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Mindy Kaling and Brenda Withers start off their snarky play Matt & Ben with a slap at themselves over whether imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, or a ripoff. Then they go on to spoof Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and their Oscar-winning screenplay for the 1997 movie Good Will Hunting, in a story that uses a lot of mirrors, and a puff of smoke here and there.
A onetime New York Fringe Theatre Festival entry, Matt & Ben has been picked up for a twirl by the Mad Cat Theatre troupe. Director Paul Tei and his small cast bring more than enough sass without a hint whatsoever of put-down, to float the premise: Damon and Affleck are scrounging, out-of-work actors desperate enough to try writing a movie adaptation of The Catcher in the Rye for themselves when the Good Will Hunting manuscript literally falls from the heavens.
Damon has won a role in a Sam Shepard play at a small theater in the Boston area but is afraid to tell his partner, fearing Affleck will slide into jealousy and depression. Nor is Damon convinced that their version of Catcher, if it’s ever finished, will find a producer. About that time in a hilarious feat of low-tech special effects, the Hunting script ka-plops out of the Light Box rafters onto the cluttered floor of the bachelors’ pad.
Though Matt & Ben is on the short side even as piffle, it never runs out of steam. Better yet, Tei and company manage to turn the corner from satire to poignant affection for the characters before it’s all over.
The Brothers Grimm
The Grimm brothers are, of course, the two German fellas who collected all the folktales and turned them into fairy tales that we all loved to read when we were children.
In the movie, they are played by Matt Damon and Heath Ledger under the direction of Terry Gilliam.
The trailer opens like a famous fairy tale – Red Riding Hood – only here it is much, much scarier and darker.
We see the brothers travelling from town to town getting rid of ghosts and ghouls, and getting paid handsomely for their efforts.
But the brothers’ greatest adventure begins when they visit one very troubled town.
All the scenes here are meant to introduce us to the two brothers and, from the scenes, it is not difficult to like them. Yes, even Damon.
Despite the dark background, what Damon and Ledger do and say are quite hilarious.
The elements of fairy tales are all here – magical trees, castles with high towers, poor folk searching for a hero (or two, in this case), a beautiful but spunky heroine (Lena Heady), a frog who needs a kiss and, of course, an evil queen (Monica Belluci).
U.S. Cyclist Lance Armstrong is about to win his seventh straight Tour de France on Sunday before he retires from the sport. His story, of an amazing comeback from cancer, is certainly worthy of the big-screen treatment, and Armstrong tells Men’s Journal he has a possible candidate in mind to play him in a biopic.
“I’ve had the chance to get to know Matt Damon. He is a fan of cycling and has a connection to cancer. He has even expressed an interest in the role,” Armstrong said in the magazine.