Set in a rough neighborhood in South Boston, there is a genius with a troubled past. He works at the most prestigious technical school in the world, yet he is only a janitor. His name is Will, and we see him progress in an exponential amount. We first see his glimpse of genius when he solves a graduate-level math problem in less than an hour. A professor receives news that the math problem has been solved, yet he is puzzled because no student has come up to tell that they have solved it. Word spreads around and it is revealed to the professor that Will solved it. .
The professor is in disbelief, yet he talks to Will and finally believes it is him. One day, Will gets in a huge amount of trouble and has to go to jail. The professor agreed to let Will be out of jail as long as he is supervised by a therapist. Initially, he is obnoxious and stubborn with them because he feels that he does not need it. It is a self-defense mechanism that makes him not trust anyone because of his troubled past. Seeing this, Lambeau decides to let his college roommate, McGuire, become Will's final therapist. He is from a similar background and McGuire can relate to Will, trying to free him from the shackles of his past. This is still hard, as he continues his pent-up anger and hostility. A key point, Will meets a Harvard girl named Skylar at a local bar. He seems to take an interest in her, and he does. Things are going very well for him and he decided to tell McGuire about her. McGuire had a wife of his own, until she died before him. Will sees this, and he seems to realize that McGuire truly takes an interest in him and wants to help him, and he is slowly taking McGuire in. .
One day, Skylar decides to finally tell Will that she is leaving to Stanford to attend medical school and finish college. She asks him to go, and Will angrily says no. She is breaking down and finally says, "I love you." This is still not enough for Will, as he does not want to be exposed to a whole new world.