April 8, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 100  

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Outside the Box: A tale of standing by your friends

Stand By Me (1986)
Starring: Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman
Directed By: Rob Reiner

By Gabriella Barillari
Gazette Staff

Gazette File Photo
STAND BY ME...OR SIT ON SOME RAILROAD TRACKS. From left to right, actors Wil Wheaton, Corey Feldman, River Phoenix and Jerry O’Connell star as the best of childhood friends.

Remember those adolescent days when you spent innumerable hours with your best friends causing a ruckus?

Adapted from Stephen King’s “The Body” and set in the 1980s, Stand By Me remains the most spectacular portrayal of true friendship on film.

It’s a tale about a journalist (Richard Dreyfuss) who recounts his boyhood journey to find the body of a missing teen. Throughout this two-day trek — in which he and his friends hope to become small town heroes — the four boys acquire a strong bond and share many quirky experiences.

Director Reiner (This is Spinal Tap, A Few Good Men) created a smart screenplay with a simple and honest storyline that captured the spiritual quest of self-discovery — having to deal with parents, crazy siblings, school, drugs, peer pressure and the bullshit of the world.

Wheaton plays the sensitive wannabe writer Gordie Lachance, while Phoenix plays the rugged Chris Chambers. Feldman plays the most controversial character, whose abhorrence for his father is expressed through his vulgarity towards others: “I’m gonna rip off your neck and shit down your throat!” If you really hate someone, this line is sure to make an impact.

Stand By Me will make you cherish all the positive and negative memories of your past. The film allows you to wander back in time to recall what you and your friends were like, and how much you may have transformed. You’ll also wonder whether you’ve experienced the true happiness of good moments shared with friends — without the booze and clubs.



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