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Thursday, May 19, 2016

As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride

Who doesn't love The Princess Bride? This is Cary Elwes' bestselling tell-all, As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride. 

I have a deep, dark, necessary secret to share. I didn't grow up on The Princess Bride. Cinematically speaking, my parents did me a real injustice as a child. I never saw Star Wars (my boyfriend has rectified that situation, and it was his first item of business), I had a friend show me Ferris Bueller's Day Off and I had trouble understanding the title for like, three years, I only saw the Brat Pack movies as a teenager (still unsure if I ever actually saw Pretty in Pink), and don't think for a second that I was hip to any of the early 90's films. [Note: I did grow up on Dirty Dancing, and it's only because my wonderfully oblivious father allowed me to check it out from the video store when my mom was out of town. My dad also was once sent out to pick up a family movie on his own when I was 13 and my sister was 10, and he came back with To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar, to which my mother was livid but let us watch the movie anyway and then never let my dad ever go by himself to pick up a family movie again. P.S. To Wong Foo was a great movie.]

As I was saying, I didn't actually see The Princess Bride until I was in my 20's, well after the movie had come out and was already a cult classic. That being said, while I really do like the movie a great deal, I don't love it the way that everyone else I know does. From a psychological point of view, it very much has to do with the point in my development at which I watched it, but that's for a different blog. (I started a psychology blog. I'm sure it will come up again later.) All of this to say, I enjoy the movie a great deal and was interested in this book when one of my oldest friends gifted it to me. She knows how much I love movies and also how much I love memoirs, and it was a wonderful gift from her. I'm so grateful for friends who know me well, and for lifelong friendships.

The stories that Cary tells about the making of the movie are very interesting, and I particularly loved the stories about Andre the Giant. The man apparently could drink pitchers of beer in one sitting, and not like you and me. The tale of the making of the movie is also interspersed with comments from the cast and the creative team such as director Rob Reiner and the author of the book, William Goldman. The quips were interesting, and they added depth to Cary's story. My issue with this book is that it wasn't well-written, and it was often hard to stay in it because it feels very one-sided. Now that I have that out of the way, I feel I can move on. I think this book is well worth reading if you have an affinity for the movie. There are certainly some great stories in it, and it is a time capsule worth digging into. The casting process, the making-of, and the release of the movie are all included, and they are interesting pieces of the puzzle.

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