reed’s review published on Letterboxd:
I sometimes feel so absolutely alone in the world. Like I'm sitting in a house in a town in a county in a state in the middle of nowhere. I am the center of my own life, yet I always feel like the real center is thousands of miles away. Each car that drives past my window, each family walking their dog. Every drop of rain, every whisper from the wind. Life is so fleeting, and I feel like I'm missing every moment. I sometimes feel like I'm watching my own life, instead of choosing it.
Stand by Me deals with childhood nostalgia. And innocence. And our friendships. But to me what hit the most was identity, and choosing your own path. It's about cherishing every moment in your life, and embracing your identity to help you be successful. Love yourself, and then you can love others.
The four boys in Stand by Me don't realize this at first. They have such big hearts, and such big minds, but they all - especially Chris - look down on themselves. Chris wants to be someone, but he doesn't feel he has the brains, or the means. Gordie also wants to be someone, but he feels pressured and hated by his parents and by his dead older brother. The other two have motives more concealed, but Stand by Me doesn't push them to the side. It lets the characters breath and develop.
When I finished Stand by Me the only complaint that I could think of was that I wanted more. I wanted an arc, an ending, a reunion where the adults could share good times. But I realized that would destroy at all. Just like Gordie said about his pie eating story; that's just the end. Sometimes the ending doesn't have to explain everything. Like how the boys dealt with the older gang. How Gordie dealt with his trauma and parents. Where Teddie and Vern went with their lives. Those are questions we care about, but also questions that are so much valuable to think about than to "know" for fact. Every life is intertwined, and we will never for sure truly understand anyone's story except our own.
So let's work every day on making our own story better and better. Let's not let any predetermined fate define us. Let's love ourselves, and love others. If we don't have a center, look for that center instead of letting it find you. Make your own future. Most of us are out of young childhood, and whether it was awful or amazing, remember that as a time of hope and courage and love and friendship, and let that inspire your new adventures.
Listening to the soft, melodic rain outside my window, I'm reminded just how beautiful life is. It will go by before we know it, but we are so fortunate to even be alive. Even for a fraction of a second in the span of the universe. We are so small, but we are a part. If fate really does exist, then rise to meet it.
Thinking about it this way, I don't feel so alone after all.