Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Body searches and psychoanalysis

Apparently, I was deprived of a classic film experience before watching Stand By Me. I had never heard of this movie before, much to the great surprise of my friends, but I'm glad that I came across it. Somewhat reminiscent of The Sandlot and other such coming-of-age movies, it is one to which all of us can relate. While most of us probably did not go on an expedition to find a dead body at age twelve, we had adventures that certainly seemed as important. This movie is funny, sad, and real.

A young Jerry O'Connell plays Vern, the token fat kid of the group who comes up with the plan for the four boys to go looking for a missing kid. They follow the railroad tracks, on which Teddy, the troubled one, stands before an oncoming train. Gordie, the narrator of the film, has a run-in with the legendary junkyard dog. And Chris, played by River Phoenix, holds them all together with his strong, mature personality. There are plenty of heartfelt moments, a few tearful, and just as many funny ones. A second suspenseful train incident completes the range of emotions that the film contains.

Although I'm not sure, I think Stand By Me may have been the original kid adventure film, prompting a string of them in the '90s. Though it is somewhat predictable in plot, the various stories of the young boys are different and somehow more touching than in other films of its type. Because I relate it to later films like The Little Rascals, this is not a distinctly '80s film in my view. Though it has been created and recreated, the innocence and truth of its storyline and the hilarious mishaps of the bonding among the four friends make Stand By Me a film well worth watching.

1 comment:

Vladigogo said...

And of course the film is based on a short story by Stephen King. One of the few films based on his stories that actually works.

Maximum Overdrive anyone?
Christine anyone?