenes That Republicans Can Watch for Inspiration.

Coming in at number 4 of 7, The “Retainer” Scene From Good Will Hunting.

Does it seem odd that President Obama has given the Republicans nearly everything they could ask for and yet they still threaten to drive the country into financial ruin? Maybe they’ve just learned from this classic scene in Good Will Hunting, where Affleck’s masquerading Southie is offered a generous salary with perks, but still demands a “retaaaaainer” and threatens to storm out of negotiations. Let me tell you something: The president is suspect.

Matt and Ben and the Fall of Man

The following post (an actual Alchemy request) recently popped up as a part of the series WTF Alchemy on Regretsy.

request for matt damon and ben affleck mural

Etsy is a website that features handmade goods, crafts, and artwork; Alchemy is a “a space on Etsy where buyers can post requests for custom items.”

I don’t see why they don’t just hire the artists behind the Cartoon Doll Emporium Matt Damon Paper Doll. One outfit I suggest is “Matt, you’re all dressed up for the Oscars, but you forgot to wear pants!!”

Matt, you're all dressed up for the Oscars, but you forgot to wear pants!!

Getting Out of (the) Town

“Will, why’d you come all the way out here?” Skylar exclaimed.

“I wanted to see you. I wanted fate to take control. I let my heart lead me. You were right. I don’t hate you Skylar, I love you. Would you forgive me? Would you please forgive me? Without you, I don’t feel complete.” Will explained.

“Will, of course I forgive you.” Skylar kissed him again smiling.

“Can I come in?” Will asked. Skylar nodded.

“Come on in!” Skylar pulled away from him and grabbed his hand pulling him into the room. Will turned to close the door, only to find Chuckie Sullivan standing in the door way.

And where did this bit of script come from, you ask? A lost epilogue to the Oscar-winning Good Will Hunting screenplay? A deleted scene? Thankfully, no. The answer is simple: Good Will Hunting fan fiction. It’s out there, believe it or not.

But amateur screenwriters on the internet aren’t the only ones imagining a cinematic reacquaintance with Good Will Hunting‘s Chuckie Sullivan. I’ve been hearing and reading many a comparison between Affleck’s The Town character and his more youthful and naive Good Will Hunting character.

Does The Town‘s Doug MacRay represent Chuckie’s character all grown up?

Well, no. No more so than The Departed is about the corruption of Will Hunting by organized crime or The Bourne Identity is the story of Will working for the NSA after all.

But there are some interesting comparisons.

Ben Affleck in Good Will Hunting and The Town
The moment where the Ben Affleck character who does construction argues with his best boyhood friend the necessity of leaving town and going to a warmer state with lots of coastline. (Image comparison via robinjp.tumblr.com)

Global Comment‘s Mark Farnsworth writes:

MacRay could be Affleck’s Chuckie left behind by Will in Good Will Hunting, and in places The Town plays like an unofficial sequel about Chuckie’s life story. In that movie Chuckie berates Will for not taking his chance, “Fuck you, you don’t owe it to yourself man, you owe it to me. Cuz tomorrow I’m gonna wake up and I’ll be 50, and I’ll be doin’ this shit. And that’s all right. That’s fine. But you’re sittin’ on a winnin’ lottery ticket. And you’re too much of a pussy to cash it in, and that’s bullshit. Cause I’d do fuckin’ anything to have what you got. So would any of these fuckin’ guys. It’d be an insult to us if you’re still here in 20 years. Hangin’ around here is a waste of your time.”

So yes, the similarity between the scenes in which Affleck’s character argues for Will Hunting to leave Boston behind and in which he argues that he himself must leave Boston in The Town have obvious similarities. Affleck himself has said as much in an interview with AFP, recalling the Good Will Hunting “lottery ticket” speech, “I found myself back in the same scene.”

The AFP article continues:

In The Town, Affleck as the leader of a posse of bank robbers has a scene with Jeremy Renner, who plays his surrogate brother, which Affleck said was “heartbreaking in a different way and probably a more common way.”

It was “one guy saying, ‘I have to leave, I have to change, I have to do something different,’ and the other saying, ‘Stay with me, don’t leave me, don’t do that to me,’ and how hard it makes it to make that choice when you have your best friend, your brother … sitting there (saying): ‘I need you, don’t leave me.'”

Both scenes “spoke to that dynamic,” Affleck commented. “And in a larger sense they spoke to the importance of male friendships.”

Farnsworth’s Globe Comment analysis doesn’t end on a simple comparison between the two scenes, though. He goes on to describe the getting-out-of-town conceit as representative of not only Damon and Affleck’s respective characters, but their careers as well:

Chuckie’s words resonate loudly when applied to MacRay but they scream from the top of the Bunker Hill Monument in Affleck’s case. Whereas his boyhood pal Matt Damon has seen his career progress smoothly into iconic status with the Bourne films, Affleck has had to rebuild his after the whole “Bennifer” fiasco.

So is The Town Ben’s ticket out of the mediocre-film-career doldrums? (His “winnin’ lottery ticket”?)

And what other similarities between the films have you noticed? (Spoilers welcome.)

Same coffee, new receding hairline

Last week, Alex posted the trailer for The Town, a movie that looks like this: guns! Charlestown! Jon Hamm! The dude from The Hurt Locker! Jon Hamm! Fenway Park! Stubble! Jon Goddamn Hamm!

There’s a new Affleck trailer up, and while it’s not as exciting as the one for The Town, it’s certainly compelling. First of all, the cast for The Company Men includes Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones, Craig T. “Coach” Nelson, Rosemarie DeWitt (from Mad Men and Rachel Getting Married), Kevin Costner, Maria Bello, and Kingston’s own Chris Cooper. Hot damn!

This trailer has many highlights. Chief among them is this fact: the movie includes a scene in which Affleck, recently fired from a big corporation job, brings coffee for his colleagues on a construction site. Allow me to repeat that: In this movie, Ben Affleck’s character works on a construction site, and furthermore, in this movie, Ben Affleck brings coffee for others. Oh. My. God.

Affleck with coffee 1
1997
Ben Affleck 2
2010

Another notable similarity to our Favorite Movie Of All Time: This movie has one egregiously terrible Boston accent. One might even go so far that, judging from the way he says “cahptenter” as if Katharine Hepburn on This Old House, Kevin Costner is the new Robin Williams. Congratulations, Costner; it looks like you’ve really out-Costnered yourself this time.