Stand By Me – A long time ago, but only if you measure in terms of years

If you recall the first ever post for this blog (and why wouldn’t you?), you will remember that on my first day of blogging I only posted a few choice words and a picture. Here’s a screen cap:

Everyone has a special film in their personal collection — one that they can watch a thousand times and never get sick of. One that they can recite every line from. One that they know everything about. Stand By Me is that movie for me. It’s had a longer lasting effect on me than any other film I’ve ever seen. There was even a period of time when I used to watch it, like, every single day. I’m not kidding. I love this film. The acting, the direction, the dialogue, the photography, the characters, and the music. OH! The music! Not since Dirty Dancing had a movie soundtrack rocked my world!

In high school I wrote an essay about the film for a writing assignment, and I was hoping to find it and post it here to show just how personal this film is for me. Alas, it’s on an old computer which I can’t find, but perhaps some day I will recover it.

"JESUS!!!!"

So why am I writing about Stand By Me? Monday, August 8th marked the 25th anniversary of the film’s release in theaters. TWENTY FIVE YEARS. Three of the boys are grown now, one of them has sadly passed (I’ll spare you the details of my love for River Phoenix). Jerry O’Connell (Verne Tessio) lost his baby fat, grew handsome, and married Rebecca Romijn. Corey Feldman (Teddy Duchamp) buddied up with Corey Haim, starred in the Lost Boys (filmed in Santa Cruz!!!), battled with drugs, and has managed to have a mostly successful acting career. Wil Wheaton (Gordie LaChance), the film’s protagonist, went on to star in Stark Trek: TNG, writes extensively about gaming and tech, and has established himself as a celebrity in geek culture.

In honor of the film’s 25th anniversary, Wil took part in an NPR piece this week in which he reflects on his life and relationships during the filming of Stand By Me:  Stand By Me: A Love Letter To Childhood Innocence. He also wrote a thoughtful blogpost about it on his website, which was amazing to read and gave me a lot of insight into what being a part of this incredible movie was like: I Was Twelve Going On Thirteen When I Made the Movie that Changed My Life.

I ran all the way home....

Although Wil has gone on to accomplish good things over the years and has certainly moved beyond Gordie LaChance, his blogpost shows how much he truly appreciates having been a part of such a classic and awesome film, and how the experience shaped his life. He’s sentimental without being sappy, and reflective without being preachy. It’s an essential read for any fan of this film.

It happens sometimes. Friends Movies come in and out of our lives like busboys in a restaurant. But Stand By Me will be my favorite forever.

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