How do you like them bloggers? The four behind Blog Will Hunting have decreed Saturday to be Good Will Tweeting day, meaning that at 2 p.m. EST everyone should settle in at home and watch “Good Will Hunting” while sharing their thoughts live via Twitter and the hashtag #GWHLive.
“If ‘How do you like them apples’ isn’t trending by 2:23 p.m., we haven’t done our job,” wrote the site’s editor-in-chief, Cambridge artist and social media professional Alex W. Meriwether.
If people don’t already own the movie, he recommends a quick trip to Newbury Comics or a rental from iTunes or Netflix — along with a gentle question: “Seriously, what’s your problem?”
(The site is good-natured and funny. Not only does it note that Thrillist called it a “seemingly 10-year-too-late fansite based entirely on the TNT classic”; it runs essays such as “Good Will Hunting is my Least Favorite Movie of All Time: An Opus in Three Parts” and “White people really like ‘Good Will Hunting’: An interview with blogger Christian Lander.”)
The site’s archives run back to June 2009, when Meriwether was amused by the idea of sustaining a blog about a single, unchanging thing. The 1997 Miramax film was chosen for its quotability and commonality among his friends. It is also, of course, the product of two famous Cantabrigians: Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, who wrote it and starred in it and won Oscars for Best Original Screenplay (as well as earning a nomination for Damon for Best Actor).
Although much of the film was shot in Canada to save money, its Cambridge roots real and scripted run deep, and participants in the Tweet-along Saturday should know the trivia before they miss the most parochially exciting cinematic moments.
For instance, movie-locations.com points out that the film’s authentic locations include the workplace of Damon’s Will Hunting’s character at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and its McLaurin Building; the college dorm room of love interest Skylar, in Dunster House at Harvard University; dining spots for Hunting and Skylar at Harvard Square’s Au Bon Pain and the lamented Tasty Café; and a famous visit to the “bah” at the Bow and Arrow Pub, also now gone.
The trivia from imdb.com:
When Will (Matt Damon) and Sean (Robin Williams) meet for the first time in Sean’s office, Will recommends that Sean read Howard Zinn’s “People’s History of the United States.” As a boy, Damon was Zinn’s neighbor and provided the voice for the CD recording of that book.
Damon, a former Harvard student, originally intended to make the title character a physics prodigy. He discussed his idea with Sheldon L. Glashow, a Nobel laureate in physics and at the time a Harvard professor. Glashow told him that the premise did not ring true to him and suggested that the main character be a math prodigy instead. He referred Damon to his brother-in-law, Daniel Kleitman, a professor of mathematics at MIT who provided advice on the story. Glashow and Kleitman are thanked in the credits.
The phone number printed on the sign for the construction company that they are working for is the actual phone number of a Woburn construction company Damon worked for while going to Cambridge Rindge & Latin School.
Meriwether has modest hopes for his event on a mostly sunny Saturday expected to see highs of 76 degrees. “It’s hard to know about how many people will be following along. Some friends are certainly participating, and we netted about 30 new Twitter followers over the month we’ve been pushing this,” he said. “We’ve gotten some retweets by @BostonDotCom and @universalhub, which have been great for attention.”