Good Will Towards Men: A GWH Holiday Gift Guide

It’s that time of year again — time to find that perfect gift for the Good Will Hunting devotee in your life.

First, let’s make sure we’ve covered the basics.

Does your GWH superfan have the film on DVD? Because it has 11 deleted scenes, including the following one, which is kind of amazing:

Pick up the DVD at a local, independent retail outlet if you can — like Boston’s fine local chain, Newbury Comics. Otherwise, I suppose you can download the film (with no commentary or deleted scenes though, sadly) here on iTunes, and the soundtrack is on iTunes too.

Kelly's gift cardWith the basics covered, let’s get down to some of the more nuanced accoutrements.

How about a Kelly’s Roast Beef gift card or hoodie? Kelly’s is another lauded local chain, and they make a great fucking sandwich. (Read about Blog Will Hunting’s trip to Kelly’s here.)

I just bought myself a little something (buying for yourself is always a good way to kick off the holidays). It’s a reproduction of the t-shirt Will wears in the Harvard bar scene and during his first therapy session with Sean.

ADF t-shirt

As far as I know, the logo “ADF” is a generic brand, made up by the GWH wardrobe department — but I’d be thrilled to be enlightened if it actually represents something. I can’t wait until my shirt is as worn and tattered as Will’s; I’ll have to get into some tough scrapes in Southie while wearing my authentic garb. (Update: Check the comments for confirmation that Will is not wearing a generic brand but in fact an authentic American Dance Festival shirt made for the 1986 season. Thanks to commenter Myra!)

Buy the shirt here.

Good Will Hunting screenplaySpeaking of authentic, what could be a better place to pick up a copy of the Good Will Hunting screenplay than Cambridge’s landmark independent bookstore, Harvard Book Store? (Order it here.) The Oscar-winning screenplay creates a snapshot of the film before the improvisations of the actors and directorial decisions of Gus Van Sant came into play. Learn how the boys originally wrote the big fight scene to be accompanied by “Let’s Get it On” instead of “Baker Street.” Read the original opening scene, set at the Southie St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and the alternate version of Skylar’s dirty joke. Top it all off with a truly insightful (and charmingly naive) introduction by Gus Van Sant (he wrote it before the film had opened to the public and become a nationwide phenomenon, catapulting the filmmakers to superstardom).

Once you’ve got that under your belt, you’ve got to get the play Matt & Ben, co-written by The Office‘s Mindy Kaling. She and her co-writer Brenda Withers co-starred (as Matt and Ben!) in the off-Broadway play in 2003. (Order the play from Harvard Book Store here.)

Matt Damon water bottleLastly, you can get the water bottles Damon mentions in the above video here. Proceeds go to clean water initiatives all over the world.

Before we go, maybe you’re thinking, why not just buy all these books and stuff on Amazon? Yeah… that’s a tough one. Well, first of all, you would deprive your local business of the capital required to continue supplying the community with a diverse selection. And you would deny the local government the sales tax dollars they need to pave your roads and educate your kids. So, one might say, why not just shoot your buddy, take his job and give it to his sworn enemy, hike up gas prices, bomb a village, club a baby seal, hit the hash pipe, and join the National Guard?

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!!

Good GIF Hunting

Several weeks ago Jonah Weiner wrote an article on Slate about the appeal of antiquated and outdated media technologies — specifically the cult and culture of the animated GIF (“Christina Hendricks on an Endless Loop: The glorious GIF renaissance“)

This early web format is having somewhat of a resurgence, particularly — it seems — delivering clips from the series Mad Men.

Vulture's "the Joan-Related Animated GIF From Last Night’s Mad Men You’ve Been Waiting For"

But the present-day GIF love goes beyond aesthetics and nostalgia. Animated GIFs aren’t just throwbacks—they’re uniquely suited to some very contemporary modes of cultural consumption, and they perform distinct functions that other formats can’t.

The article goes on to make some insightful comments on the qualities of a successful GIF —

“They get to the point instantaneously, and at the exact moment when one feels the impulse to rewind and watch the climax again, the loop restarts right where it should.”

So where are all the Good Will Hunting GIFs? I couldn’t find any. So I made some…

Will is dancin' in therapy: The Good Will Hunting Animated GIF

For the next few weeks, every Friday will bring another Good Will Hunting GIF. And we will call it TGIGIFF, which stands for “Thank Goodness It’s Graphic Interchange Format Friday.” And I think the image above is a good place to start.

