In the spirit of looking for and accepting life’s cranberries, I will share some of my latest cranberries in my next few blog posts. First off, I’m excited to start reading a new book I just bought. As You Wish, written by Cary Elwes, is, as expected, about the making of the now-classic movie The Princess Bride. That movie is so fun to watch—from the quotable lines to the fantastical fights to the predictable ending—it’s just plain fun!
The movie is shown as a story being read by a grandfather to his grandson. The story itself is about a beautiful princess who falls in love with a plain, ordinary farm boy. Westley, the farm boy, leaves Buttercup, the princess, to seek his fortune across the sea. Tragically, his ship is ambushed by the Dread Pirate Roberts, a pirate with a fearsome reputation for killing all of his conquests. Although Buttercup vows to “never love again,” the prince of the land, Prince Humperdink, chooses her to be his bride. His intentions toward her, however, prove to be less than admirable. Humperdink’s goal is to start a war with a neighboring country by framing the enemy for killing his bride-to-be. As it turns out, Westley was not killed and saves Buttercup from the killers. Westley has to fight many in his quest to save Buttercup, including a giant, an expert swordsman, the prince, and even death. To be fair, Westley is only “mostly dead” when Miracle Max brings him back to life. If he had been completely dead, there would have been only one thing to do: “go through his pockets and look for loose change.”
Westley and Buttercup venture into a fire swamp during their escape, battling R.O.U.S.’s (Rodents Of Unusual Size), quicksand, tortuous villains, and the evil prince. Along the journey, the giant and the expert swordsman become their accomplices, and the story has a happy ending.
Even though fairy tale love stories are not usually my thing, this movie offers enough sarcastic wit and sports-like combat to make it fun for me to watch. Reading the first-hand account of filming this film is proving to be enjoyable as well. Cary Elwes talks about being cast in the role, and learning to fence like an expert swordsman. He and Mandy Patinkin seemed to spend the entire time during filming practicing for the epic sword fight. Cary talks about scurrying back and forth like crabs and how that really worked muscles that he hadn’t used before. You can see it for yourself in this clip from youtube:
The funniest scene in the movie is, of course, with the magnificent Billy Crystal as Miracle Max. The interactions between Miracle Max and his wife (played by Carol Kane) is hilarious!
The Princess Bride movie, and this book on the making of it, is a cranberry that I’ve been enjoying recently. When faced with last-minute work requests, MRI’s, dishes piling up, and many other every-day issues, it’s important to take time to look for and accept life’s cranberries.