A and A's Movie A Day

Watching movies until we run out.

Stand By Me

March 26, 2010

Stand By Me

Today we’re attending PAX East, and we were there for Wil Wheaton’s great keynote speech about gaming, imagination, and treasuring this time with other gamers.  He even quoted Stand By Me during the speech.  So we’re reviewing Stand By Me tonight… then it’s back to the con for more gaming fun.

Stand by me is one of two non-horror films in our collection based on Stephen King short stories (the other being The Shawshank Redemption.)  Today’s film does show some of the same everyman fifties comraderie that would later be used to such great effect in the flashback scenes of It.  Stephen King really knows how to invest every-day existence with gravitas and importance.  I remember once that a grade school friend of mine asked me why I made everything in my life to be so operatic and larger than life: why I couldn’t just accept my life as normal like everybody else and just live it.  For years I didn’t really have an answer for him.  But now I begin to have an inkling of one.  Eric, it’s because it’s my life.  The only life I can ever experience firsthand, and I’m the only one living it.  So of course it’s a big deal to me.

I’m not quite sure why that annecdote comes to mind, except that this is a movie all about the friends we have in our childhood who we loose touch with.  And it’s about an adventure where almost nothing happens, these four friends go out to see a dead body one of them has heard about, spend a day and a night getting to it, then go home.  Really that’s pretty much it.  So it’s not a movie about the journey so much as how the journey is percieved by these four characters.  It’s a movie about growing up, I guess.  And anybody will tell you that growing up is not something I’m really qualified to talk about.

I do enjoy this movie a lot though.  The characters are so simple and real.  The soundtrack is so fantastic.  And what a great cast!  Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Keifer Sutheland, John Cusack, Richard Dreyfuss… every one a star!

Watching it now, though, I realize just how much the Wonder Years stole this movie’s bit.  How did I never notice that before?  I like Wil more than Fred Savage though.  Whatever.

I miss some of my grade school friends.  I see John on Facebook, but I don’t have any idea what happened to Kenny and Tez and Randy and Eric.  It’s a strange old world, and that, at least, the movie gets spot on.

March 26, 2010 - Posted by | daily reviews | , , ,


  1. I love that you call this “an adventure where almost nothing happens” as that is how I see the movie, and how I think many of us see our lives. I really love this movie and have seen it too many times to count.

    Comment by Trisha | March 27, 2010 | Reply

    • Really, this movie shouldn’t be as great as it is. It takes a deft hand (Rob Reiner) to make a movie about nothing so engaging. Always a fun film.

      Comment by tanatoes | March 27, 2010 | Reply

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