Stand By Me : Is Stand By Me suitable for a 10 year old?

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The Pitch: “Stand By Me” is a film that is nothing short of a miracle. It manages to be both one of the best Stephen King adaptations ever done and the gold standard for all coming-of-age films since 1986. It’s moving, funny, tense, and all-around entertaining, and it’ll be remembered for centuries.

Why Should You Watch It?

Columbia Pictures is a studio that produces films.
I was raised by a single mother for the majority of my youth. Mom had to work a lot in the 1980s to have a roof over our heads and food in our tummies, which perhaps explains my early fascination with storytelling.

I was drawn to movies in particular, and happily, my left-leaning mother was unconcerned about what I could watch. With a few exclusions, R-rated films were allowed.

That being said, I recall her being anxious straight away when we sat down to watch “Stand By Me,” because the first five minutes feature four tween boys sitting in their treehouse, playing cards, smoking, and cursing nonstop.

My typically permissive mother turned to me and said she wasn’t sure I should be viewing this. Even though I couldn’t have been more than eight years old at the time, I naturally objected, and she didn’t need much convincing. I mean, I’d seen “Jaws” and “Aliens” a few hundred times each by this point, so what were a few bad words here and there?

So, we watched the movie, and I obsessively

rewatched it over and over throughout my youth, which is one of the reasons I wanted to discuss it today.Stand by Me' at 30: Why This Stephen King Movie Is Timeless - Rolling Stone

The Secret Sauce of This Film Is Authenticity.

“Stand By Me,” a Columbia Pictures film, appeals to children because its four protagonists are treated as grownups. Wil Wheaton’s Gordie Lachance, River Phoenix’s Chris Chambers, Corey Feldman’s Teddy Duchamp, and Jerry O’Connell’s Vern Tessio are all very real youngsters.

Yes, that means they’re immature, reckless, and full of energy, as well as everything else that comes with being a kid, but they also have real-world difficulties.

Each of them has been let down by the grownups in their lives in some way. Gordie’s parents are heartbroken about the death of his older sibling and are unable to be strong for their remaining kid.

Chris’s entire family is a shambles, and he’s on his own to forge a moral path, all while living in the shadow of his soiled surname.

Teddy’s father is physically and emotionally abusive, and Vern’s parents… well, we don’t know much about Vern’s parents, but his brother, who is a member of Ace Merrill’s hoodlum gang, is a bad apple. Vern is perhaps the purest of the four, yet he still rings genuine.

You’ll remember these characters if you watched this movie as a kid. At school, everyone knew a Vern, and if you’re thinking back and saying, “No, I didn’t,” then bad news, bud: you were someone else’s Vern.

One of the most authentic Stephen King adaptations is Stand By Me.

Columbia Pictures Is a Studio That Produces Films.

I recognized myself in Gordie; even if my physique was more on the Vern side of things, I could identify with the child who wanted to be a writer but was mainly left to his own devices.

My mother was far superior to Gordie’s parents, but most latchkey kids of the 1980s would understand what I’m talking about. Before the internet and smartphones, this was the case. Basic cable (if we could afford it), a VCR, books, and our imaginations were all that we had. That was the end of it.

Maybe I wasn’t the invisible kid that Gordie was to his parents, but there was a time when I’d be sitting at home alone if I wasn’t hanging out with my neighborhood pals.Stand By Me' Returns to Cinemas Nationwide for 35th Anniversary - Celluloid Junkie

The fact that Rob Reiner and screenwriters Raynold Gideon and Bruce A. Evans were able to capture childhood so realistically is the film’s secret sauce. Granted, they had a wonderful model to work with:

“The Body,” a Stephen King novella, is virtually what you see in “Stand By Me.” In reality, there are situations where the dialogue is transferred from the book to the script line by line.

King began by fleshing out those characters, but it was Reiner’s direction and the superb young actors that cemented this film’s status as an all-timer and the exact definition of a wonderful coming-of-age film.

Let’s take a look at the word ‘coming-of-age’ for a moment.

