Why ‘Stand by Me’ is the best coming-of-age movie

“By the time we get there, the kid won’t even be dead anymore.”

I don’t even know what to say because this coming-of-age movie is like no other. Every coming-of-age that has been created since then has been influenced by it in some way, whether they know it or not. Never has a movie made me feel so nostalgic and the way it was able to bring me back to when I was 12 years old was unbelievable, thanks to director Rob Reiner.

This is not just a movie, but a tribute to every kid who ever had one of those crazy group of friends when they were young that are hard to forget. What “Stand By Me” taught us was that whether those people are still in our lives or if they were just a passing stage in our lives, you will never have friends later on like the ones you had when you were twelve.

The Scenario

This is not your average coming of age film. It features some darker topics that are set into motion as soon as the movie starts. The four main characters in the film are Gordie, Chris, Teddy, and Vern.

The movie all begins when Vern overhears that there is a dead body in the woods near some train tracks, and that nobody is aware it is there, aside from Chris’ older brother and his buddies, who can’t seem to find an excuse to go out there and find it in the first place. With the intention of gaining fame in their small town, the four boys decide to go on a couple-day expedition to find the body.

However, as coming of age movies often go, the point of the film is not that they reach their destination, but what happens to them on the journey and the changes that transpire from it. Sounds pretty standard, right? Nope. This journey that the four boys embark on is one worth watching.

Gordie, Chris, Teddy, and Vern

The characters in this movie are freaking sensational. The chemistry between them is like no other and the movie builds off of their dynamic friendship. The way these boys insult, love and mess with each other makes it a relatable friendship to everyone.

With every joke, I found myself laughing knowing that although they constantly mess with one another, they are four inseparable characters enjoying the time they have together until they go to junior high.

The combination of Gordie’s storytelling, Chris’s wise words, Teddy’s hilarious and crazy antics, and Vern’s sensitivity and shyness, just goes to show that although each character was very different, it’s what made their friendship so exciting.

Those Crazy Lines

The words that come out of these characters’ mouths are so hilarious. The best thing about them is that you wouldn’t expect them to come out of a couple 12-year olds’ mouths. Although many of the lines can’t be written down here, the movie has a balance between humor and drama that makes the more sentimental lines all that more meaningful.

Teddy: “This is my age! I’m in the prime of my youth, and I’ll only be young once!”

Chris: “Yeah, but you’re gonna be stupid for the rest of your life.”

A perfect example of said balance is right there. With other lines like “It happens sometimes. Friends come in and out of our lives, like busboys in a restaurant” the realization that come from this coming of age film is what makes this my all-time favorite.

The Inner Workings of a Boy

Boys have emotions too! Who would have guessed? Obviously I’m kidding, but with how the media and films often portray men as having to be these strong figures who conceal their emotions, it’s no wonder when boys get upset or sad people often tell them to “toughen up.” “Stand By Me” has one of the best portrayals of young boys I have ever seen.

A number of times in the film, the boys are able to let out how they feel and even shed a few tears along the way (which I love). And you know what the best part is? When the others see how upset one of the boys is, each of them never once says anything about “getting over it” or that they are “weak” for crying. Instead they provide them with comforting words and some of the best advice not only 12-year-olds could give, but anybody for that matter.

During the famous scene where Gordie and Chris are sitting by a tree in the woods and Chris explains the entire “milk money” scenario, we begin to see just how deep “Stand By Me” can get, and boy (… no pun intended) is it affecting.


I don’t think anybody who has ever seen this movie has ever walked away from it not having thought of their pre-teen days. The reason this time was great is because it is obvious that the four characters have almost no cares in the world. They joke, they go on adventures, and they hang out. Obviously they all have some problems of their own, as everybody does, but this is the time before life starts getting serious. ***

*** I not-so lowkey wish my pre-teen years were as awesome as this quartet’s

Looking back on the film, I experienced a load of nostalgia. Just watching how the characters acted reminded me of those times when nothing seemed to ever get in my way because I was happy. Sure, that happiness always follows us through life, but it is an unexplainable feeling of happiness that happens during the years the boys were a part of in the film.

If you’re looking for a film that will actually take you back to this time in your life, “Stand By Me” will always be there. Or if you just want to hear a great story about a two hundred pound kid at a pie eating contest, it has that too.

So this was my two cents on this amazing movie, which I 100000% suggest you watch asap. What other movie would you like me to review or discuss? Let me know and I’ll get on it!

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From Claire's POV

20-something year old. Blogger. Aspiring writer. Teacher's Assistant.

9 thoughts on “Why ‘Stand by Me’ is the best coming-of-age movie”

  1. One of the best reviews I’ve read of Stand By Me. Definitely the best ever coming-of-age and I usually find that whenever I read a coming-of-age story or film, I compare the story to Stand By Me and/or its characters e.g. The Impossible Fortress. I think we were all at least one of the characters in the film. Chris is by far the wisest but Teddy had it right: I’m in the prime of my youth, and I’ll only be young once!

    Liked by 1 person

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