Boys stories resonate with me so much more than girls stories. As a child, I used to think that boys had so much more fun than girls, and that they had so many more interesting things to talk about (honestly, I still do). I myself was a bit of a tomboy, would spend my holidays in the countryside, at the farm and in the surroundings, sometimes partaking in wonderful adventures, other times just imagining them, fueled by the books I was reading. So there are plenty of reasons why I would relate to the story in Stand By Me, especially that I like the coming of age genre, and especially when it’s not aimed only at children, but at adults, too, bringing back the exuberance of those years, but also stating some truths that you might find hard to believe so early in your life that would hold firm long after you’ve passed teenagehood. But it’s not until that very last line that I truly feel connected to it all. The most bittersweet truths of all.
Okay now, there is one more reason to like the movie: River Phoenix stars in it, an actor I would have loved to see evolve and mark the films of our times as he did in those few he got to make. At 15, he was a revelation in his role as Chris Chambers. And I have just realised that it was in terms of style, too, that he was already making a powerful statement. Blue jeans, white t-shirt and Converse. The blue jeans and t-shirt may have been a wardrobe staple in the 1950’s (when the plot is placed), when dressing down became the new revolution thanks to the likes of James Dean, and the entire look can also be viewed as announcing River’s future as style role model, but it has one other great merit: it’s the childhood uniform for many, chosen solely on the account of its practicality. Another lesson to serve you a lifetime.
photo credit: Columbia Pictures