When I was 16 years old, I went to prom in New York City. It was, in my opinion, a 100% ridiculous affair. I grew up in a very small town in the shadow of Boston in the same way that The Shire is in the shadow of Mount Doom. A friend of mine had moved to New York and needed one of the Bad Boys of
Boston… Cape Cod to escort her to the most magical event of her sophomore year. See what I mean by ridiculous? We were sophomores and we got a prom. I had no idea what I was doing, had no idea how to get to and from New York, and had no idea what to do once I got there. Needless to say, everyone knew immediately that I was from out of town. Given that this was prom for an all-girls school, no one really knew each other and the lies were flying back and forth very liberally across the table at dinner. The lie I went with was perfect: I’m from Boston and Ben Affleck used to babysit me when I was a kid.
Dynamite lie. Absolutely foolproof plan to get a table of strangers on my side. How could they refute it? This was 1998 mind you – Good Will Hunting was less than a year old and Armageddon wouldn’t hit the movie theaters for two months. Affleck wasn’t famous enough yet for this story to be improbable. I was swimming in the lukewarm waters of an Olympic sized lie and it felt great.
“How did you meet Ben?!” “Our families know each other.”
“Did you grow up in Southie?!” “His family had a house on the cape near where I lived year round.”
“Is Southie as bad as it seems in Good Will Hunting?” “I don’t know, I live on the Cape, but it’s worse than it is in the movie- I’m positive.”
Irrefutable stuff like that. It was great and everyone loved it. For a stuffed chicken dinner’s worth of time, I was the coolest guy at the prom. My date was mortified. The next day I went back to Massachusetts – a place where I did not know Ben Affleck – and the rest is history; Ben Affleck became one of the biggest movie stars of our generation and I write a column about pop culture. I’d say it’s going pretty well for both of us.
As legend has it, the Good Will Hunting we got was not the Good Will Hunting that Ben Affleck and Matt Damon set out to make. The first draft of the movie was allegedly the story Will Hunting tells during his interview. Imagine how different our lives would be if Good Will Hunting was about a genius level masshole using math to crack codes for the government. I bet it would look a lot like….
The premise of The Accountant is that Christian Wolff (A+ movie name), a math savant / small town CPA is actually a forensic accountant / hitman for dangerous criminal organizations. I’ll tell you what – I like those apples. I like those apples A LOT. The major studio releases of 2016 have not been good at all which makes it hard to tell if this movie actually looks good or if it’s just a life raft in an ocean of bad franchises. I’d like to think that even if this was the fall of ‘03 (a great season for movies), The Accountant would still register at least a 7 on the movie Richter scale.
We’re getting three peak Affleck performances this year – Batman vs. Superman, The Accountant, and Live By Night – all of which serve their purpose. For pure movie fun, I think the title goes to The Accountant. Just the character names alone makes this the most fun you’ll have at the movies this season.
- Ben Affleck – Christian Wolff
- Anna Kendrick – Dana Cummings
- JK Simmons – Ray King
- Jean Smart – Rita Blackburn
- Cynthia Addai-Robinson as Marybeth Medina
- Jeffrey Tambor as Francis Silverberg
- John Lithgow as Lamar Black
- And my main man Jon Bernthal rounds it all out playing a man called Brax. BRAX! And he’s not some sort of alien warlord!
The Accountant probably won’t be bringing home any awards in the winter time, but it’s taking home the only award that we care about right now – Best Picture at Which We Had the Most Fun In-Between John Wick and John Wick 2.