The Princess Bride (1987)

Follwing this article, I have to add my words of wisdom.

So: The Princess Bride is one year younger than me. Jeez, that makes me feel old. But it also makes me ponder fondly of the old days, when everything was really simple, and the double-cassettes of true wwove and mawwiage  were the haven of  innocence (with just an itsy bit of cynicism).

Rob Reiner had nailed it. He has a gift of portraying epic love stories in a hilarious and painfully true way, even when the genre isn’t. He had directed The Princess Bride 2 years before he did ‘When Harry Met Sally’ and oddly enough, I do find the resemblance (can’t you just drown in the blue-ness of both Robin Wright AND Meg Ryan’s eyes in the final scene of both movies?).

So, the princess bride is the classic movie for demonstrating ‘Mise en abyme’ – It’s a book within a book which is processed into  a movie within a movie. Let’s start with the fact that ‘The Princess Bride’ was made after a book by William Goldman owning the same title; within its prologue Goldman claims that this book is an abridgment of a longer version written by S. Morgenstern, the highly admirable writer of Florin (which as you can or can’t remember, is Buttercup and Westley’s homeland).

The movie begins with grandpa (Peter Falk) coming to visit his sick grandson (Fred ‘Wonder Years’ Savage) in order to read him a book about kissing.  Ew. I believe that of all scenes in this movie – this is my favorite one. Other than Fred Savage being a childhood mascot, I really think any kid could relate to being torn between video games and grandpa’s attention. It’s a late-80’s, early-90’s prerequisite. Seriously.

I will not attend to the content of the movie (within the movie) itself. It’s been well conversed and praised. I would, however mention the final scene – to me, the ‘As You Wish’ locking the movie, always raised the question: Is grandpa’s name Westley?  (Kind of like in the same way I always tried to find evidence for Ninny being Idgie in ‘Fried Green Tomatoes’). I chose to believe it is. I chose to believe my grandpas’ also had some Westley in them, and that’s only some of the magic of this movie 🙂

A generation of cynical & slightly depressed 20- to 30-something men and women has evolved since. Is nostalgia the only thing making them buy this t-shirt? I’m not sure. I do know that even though my younger brother wasn’t  born into the double-cassette era, he still loved this movie, so that’s something. I’d like to experiment it more thoroughly, though. I have a friend who still hasn’t seen the movie (say WHAT?!?!) and for some inconceivable reason, I don’t think it will grow on her as much as it did for 5-years-old moi. But that’s the beauty of it, isn’t it?

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