3 out of 5 stars (Average)
Note: This was part of my “Making of a Movie Geek” project from when I was 15 years old. Please click the link to read up on this project. Thoughts: Stand By Me is one of the best representations of childhood I’ve ever seen. The acting, characters, and mixture of raunchy humor, close calls, and heartrending drama make it easy to sympathize with the young heroes. My 15 year-old self was stymied by the cursing, drug use, and sex references, but as an adult, I feel everyone should see Stand by Me at least once. My current rating is 4 out of 5 stars (one of the best of its year). Enjoy my old review below!
Stand by Me is a film based on a Stephen King short story. Unlike his other works that include The Shining, The Green Mile, and Misery, Stand By Me is not a horror story. For those who don’t remember it, the story is that four cursing, smoking, pre-teens with bad families go on a trip to find a kid’s dead body.
In this movie, all four kids start out with one intention: retrieve the body and become heroes. They have very noble intentions, but a lot goes on in one day in this movie. Gordie (Wil Wheaton) is a kid whose brother (John Cusack) died and thinks his family doesn’t appreciate him. Chris (River Phoenix) is a boy who everyone hates because he’s so down on himself and he’s bossy. Teddy’s (Corey Feldman) father burned his ear on the stove. Vern (Jerry O’Connell) is a dork. What do these twelve-year-old kids have in common? They are friends and, despite their differences, they stand by each other for better or for worse throughout the film.
One of the things I liked about this film was that the characters were very deeply drawn. Each one has his own story, revealed in a series of conversations and flashbacks throughout the film. Richard Dreyfuss narrates the story and this also introduces the characters before they speak. In the end of the movie he tells what happened to each boy and how this one day altered their lives and their friendships.
While the music in the movie sets the tone for the era it was set in, these classic 50’s tunes don’t do much else in my opinion. This was an adult movie, so they were putting in music the adults would relate to.
Even though it wasn’t Stephen King’s normal kind of story, it still entertained me without scaring me to death. I hope to see more Stephen King movies as I get older.
Maybe Misery. Hehhehheh.
Rated R for Language and Some Disturbing Situations