My friend Cheryl watched Stand by Me for the first time yesterday, then asked me why it is my favorite movie. I rattled off a few reasons, then put the following, more complete list together in my head:
~It has an unusual morbid plot in which four boys go in search of the dead body of a schoolmate. There are spoken and unspoken themes in the film about confronting death, including one's own.
~It is based on a short story of Stephen King, as is another of my favorites, The Shawshank Redemption. I find that his short stories make much better dramatizations than his novels.
~It is interesting to watch boys of that age interact, because they have not yet put on all of the veneer of adulthood.
~I have always liked River Phoenix (1970-1993) and remember being very moved by his death, even though we were 7 years apart in age.
~In the film, however, I identify with Will Wheaton's character, Gordy, because he is a writer.
~Much of the movie takes place while walking through the woods, which I used to love to do.
~Lastly, not only do I love a narrated movie, but Richard Dreyfuss rivals Morgan Freeman for the best narrator.
The movie's title, of course, comes from the song. And the film is highlighted on the Chuck Taylor Converse All-Star website because those are the brand of sneakers worn by Gordy and Chris! If you haven't seen it, add it to your queue...