MOVIE REVIEW: “The Princess Bride” stars Cary Elwes (Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Saw), Robin Wright (Forrest Gump, Unbreakable), Mandy Patinkin (Homeland [TV series], Dick Tracy), Chris Sarandon (The Nightmare Before Christmas, Child’s Play), Wallace Shawn (Toy Story, My Dinner with Andre), André the Giant (Trading Mom, WrestleMania III), Fred Savage (The Wonder Years [1988 TV series], Austin Powers in Goldmember), Peter Falk (Columbo [TV series], Murder by Death), Mel Smith (National Lampoon’s European Vacation, Brain Donors), Christopher Guest (This Is Spinal Tap, Waiting for Guffman), Carol Kane (Annie Hall, Addams Family Values), and Billy Crystal (When Harry Met Sally…, Parental Guidance). It is directed by Rob Reiner (A Few Good Men, Stand by Me) and written by William Goldman (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, All the President’s Men).
A grandfather tells his grandson a mystical tale of a farmhand returning to his long lost love, through action, adventure, and comedy.
“As you wish.” Yet another movie that has escaped me in my life (and ever-so-highly recommended), “The Princess Bride” is an 80’s classic by the esteemed filmmaker Rob Reiner, who gifted the world “When Harry Met Sally…” and “A Few Good Men” (amongst an array of other things). Its fairytale charm mixed with its humorous wit has made it a mainstay in audience’s hearts, and it was a treat to finally sit down to see it with a mega fan (who quoted almost the entire film as we watched, whether vocally or mouthing).
When you watch this feature, you’re in for a good time. It’s built on the foundation of fun, sprawling across multiple genres wrapped up in a storybook fashion. There’s action, romance, and adventure, with a unifying sense of comedy that had me laughing a few times (what made this even better was that I haven’t seen really any clip or trailer of the thing). Under Reiner, the dialogue soars, leaving a lasting impact with its numerous quotable lines/moments (my favorites including Billy Crystal’s cameo and the “mawiage” sequence). From the moment it opens until the credit crawl, I was entertained, which is all you can ask of such a fantastical project.
Probably the biggest pro to this experience lies in the performances. Reiner gathered a terrific group, including the likes of Cary Elwes, Robin Wright (her first big movie), Mandy Patinkin, Christ Sarandon, Christopher Guest, Wallace Shawn (“inconceivable!”), Fred Savage, Peter Falk, Billy Crystal, and Andre the Giant. Man oh man. They’re an eclectic group. It’s no easy feat to pull off such fairytale dialogue. There’s a romanticism to it all, and everyone knew how to fit the mold (and provide the humor all the while).
The cinematography and direction of everything is pretty solid. There’s a certain gloss/glow to it all that heightens the storybook element, while also breathing the 80’s cinematic air. It’s a time capsule feature that is large in scope yet confined in both story and aesthetic. The wardrobe is simple and the sets are standard to the period it’s placed in; almost as if the actors were playing dress-up in a fairytale (though not entirely, this film certainly is more grandiose than that). I thought its simplicity added to the humor all the more, while also making the story more personal. Of course, it isn’t perfect (and I’m sure people who grew up on this would love it more than me), but it’s a fun flick nonetheless.
I’m a hopeless romantic, as most who are close to me would know. And as I’ve stated before, “The Princess Bride” plays up the romanticism in such a wonderful way. Though it’s jokes can be cheesy and the production simple, it manages to dazzle and excite in quite a few big ways. Having watched it, I can understand why it is a favorite, which only makes me wish I grew up on it to have that nostalgia factor. Kids will certainly love this, and adults alike. If you have yet to see it, I’d recommend it. FINAL SCORE: 90%= Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer: