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Retro Review: The Princess Bride

The Princess BrideI keep a list of possible posts and things to write in a file on my desktop, and one of the items that I have been saving for a rainy day is part two in my Retro Review series of classic movies (see the first review here).

The movie, The Princess Bride, is a family favorite. Truth be told, it’s an everybody favorite, and as luck would have it, today it is not only raining, but the internet is going bonkers over some poor guy that got in trouble for wearing a t-shirt on an airplane that features one of the film’s popular quotes, and that, my friends, means it is time to storm the castle (and have fun while doing so).

The problem was the kissing. Fred Savage knew it, Peter Falk knew it, and we knew it too, but we still put The Princess Bride blu-ray into the machine and hit play. Sometimes we have to face our fears, especially the kissy kissy kind.

It was time for our boys to meet the Dread Pirate Roberts (Cary Elwes), the six-fingered man (Christopher Guest), and the lovely Buttercup (Robin Wright). Also, Mandy Patinkin’s wonderful character Inigo Montoya.

Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya.

Yes, Inigo, we’ve met.

Here is the story, full of spoilers, in a nutshell: Farm boy Westley (Elwes) loves girl Buttercup, and Buttercup loves him. As you wish. Westley searches for fortune, becomes a pirate. Buttercup fears him dead, so she reluctantly agrees to marry Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon), who is a real jackass. Humperdinck arranges for Buttercup to be kidnapped by the inconceivable trio of Vizzini (Wallace Shawn), Fezzik (André the Giant), and Montoya, the former having no patience for the gift of rhyme. Then Humperdinck drops this fantastic quip:

“I’ve got my country’s 500th anniversary to plan, my wedding to arrange, my wife to murder and Guilder to frame for it; I’m swamped.”

Westley, now known as the Dread Pirate Roberts, follows Buttercup, bests a Sicilian when death is on the line, and survives the Fire Swamp, which is pretty impressive. Also, rodents of unusual size.

Torture. Pain. Despair. Hope.

Mostly dead. Have fun storming the castle. Shortage of perfect breasts. To the pain. I want my father back, you son of a bitch.

Kissing.

 

The movie is hilarious, sweet, incredibly quotable, and full of action. So what would my boys think upon seeing it for the first time, over 25 years since it was first released?

Atticus (9): I loved it! It was funny and awesome. The big rats and the giant were my favorite, but the whole thing was great.

Zane (6): Awesome. I liked the skeleton dog (this is where he confused it with The Corpse Bride, which we straightened out). Let’s watch it again!

As you wish, boys.

What Parents Should Know

There is a lot of swordplay, some public drunkenness, death, and intense language, but it is relatively tame compared to many films on the PG side of the family market. In fact, the only thing that made our boys wince was the kissing. It is always the kissing.

The Princess Bride holds up very well despite the years, and it still makes for fun family viewing. I give it five out of five bow ties, because bow ties are cool and there is a shortage of perfect movies left in this world. It would be a shame to miss this one.

bow ties

Whit HoneaRead more from Whit Honea at his site Honea Express and the popular group blog DadCentric. You can follow Whit on the Twitter or Pinterest (his opinions are his own and do not reflect those of Babble or most rational people).

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