To the extent that they have an appeal, the appeal of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck lies in their regular guyhood, the mythic idea that they were plucked from nowhere (Boston, “School Ties”) to join the ranks of the divinely bankable. Mindy Kaling and Brenda Withers’s “Matt & Ben” plays on the pair’s obscure beginnings; the action begins with the screenplay for “Good Will Hunting” literally falling out of the sky into their Somerville, Massachusetts apartment. There’s a twist: the casting crosses gender and racial lines. In the version that Jam Productions has mounted at the Theatre Building, Quincy Tyler Bernstine and Jennifer Morris bring verve and wit to their respective portrayals of Ben and Matt, as well as the supporting roles of Gwyneth Paltrow and J. D. Salinger (the duo starts off working on an ill-conceived adaptation of “Catcher in the Rye”—Ben’s idea). Bernstine, in particular, is able to replicate the look of quizzical constipation so familiar from “The Sum of All Fears” and “Gigli.” And David Warren’s direction establishes a precise sense of timing; even when Matt & Ben turns sitcom-treacly, teaching us the lessons of true friendship, this cast and crew keep the proceedings entertaining. It may be fluff, but it’s beautifully executed. (John Beer)
“Matt & Ben” plays at the Theatre Building, 1225 West Belmont, (773)327-5252.