‘The Princess Bride’, why don’t they make films like that anymore? Or films like its fellow 80’s twin, ‘Labyrinth’, or even their bastard 90’s son, ‘Evil Dead 3’. You know why? I just don’t think today’s audiences would accept it. That doesn’t mean this film is dated, and a modern audience wouldn’t still love it, but I think a modern day version just wouldn’t go down well. Which is a pity, because this film is so damn good, and having just seen it on the big screen this past weekend reminded me how awesome it was!
For those who aren’t familiar with the film, here’s a quick rundown. Westley, played by Cary Elwes, or as I like to think of him as, Robin, from ‘Robin Hood: Prince In Tights’, is in love with the fair maiden Buttercup, played by Robin Wright, or once again, Jenny, from ‘Forrest Gump’.
Sadly their love is interrupted, and adventure ensues, where they come across such characters as, or should I say how I remember them all, Andre The Giant from old school WWF, that Dr from ‘Chicago Hope’, that kid from ‘The Wonder Years’, Mel from ‘Smith And Jones’, and of course we can’t forget Harry from ‘When Harry Met Sally’.
The movie is directed by Rob Reiner, who’s directed such classics as, ‘This Is Spinal Tap, ‘Stand By Me’, ‘Misery’, ‘A Few Good Men’, and the previously mentioned ‘When Harry Met Sally’, and though those are all great films, I still hold ‘The Princess Bride’ as his crowning achievement. The same goes for its writer William Goldman, whose credits include 2 other Reiner directed films already mentioned, as well as ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’, ‘The Ghost and the Darkness’, and ‘Dreamcatcher’, but once again, it’s ‘The Princess Bride’ that stands out to me as his best work to date.
But what makes this film, in my eyes, perfect? I know, I know, that might be a term that gets thrown around a lot, but I hold this up to the light as one of the best films ever made. Why do I think this though? Well, it’s the combination of a perfectly written script, and the amazing execution of said script by the director. The humor, the adventure, the character arch’s, the story beats, the right amount of dark material to pull at the emotional strings, all add up to one thing, pitch perfect storytelling.
At the end of the day, that’s the one thing that makes something go from good to great, be it a book, a song, a tale you tell over the water cooler at work about your weekend, or a film, it’s great storytelling that makes the difference, and ‘The Princess Bride’ has it in spades!
If you haven’t seen this film yet, see it, as it stands the test of time, and if it can do that 26 years down the track, means this will unlikely ever age, as it’s not only great for the kids, but for adults alike!
Also without really planning it this way, and for my first official review for my new blog, I’m going to be giving out my very elusive mark of 10 out of 10, which this film is very deserving of!