“I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was 12. Jesus, does anyone?”
Stand By Me’s (1986) final line, delivered by Richard Dreyfuss and his green-text computer, is a perfect encapsulation of the film’s entire message. It is a quote that defines coming of age and captures the essence of childhood friendships, as well as the way children are naive to their significance during youth. There’s a reality behind that statement that doesn’t just relate to the themes of the film, but themes of life. The friendships and associations we make as children are never the same as the ones we make as adults.
[Corey] Feldman says it is that final line in the film that still really gets to him. “It speaks volumes for what the whole film is about,” he says. “It is a time capsule.”
There’s something bittersweet about reminiscing on one’s childhood to discover those really were special times, but it’s not until we become older and wiser and more aware of ourselves that we can appreciate the beauty of innocence.
Wil Wheaton, who played the film’s iconic character Gordie, gave an interview to NPR where he poignantly expressed the valuable statement of the film - a message summed up by that final narrated sentence.
“Stand by Me, it sort of talks about this time in your life that feels incredibly complicated, but as you get older you realize it's actually incredibly simple. And we get the tremendous gift of not knowing that it's never going to be like that again for the rest of our lives, so it's just pure and it's uncomplicated. And it's a time that stays with us even as we become adults."