“Good Will Hunting” is one of my all-time favourite movies.
I rewatch it every few years, and I still cry at the famous, “It’s not your fault” scene. Especially now, watching the film again after Robin William’s death, much of his character’s wisdom hits home in a more profound, heartbreaking way.
Robin William’s birthday is on July 21st. He would have been 69.
The other day, I was hanging out with some male friends and one made a comment about how “Girls don’t poop,” still in denial about this human thing we all do. For some reason, men at our age still want to maintain the illusion that women are perfect, that we don’t poop, yell, cry, or sometimes eat pizza off the floor after a night of drinking.
This moment reminded me of one of my favourite scenes in “Good Will Hunting” where Robin Williams’ character opens up to Will, Matt Damon, about his late wife after Will expresses fear over getting to know his love interest. He tells a hilarious story about how she once woke herself up farting in her sleep. Williams’ point is that we don’t fall in love with “perfect.” We fall in love with the moments when someone lets down their armour, when we see them for who they are without the masks or the pretending.
It’s the little things.
Apparently, the scene was also improvised and he had the whole set laughing hysterically. Ah, we miss you, Robin Williams.
What this scene tells me about love and relationships:
1. We fall in love with the “little idiosyncrasies,” as Williams says. The small stuff that we only let our partner see in those intimate moments.
2. We don’t have to be perfect; we just have to find someone who is perfect for us.
3. Intimacy is about allowing someone to see us at our most vulnerable.
4. “We get to choose who we let into our weird little worlds.” But letting them in involves allowing ourselves to be seen and potentially getting hurt. We won’t get to that point without risk.
5. When we idolize the other person, we prevent ourselves from really falling in love with them, and from letting ourselves be truly seen.
At the start of a relationship, we are attracted to someone most often for superficial things—we like the same activities, we both laugh at the same jokes, we like how tall they are, or yes, maybe we’re first pulled in by looks or appearance.
But true, intimate love? It surpasses the external. It’s built on little moments in-between the big stuff. Watching her sleep in the morning. Admiring the way he cooks and takes a sip of beer. Or getting woken up by her fart in the middle of the night.
When I go, I hope people remember me for the moments I was the most imperfect and vulnerable—the moments I now realize I was most myself.