I find it hard to comment on this film without simply repeating what has already been said. It's not that I can't think of anything original, but that others seem to have felt the exact same emotions as I did when watching this film.
I saw this movie when I was about 12, 13, maybe 14 years old. So it didn't have the same nostalgic sense it had for so many. But what it did, was make me ache for those memories. I wanted (in the words of another reviewer) to be 12, and *that* cool. I wished I had been like that, that I had had friends like that, laughed like that, and had adventures like that.
The 'milk-money' scene was probably one of my all-time favourite scenes in movie history. Up until I saw this movie I had never held much regard for River Phoenix, but the poignancy and sincerity which River added to the role of Chris Chambers touched me to the point of tears. I read in yet another review that in this scene, River was asked to think of a time when he had been hurt by an adult, and that even after the cameras stopped rolling, River sat there still, sobbing and hurting. And I felt every tear and heard every word as though I were there with Chris.
This movie made me laugh, cry, rejoice and fear with Chris, Gordie, Teddy and Vern. I loved the campfire scenes, and today I look back on my own childhood, and remember with a laugh the amazingly similar things I used to laugh and wonder about with my friends. I remember dreaming about being a writer and an actress, I remember standing up to bullies, I remember walking or riding with my friends, I remember being afraid, and crying onto a friend's shoulder.
I guess what this movie does for everyone, is take them back in time, even though the situations may have been different, chances are you'll find the similarities, and remember with a smile that yes, your life was once *that* cool. In the words of Vern, "a great time"
I especially loved the ending. That they found out who was strong, and who just talked tough. I loved the last scene with Chris and Gordie, and the closing monologue.
"I never had any friends later on, like the ones I had when I was twelve...Jesus....does anyone?"