I just watched "Stand By Me" for the first time ever a few days ago.
I liked the film, but the ending just...well at first I thought it sucked. Gordie/the Writer talks about how his friend Chris, who looked out for him and was wanting a way out of the life he was in and the path he was on, ended up sticking with Gordie, going to college and becoming a lawyer. Sure, the four friends weren't friends anymore, but Chris, who tried so hard, made it!
Until he tries to peacefully end a fight at a bar and gets stabbed in the neck, nearly dying instantly.
But, after some pondering, I recalled the scene where Gordie tells the story of the kid with the gland problem's revenge at the pie eating, and Teddy said he didn't like the ending. Gordie seemed to really ponder this, and I think, after decades of experience in writing, he thought the ending of his tale would be better suited to end in tragedy, and that the real ending is that yes, the four friends drifted apart, but they were all still breathing. He took the Joss Whedon of endings and decided that one of them had to die, and, since it couldn't be the lead protagonist [him], it had to be the kid who the audience would feel most for--Chris.
So, with that in mind, I loved the film!