Let’s go to Kelly’s!

Roast Beef

But which Kelly’s shall we go to?

A while back the Blog Will Hunting crew payed a visit to the Christopher Lee Playground, the South Boston location in which the GWH boys watch some little league before picking up some burgers (and then getting into some street fights).

The screenplay, as written, is a little different from the scene in the film:

The boys get up and walk down the bleachers.

I could go for a Whopper.

Let’s hit “Kelly’s.”

Morgan, I’m not goin’ to “Kelly’s
Roast Beef” just cause you like the
take-out girl. It’s fifteen minutes
out of our way.

What else we gonna do we can’t spare
fifteen minutes?

All right Morgan, fine. I’ll tell
you why we’re not going to “Kelly’s.”
It’s because the take-out bitch is a
fuckin’ idiot. I’m sorry you like
her but she’s dumb as a post and she
has never got our order right, never

She’s not stupid.

She’s sharp as a marble.

We’re not goin’.
I don’t even like “Kelly’s.”

The next scene shows them in Chuckie’s car — with Kelly’s Roast Beef bags, of course.  As you will recall, in the film the exchange doesn’t have Chuckie dissing Kelly’s this way… it’s a bit of a surprise to see such anti-Kelly’s sentiment on the page, as the local chain is regarded as something of an institution.  (As we noted a couple weeks ago, guest star Julianne Moore namechecks Kelly’s in a recent episode of 30 Rock“Let’s go to Kelly’s! Let’s get some roast beef!”).

Founded in 1951, Kelly’s lays claim to the invention of the Original Roast Beef Sandwich — “before 1951, no one had ever heard of eating such a creation!”  Their original location is their beachfront outpost in Revere, and over the years four other locations have sprung up around Boston.  One is inside a Jordan’s Furniture.  (Also in that Jordan’s Furniture: an IMAX theater.  I’m pretty sure I saw The Dark Knight there.  At that furniture store.  It’s weird, I know.)

Celebrating six decades of quality, customer service, and value, Kelly’s is still a family owned and operated business that continues the original philosophy of our founders. Many of Kelly’s hourly employees and managers have been with the company over thirty years! Kelly’s is open 363 days a year, providing our valued customers with the quality and consistent standards they have come to expect over the years. Now when people ask, “Why is Kelly’s So Famous Anyhow?” Our answer remains: because of our loyal customers.

They of course also mention Good Will Hunting as one of their many claims to fame.

Their marketing plays up their sense of tradition and customer service, and though Chuckie would have found some allies in his discontent on the Yelp customer review message boards, most Yelpers have positive things to say about the staff, and especially the food, often using the word “fried” as an adjective of deeply satisfied approval.  The reviews tend to prefer the flagship restaurant at Revere Beach, despite the seagulls’ attempts at food theft, and perhaps indicative of nothing, at least one reviewer at another location admits to being drunk during his visit.

So on the day of our visit to Southie, we left the Christopher Lee playground wondering, which Kelly’s did they go to?

It essentially comes down to the flagship Revere location and the one in Medford.

We know that is that it is 15 minutes out of their way… according to Google maps (assuming they were coming back to Southie afterwards) it would take 37 minutes to drive to Revere Beach and back, but only 25 to get to Medford.  Also, the Medford location has a drive-thru, and Chuckie’s comment as they squabble in the car on the return trip — “I know what you ordered, I was there” — suggests they did the drive-thru and Chuck did the ordering (and the paying).

Double Burger sound bite

So we drove by the Medford location, and… well… it looked pretty boring….

Kelly's Roast Beef, Medford location

Despite the fact that is probably the one they went to (CORRECTION: This has been disproved, thanks to Patrick and Josh. Check out the comments) … we wanted to go to the beach.

Roast Beef | Seafood | Sandwiches
Our Visit to Kelly's
Our Visit to Kelly's
Our Visit to Kelly's

Our Visit to Kelly'sOur Visit to Kelly's

So on that summer day we had a wonderful meal — open air seating, a sea breeze, seagulls, Bostonians, and more than once, someone would sing out, “Chuck I had a double burger!”