Halftime Leisure

A Case for the Classics: The Princess Bride

April 4, 2017

This movie has everything: baseball, true love, and Billy Crystal. It has what is arguably the best line in cinematic history: “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” It has giant fucking RATS. It’s heartwarming and action-packed and hilarious. And this isn’t just an ode to The Princess Bride. This is a call-out post for anyone who doesn’t like this absolute gem of a film.

So here’s how it goes: A grandfather is reading a story, The Princess Bride, to his grandson. The grandson wants nothing to do with the love story. But guess what, buddy? You’re gonna have to deal with it for the sake of THE BEST LOVE STORY OF ALL FUCKING TIME. So in the story, Buttercup lives on a farm and has her “farmhand” (aka the beautiful, kind, and chivalrous Westley) do her bidding, and every time she asks for something, he responds, “as you wish.” But when Buttercup believes Westley to be dead, she gets betrothed to this Prince who a) is an ASSHOLE and b) she does not love. PLOT TWIST THOUGH: Westley is not dead. Buttercup runs into him thinking he’s actually a pirate,not her one true love, and as she pushes him down a hill he screams, “AS YOU WISH!” A lot more happens but the internet exists so either watch it or look it up.

The best part about the movie, though, is the side characters. You’ve got Billy Crystal and Carol Kane playing a kooky couple who also happen to be witch doctors. You’ve got Mandy Patinkin playing Inigo Montoya whose wit is sharper than his sword.  You’ve got Wallace Shawn playing Vizzini who is constantly fed up with everything all the time (his go-to line is “inconceivable!”) so yeah he’s pretty much me. Their quips throughout the film, as well as the charming dynamic between the grandfather and the grandson, keep your heart warm while you struggle with anxiety over Westley and Buttercup’s seemingly-doomed love.

For anyone anywhere who has said anything bad about this movie, you’re wrong. The Princess Bride is perfect. The grandson embodies every boy or man who has been anti-rom com, but by the end of the story is changed for life. The late-‘80s charm mixed with the Renaissance-era setting gives the perfect backdrop for the love story. What is possibly the best part of the movie, though, is the humor. It’s filled with witty jokes, sarcastic remarks, and ridiculous plot quirks (re: gigantic rats). It’s a classic, it’s heartwarming, it’s action-packed, and it’s objectively one of the best films of the 20th century.

Claire Goldberg
is the Voice's former editoral board chair and halftime leisure editor. She "says a lot of funny things," according to Emma Francois.

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