Columbia Pictures Is a Studio That Produces Films.

The coming-of-age story is still one of my favorite genres of film, thanks in large part to “Stand By Me,” but I think people misapply that title to films that aren’t genuinely coming-of-age films.

Granted, this could just be my workplace definition (and society as a whole has never voted for my point of view to be true), but a coming-of-age film for me has to center on individuals who are transitioning from childhood to adolescence.

It’s a fascinating and frightening time in everyone’s life. Bodies change, hormones pump, and the rest of the world’s expectations of you vary. That, to me, is the crux of a coming-of-age story, not the typical “high school seniors go on an adventure” type of stuff that gets labeled as such all the time. That, my friend, is an adolescent film.

Because the four main characters begin as children, “Stand By Me” is the ideal coming-of-age story. They embark on a voyage with the mindset of children (they don’t expect to need food, but Vern brings a comb), and the journey transforms them.

What they wanted at the beginning — to go view a dead body and become local heroes for “discovering” it — isn’t what they want now. The film, as much as King’s original story, is about the passage from childhood to adulthood.What it's like reuniting with your hometown best friend during the holidays | HelloGiggles

Columbia Pictures Is a Studio That Produces Films.

Something is coming to a close with this voyage. This is the last summer these youngsters will have before everything changes, not just inside their circle of friends, but throughout their entire world. Consider the film’s final line.

Nobody has the same circle of friends as they did when they were twelve, and it is a harsh reality. Even if you’re still best friends with your childhood friends, our relationships evolve as we do.

Of course, there’s puberty, but there’s also maturation and the aforementioned expectation placed on us by our friends, family, and even strangers. Everything changes in that hazy, awkward period between the ages of 12 and 14.

Your friendships from that time either grow stronger or fall apart during those stressful adolescent years, as the four teenagers at the focus of this story did.

That, at least for me, is coming of age. “Stand By Me,” “My Girl,” “Bridge to Terabithia,” “My Life As A Dog,” and even “Almost Famous” fall into this category.

But it’s when people start referring to movies like “Heathers” and “10 Things I Hate About You” as coming-of-age films that I start to become irritated.

I know, it’s a strange thing to get irritated over! However, I am a movie buff, and we have a strange relationship with labels. Someday, I’ll explain why I think it’s problematic to classify “Silence of the Lambs” as a thriller rather than a horror film (which it is), but for now, I’m afraid there’s only room on this soapbox for coming-of-age rantings.

The four kids lose their childhoods sometimes along the way to find Ray Brower’s body. The beauty is that it’s not one event that does it; rather, it’s a cumulative impact as the friends, especially Chris and Gordie, bond in ways they’ve never had before, and confront threats from both within and without.

They return to Castle Rock with the weight of their journey on their backs. There’s a sense of melancholy in the air, a maturity that wasn’t present from the start.

That, in my opinion, is why “Stand By Me” is the gold standard of coming-of-age films: those final moments when the friends who experienced something incredible peel away one by one.

The fact that it’s all told by a narrator who looks back on that period with nostalgia is the cherry on top.

The harder this film affects you as you become older.
Columbia Pictures is a studio that produces films.
As a kid, I identified with the adventure lads. As an adult, I can identify with Richard Dreyfuss’s wistfulness and grief as he reflects on his upbringing, and I can relate to that more.

“Stand By Me” is a marvel of a picture, loaded with some of the best child performances ever captured on film and helmed by Rob Reiner at the pinnacle of his abilities. It’s worth noting that Reiner established numerous subgenres throughout this time span.

“Stand By Me” is the ultimate coming-of-age film, “This Is Spinal Tap” is the ultimate mockumentary, and “When Harry Met Sally” is the pinnacle of rom-com. During this time, he had an incredible run, and I didn’t even mention “Misery” or “The Princess Bride,” both of which are masterpieces.

Is Stand By Me suitable for a 10-year-old?

What Parents Should Know Parents should be aware that, despite its high nostalgia factor and preteen stars, Stand by Me is not a children’s film.

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