Hollywood Screenwriting Directory

Good Will Hunting (1997)

Screenplay Genre: Drama

Movie Time: 126 minutes

1. INCITING INCIDENT

Professor Gerald Lambeau (Stellan Skarsgard) catches Will Hunting (Matt Damon) writing on a chalkboard that contains a math problem Lambeau worked on for two years. He follows Thinking Will is guilty of graffiti, Lambeau follows Will down the hall, but Will eludes him. When Lambeau returns to the problem on the board, however, he is astonished to discover that Will has actually solved the problem. (00:14:00)

2. LOCK IN (End of Act One)

After getting arrested for fighting, Will appears in court and is sentenced to prison. Lambeau meets Will in jail and tells him the judge has agreed to release Will under two conditions: he must meet with Lambeau once a week to work on advanced mathematics, and he must also see a therapist. Will laughs saying he will do the math, but not meet with a therapist. Lambeau reminds him that it's better than serving time in jail, and so grudgingly agrees to face this new challenge. (00:26:40)

3. FIRST CULMINATION (Midpoint)

Will shows up at Skylar's (Minnie Driver) dorm to ask her out on a second date. She agrees to go out with Will the following day because she has to finish her homework. Impatient, Will completes her homework for her and convinces her to come with him to the dog track where their relationship continues to grow. However, when Skylar asks Will if he has any brothers, he lies to her saying he has twelve brothers. When Skylar asks to meet them, Will agrees, but it's obvious he's uncomfortable with the situation. (1:01:20)

4. MAIN CULMINATION (End of Act Two)

Will calls Skylar before she leaves for Stanford and tells her he's been interviewing for non-construction jobs. Skylar tells him she never cared about what type of job he had and then tells him she loves him. Will hesitates, smiling nervously, before telling her to take care. (1:38:57)

5. THIRD ACT TWIST

Will asks Sean if he has ever had any personal experience with abuse, and Sean reveals that his father used to beat him. They compare stories of abuse, and finally Sean approaches Will, telling him over and over that none of the abuse is Will's fault. Will eventually breaks down crying, hugging Sean, letting out all the pain he has carried his whole life. (1:50:07)