The acting is ok. The setting is interesting enough. We have a thing for college movies and college novels at PEP. This one didn’t land our ‘all time favorites list’, not by a long shot.

The good:

– the blossoming relationship between the main character, a student advisor, and a young student. He’s kinda lost and bored, and she’s vibrant, full of life and curious. She’s also surprisingly mature, and not looking for an older guy. She just really wants to connect with someone. They start writing hand-written letters. As a closet case romantic who likes writing hand-written letters I was quite thrilled about this part, sucker for romance that I am.

– the aging college professor who starts berating the main character right after he sleeps with her. She basically tells him that reading books is an overrated activity. Caveat: she’s depressed and has lost her spark

– somewhat in the background are the games that are played in the world of academic politics, but those are only hinted at

– there’s a fairly interesting debate on the value of high brow and low brow art

The bad:

– it’s hard to believe any young straight guy would refuse sex with a very attractive woman. It’s nice to want to believe this, but where are the real life examples of these pure knights?

– it could have said much more about the upsides or downsides of a liberal arts education. Yes, it makes you unemployable, but that’s not all there’s to be said about it

– it got to be so empty that I got to think, hey, in a way, this is a good representation of a liberal arts education, quite empty. Except that it doesn’t show the juicy ways liberal arts students compensate for the often rather flimsy curriculum. It does hint that meetin the right college professor can radically improve your life, but this hint is hardly satisfyingly executed.

– both the girl and as the guy rave about certain subjects they had, which could kindle the passion for liberal arts in the viewer, but so little substance is offered, that it ultimate fails. Good Will Hunting makes you want to know more about so many different subjects, this one doesn’t. It might encourage some viewers to read Twilight, to check if it is really as bad as the guy says it is. It’s not. If you want to write something more addictive than heroine to hook a teenage girl, you have to study Twilight.

The ugly:

What does this movie add?