Stand By Me: Classic coming of age tale.

August 1, 2012

Stand By Me, deluxe version

I rewatched Stand By Me the classic coming of age film by director Rob Reiner, based on a Stephen King novella ” The Body”. I was so moved once again by this film I had to write about it.

The story concerns four friends living in a small town of about 1200 people. One hot summer a teenage boy, Roy Brower disappears. It seems the rumour is he was struck by a train and is out by the Royal River. The four boys decide to set out to find the body and become famous or at least heroes in the process.

The story this film is based on, The Body, can be found in a collection of Stephen King stories called Different Seasons published in 1982. The collection also includes a story title Shawshank Redemption which later became an award winning film The Shawshank Redemption.

Their world is one of relative innocence, but their journey to find the body, their encounter with Ace Merrill (Kiefer Sutherland), the local bad boy and his gang, and finding Brower’s dead body put an end to that innocence. In the end the boys find out about reality and how it isn’t glamorous.

The line that best sums up the entire movie is typed on the computer screen by The Writer (Richard Dreyfuss) at the end of the movie,

“I never had friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus does anyone?”

The four friends are played by Wil Wheaton (Gordie Lachance), River Phoenix (Chris Chambers), Corey Feldman (Teddy Duchamp), and Jerry O’Connell (Vern Tessio). Gordie Lachance is the writer. The story begins with the death of his friend Chris Chambers on the headline of a newspaper. He then takes us back to tell the story of their adventure that one summer so many years ago.

This movie makes you laugh one moment and cry the next. Most of all it makes you think back to your own childhood and the friends you had and the adventures they shared with you.

A warning this movie does contain bad language including the F-word, but it is too good not to let your young son or daughter watch it with you. Made in 1986 it stands the test of time very well. Definitely a movie to rent, or even better to own.

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Turning Sixty: Flash Fiction

April 20, 2009

Jake sat in the park people-watching and daydreaming. He had an inner sadness he couldn’t seem to shake.  His sixtieth birthday was tomorrow. What hit him was how fast the years had gone by and how few years remained. If he was lucky he’d have another twenty or twenty-five years.

Life so far had been a series of ups and downs, highs and lows.

He’d married, had kids, got divorced, and lived the single-life again, much to his dismay.

Somehow he’d lucked out and found another woman to love and put up with him. He married again, this time a much younger woman. He had kids again. He was happy, but his life was slipping away. Then the birthday jumped up to rouse his fears.

He found himself thinking more and more of his own inevitable death. He’d watched his father die. During the subsequent funeral his thoughts drifted to his demise and his own funeral. Death threatened and loomed. Religion told him death was not to be feared. It was the end of one life and the start of a new one.

Deep in his gut he believed death was the end. After all what made humans different from other life forms. When you die you cease to exist. The body decays and returns to the earth. When you’re dead, you’re dead.

He only hoped his wife and kids remembered him as a good man, but a man none the less. One who had good qualities, and also who had faults.

He visualized his funeral. The mourners came to pay respects, visit, and talk about him.

His body was lowered into the grave. Family and friends shed some tears, and then returned to the problems of everyday life. His mortal remains lay in the coffin in the cold ground. A headstone marked his final resting place. Maybe his wife and kids would come to visit his grave, and maybe not. He hoped they would come and find solace, especially his children.

Yells and squeals of delight shook him from the melancholy place he’d been. His wife and kids came running into the park. Arms of love surrounded him. Life was good, at least for now. Death was shunted aside until its inescapable return.

Steve B. Davis, 2009


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