Stand by Me

Stand by Me ★★★★★


-The campfire story that Gordie tells, and specifically Teddy's comment when it finishes. Gordie tells a tale of a severely overweight child who gets ridiculed by everyone, and so he enters a pie-eating contest in order to literally barf on the whole community as revenge. The boys are riveted by the tale, and cheer excitedly when the story ends triumphantly, and then Teddy asks, "and then what?" Gordie insists that that's where the story ends, maybe the kid goes home that night and celebrates with some cheeseburgers and fries. With just this tiny interaction, the story is thrust from adventurous carefree excitement into the harsh truths of the real world, where a moment of triumph is just that - a moment. I see this as an allegory for the entire film.

-Chris's dream about saving Teddy. Gordie and Chris are talking, and Gordie mentions "that time when {you} saved Teddy in the tree." Chris says he dreams about it sometimes, but in the dream he never quite manages to save him and Teddy always dies. Gordie insistently reminds Chris that he DID save him of course, because "Chris Chambers never misses." Chris is beaten down by his unfortunate reputation that he was born into, to the point where even in his own dreams he has no chance of success. It's Gordie's belief in him that ultimately breaks him out of this self-destructive cycle and allows him to be successful. Friendship is a powerful thing.

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