The Princess Bride (1987)
The Princess Bride is one of many exciting films Rob Reiner has directed at the beginning of his career. They are all so charming, even though they are also all so different. Along with This Is Spinal Tap (1984), The Princess Bride is Reiner’s movie that offers the most laughs and hectic situations. It is based in William Goldman’s 1973 novel of the same name: Goldman wrote the screenplay himself.
The Princess Bride takes place in medieval times. Westley (Cary Elwes) is a farm boy, working for the family of the pretty future princess (Robin Wright). Future princess, since even though she is in love with Westley and are planning to get married, Westley is presumed dead after an encounter with pirates after which Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon) has chosen her to be her queen. Westley however survived, and does what he can to win her love back. Such a basic love story, but so sweet.
It is a story that features fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love and miracles, as the narrator (or grandfather who reads his grandson the story from a book) tells at the beginning. Many crazy adventures ensue, one even sillier than the other. The performances by the cast are great, they make for a bunch of colourful characters that make the movie even better. What to think of an unrecognisable Billy Crystal as crazy witch doctor? Or Inigo Montoya, an angry Spaniard looking to avenge his father’s dead? Since The Princess Bride doesn’t really offer all that much depth character-wise, it is more than welcome to fall back on these characters, who are directed in such a witty and smart way by Rob Reiner that even the most deadpan of jokes can offer the biggest laughs.
This is one of those movies that is just as fun for adults as it is for children, unless you’re of the grumpy kind.