"In a forgotten corner of the Bronx, something hidden is about to be found, someone legendary is about to be discovered, and something extraordinary is about to take place...
— The trailer's narration
is a movie from 2000 about a boy from a poor neighborhood in the Bronx with talents for writing and basketball. When his high test scores and athletic skills get him a scholarship to a prestigious prep school, he meets a famously reclusive author who helps lead him to success.
It was Gus Van Sant
's more proper follow-up to Good Will Hunting
(after his poorly-regarded Psycho
remake) and his last mainstream Hollywood film.
This film provides examples of:
- Brilliant, but Lazy / Obfuscating Stupidity: Jamal, prior to meeting Forrester, intentionally performed averagely on his homework and testing in order to save face around his friends. Eventually, the school discovers just how smart Jamal actually is. Forrester also calls Jamal out on this.
- Deadpan Snarker: Forrester is usually this, although Jamal has some moments too.
- Hands On Approach: Jamaal ostensibly teaching a girl how to play defense in basketball.
- Hey, It's That Guy!: Matt Damon has a brief appearance as a lawyer near the end of the film.
- Don't forget F. Murray Abraham, who plays Salieri in Amadeus.
- Anna Paquin anyone?
- Intergenerational Friendship
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: The gruff and irritable Forrester.
- Magical Negro: Jamal is a thoughtful and fleshed out version to Forrester as he brings the old writer out of his shell. It gives depth to their student/teacher relationship.
- The Obi-Wan: Forrester is this to Jamal.
- One Book Author: Forrester, though he writes another book in the end.
- Oscar Bait: Inspirational story? A laid-back setting with loads of drama bubbling under the surface? Quotable quotes? It's all here.
- Plagiarism In Fiction: Jamal is accused of this when he turns in an essay written with Forrester's help.
- Reclusive Artist: Forrester is this at the beginning of the movie, but Jamal convinces him to experience the outside world by the end.
- Right Through the Wall: Again, Jamal's neighbors.
- Scotireland: A bit of a Running Gag
- Soundtrack Dissonance: The scene where Jamal finds out that Forrester dies has oddly upbeat music. Although it may have been to get across the point that Forrester died happily.
- Throwing The Fight: Jamal Wallace misses a pair of free-throws at the end of a game on purpose because he's tired of the way he's being treated by the administrators of his school.
- Totally Radical: The memetic quote above is an in-story example by Forrester.
- Verbing Nouny
- White Man's Burden: Bit more complicated than that, and inverted somewhat. See Magical Negro.