connections between elements of the paradigm identified by Philip and
Hendry and mentoring relationships depicted in Hollywood films. In
diverse movies from various genres from Aladdin (1992), X-Men
(2000), School of Rock (2003), Hitch (2005), and The King’s Speech (2010) to
Shrek (2001) there are significant moments of mutual learning
between the mentor and the learner. Although the practice of
mentoring is commonly thought to be beneficial to only the mentee,
mentorship is a form of mutual learning for both individuals to learn
about themselves and grow together, which is demonstrated well in two
popular mentor films that will be examined in this chapter, Good Will
Hunting (1997) and The Intern (2015).
The relationship between Will Hunting (Matt Damon) and Dr.
Sean Maguire (Robin Williams) is arguably seen to be one of the most
prominent mentor-mentee relationships in Hollywood movies. Will is a
troubled young adult with a genius-level IQ. Yet, because of his rough
upbringing, he lacks a positive outlet to channel his intellectual gift,
leaving him unable to identify possibilities and opportunities that
potentially lay ahead of him. First phase mentees typically need
guidance due their lack of resources and connections. In addition,
mentoring is a process of nurturing, which means the mentee needs to
be in a state that is available for cultivation (Anderson and Shannon 38).
Will fits this prototype exactly, since he lacks a compassionate figure in
his life prior to being introduced to Dr. Maguire. At the same time,
Maguire is the stereotypical mentor; he is wise, experienced,
knowledgeable, and approachable. He has the capacity to assess Will’s
emotional availability and to figure out the most effective manner of
reaching him, which is a critical task for mentors to carry out (Anderson
and Shannon 39).
It is Maguire’s special connection with Will through their
shared ties to the Southie neighborhood of Boston that makes it
possible for him to do this. The “classic” mentor archetype must have
a shared interest or bond with the mentee that enables connection
because the common ground is essential for establishing trust and
leading the mentee to accept mentorship (Philip and Hendry 216). Both
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