Review: Stand By Me (1986)

stand-by-me

Superman always beats Mighty Mouse, not because he’s a real guy, but because he goes home to bag Lois Lane!

Screenplay By: Bruce A. Evans & Raynold Gideon
Directed By: Rob Reiner

Stand By Me is a film that I somehow managed to avoid throughout the years. You know the film, the one that you always mean to rent, but you end up putting back on the shelf. Stand By Me was that film for me, but finally all these years later I got around to watching it. Was it worth the wait, or was it a movie best left on the shelf, or in the queue as the case may be? I’m happy I watched it, it didn’t shake my world up or anything, but Stand By Me was a good movie watching experience.

Right off the bat the movie does a splendid job of setting up these characters and their world. Through the music, the clothes and the manner of speaking I felt transported to the 1950’s. The kids do swear more than I believe kids in the 1950’s would, and some of the dialogue, especially the thief/friends conversation between Gordie and his father, feels unnaturally inserted. But, it never takes over the film and for the most part the dialogue and the movie retain a natural feel.

The voice over narration works in spurts, at times it’s a bit unnecessary, telling us things we have already discovered visually. But, like the sometimes stilted dialogue it never takes over the film in a bad way. It does help to tie the film together, so while I am not the biggest fan of voice over narration, it did work in Stand By Me more than it hurt the film.

The bridge sequence is easily a part of the best twenty minute span of the film. The bridge sequence is cool, that’s all there is to it. But, that particular section of the film stands out because in their trek across the bridge you see snippets of the boys true personalities in how they choose to traverse the bridge. This is followed up by the watch out scene where you really get to see the different personalities of the boys in action in the ways they choose to stand watch.

The main theme of the movie, that of friendship and bonding is well handled. However, I found the ending even better than the theme the movie puts forth. Tragedies happen, people grow apart, but your experiences with those people never leave you. Life moves on and so must you, but that doesn’t mean you forget the people who were once in your life.

Now, my least favorite bit of the entire movie just happens to be a favorite of most. I realize the Lardass story was told from the perspective of a preteen boy, but it was so filled with malice that I never felt any compunction to care about what I was seeing. Others love this sequence, but I didn’t find it the least bit funny or appealing and really could have done without it.

Stand By Me isn’t an all-time classic as I was led to believe, but it is a very good movie. The characters feel fully fleshed out and they all give good performances. The theme is well handled and the story flows rather nicely. Stand By Me ends up a good movie well worth checking out. But man, I still can’t get over the fact that little fat kid is now banging Rebecca Romijn!

Rating:

***1/2

Cheers,
Bill

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2 responses to “Review: Stand By Me (1986)

  1. stand by me is a classic. your such a fool

  2. Insightful commentary if I’ve ever read some.

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