Monday, October 10, 2011

Standing By

In my ongoing quest to expose Reid to quality movies, even if they include scenes containing profanity, barfing and, ew, leeches, last week we watched Rob Reiner's 1986 classic, Stand By Me. Such terrific performances from such young actors! And a terrific story! Based upon Stephen King's novella, The Body, this film represents perhaps the best screen version of any of King's writing. I do love this movie. There's just this one little thing. That bugs me. Are we really supposed to believe that Wil Wheaton eventually grows up into Richard Dreyfuss? Puh-lease! Let's get one thing straight, I have no quarrel with their performances. Both are outstanding actors who do a great job. I think it's asking too much of the audience when we are pulled out of the story telling experience by such enormous physical differences between the twelve year old and fortyish versions of the same character. Casting is vital to bring life to any script, but particularly so when different actors are cast to portray the same character at different ages. If you peruse the credits as I do, it's almost as if Reiner, et al are attempting to wiggle out of this unbelievable transformation by simply calling Dreyfuss' character the writer, instead of Gordie Lachance the elder. An example of this done well is Penny Marshall's 1988 hit Big. It is no stretch to believe that young David Moscow could grow up to be Tom Hanks. Excellent casting for the small and big versions of character Josh Baskin. Could this give us some insight as to why their marriage failed? Um, probably not. But then we have another boy growing up transformation to contend with. Who would have possibly guessed that chubby Jerry O'Connell, who plays feeb Vern Tessio, would grow up into the ripped, tall and handsome Jerry O'Connell who marries the gorgeous model and actress Rebecca Romijn. I don't know about you, but I look just like my baby picture. Dorky hair and everything.

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