“I really, really liked River. I looked up to him. He was a person who you just instantly liked and you wanted him to like you back. He was kind and there was something really peaceful about him. He exuded this wisdom.” — Wil Wheaton, 2016.
“It’s the way people think of my family in this town. It’s the way they think of me. Just one of those lowlife Chambers-kids.” — Stand By Me (1986)
In a particularly heart-wrenching scene, Phoenix sits at the trunk of a tree, the campfire flickering in the foreground, and has a breakdown because he thinks he’s worthless. It was a tough one to get right. Reiner asked the actor to think of a time when an adult had let him down. “When someone that you really looked up to, and really loved, wasn’t there for you,” he said. The next take, he got it. Reiner never did find out what Phoenix was thinking about. “He kept crying after that scene and I had to go give him a hug. It is a hard scene to play and then snap out of.” (x)
They could’ve easily made him the stereotypical “chubby friend” who just loves food, says dumb things for comedic effect, and is one who gets picked on by the rest of his friends. This trope is so common in films about groups of young friends, guys or girls, mostly young and high school aged. But they didn’t do that.
This kid is smart. He has an imagination. He’s open to all possibilities. He’s observant - he’s the one who noticed the compasses.
Yeah he brought food for their excursion, but not because he’s obsessed with it or he brought it all for himself. He was being logical. If they were gone for a while or doing anything strenuous, yeah they’d need energy. Candy, chips, fruit, and trail mix.
The only thing he gets made fun of for is his lack of front teeth, and it’s only by the two bullies at school. His friends aren’t “pity friends”.
tl;dr Dustin is the most beautiful little cinnamon roll