So I’m in Boston now. Moved up in mid-August this year (Texas summers can suck it). Needless to say, it’s awesome. My wife is attending Harvard Business School, and I’ve opened up our New England/East Coast office. There’s been a lot to adjust to — learning to work away from the hive that is The Starr Conspiracy headquarters, expanding our network and reach into a new region, supporting Erin as she navigates an amazing opportunity and learning environment, and drinking all the beers I’ve never heard of and can’t get in Texas. Among those four things, I’m pretty much left with no time to do anything else.
I get asked a lot what it’s like to live in Boston, especially from people who’ve only visited New England, and it’s always interesting to see how people’s perception of Boston is framed by the movies they’ve seen.
Some common questions I get asked by said individuals:
- “You meet any smaaht kids up there?”
- “So you been to any Haavahd baahs?”
- “You gonna put that whole town in youah reah view?”
You get the picture — and I’ll admit that I’ve fallen prey to muttering a few of those lines while Erin rolls her eyes but still laughs. And of course, now and then when movies like The Departed, Good Will Hunting, Boondock Saints, Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone, The Town, The Fighter or Monument Ave. come on HBO, I watch them. I love recognizing the places that I frequent and pass regularly. I guess it’s kind of like living in NYC but to a lesser degree.
I’m also finding myself, because of my increased viewing of Boston-based movies, defending Ben Affleck. Now before I make the following point, I will freely and readily admit that he’s done some truly unforgivable things in the name of cinema. One word: Gigli. That movie in and of itself should have cost him some time in the Charles Street Jail.
Having said that, I offer up this position to you, the reader. Ben Affleck makes movies — some good, some bad. Movies are occasionally set in Boston — some good, some bad. Ben Affleck movies set in Boston are all good.
If it’s a movie directed by or starring Ben Affleck and it’s not set in Boston, it’s going to be horrendous. If it’s a movie by anyone else but still set in Boston, it’ll probably be good, but you’re rolling the dice. If it’s a Ben Affleck movie set in Boston, see it immediately. In fact, I’m going to start lobbying the Screen Actors Guild to require that all future Ben Affleck movies be based and set in Boston. It’s good for him. It’s good for me. Damn it — it’s good for America!