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When it comes to classic ’90s movies, Good Will Hunting has to be somewhere near the top of the list. It showed that Robin Williams could do drama just as well as comedy. It popularized the rhetorical question “how do you like them apples?” (which, to this day, is still fun to throw out from time to time).
It made people outside of Massachusetts actually give a shit about Boston. And it proved that Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, contrary to public perception, actually seemed to have some serious writing chops.
Well, if MIT alum Bernard Cohen is at all telling the truth, that last bit might be not be as solid as previously thought.
From Page Six:
Cohen, MIT class of ’62, is a lifelong Upper West Sider who is an artist and writer, as well as a waiter, bartender, chauffeur and movie extra.
He says he was hanging out at Columbus Bakery (83rd Street and Columbus Avenue) in the mid-’90s when he met aspiring producer Chris Moore and told him about his idea for a movie about a janitor who is also a math genius. Cohen said he got the idea from a gifted frat brother who came to MIT at the age of 16.
“I thought [Moore] was someone else and started talking to him,” Cohen, who has kept his secret for 20 years, told me. “I asked him, ‘Do you know someone younger who could help me finish it?’”
Moore was a Harvard classmate of Matt Damon’s, who showed up at the bakery a few days later and met with Cohen.
“I didn’t have anything in writing. It was all verbal. I didn’t even ask for a part,” said Cohen. “But I said, ‘When it wins Best Original Screenplay, I want a thank you, and I want you to finance my next film.’”
It seems like these sort of stories pop up all the time. Some nobody, tired of being a nobody, comes out of the woodworks years and years after a movie makes it big and claims that it was actually his idea all along. That being said, there is always a chance this old balls MIT fraternity bro is telling the truth. I’ve never been able to wrap my head around the fact that Matt Damon and Ben Affleck could have possibly written a movie as well-rounded as Good Will Hunting, and in their early twenties, no less.
But hey, I guess we’ll never really know. It’s one of those he-said, he-said situations. What can definitively be said though is that on a scale of liking them apples to not liking them apples, Mr. Cohen is probably not the biggest fan of them apples..
[via Page Six]
Image via YouTube Screenshot