Friday, August 6, 2010

Capsule Review: The Princess Bride (1987)

There was a point in the 1980s when Rob Reiner was one of the most exciting filmmakers in America. He brought the Christopher Guest style mockumentary to life with This Is Spinal Tap, crafted a very funny teen comedy with The Sure Thing, adapted Stephen King's coming-of-age story "The Body" into Stand By Me and would go on to make When Harry Met Sally - one of the few palatable romantic comedies - before the end of the decade (and he even threw the great Misery in as a capper in 1990). But The Princess Bride is unique for a number of reasons; it's a fantasy film, features plenty of unique casting (including the massive wrestler Andre the Giant), and is an adaptation of a beloved book by William Goldman - who also adapted the screenplay. That these elements work so well is a testament to Reiner's confidence at the time, and the very game cast - particularly Cary Elwes, who has never been close to as good, and Mandy Patinkin who threatens to steal the entire film - who wrap around the quick-fire dialogue like it was the most natural thing in the world. Smartly abandoning copious amounts of special effects, the film has aged wonderfully and remains sadly unique - despite attempts (most notably Matthew Vaughan's adaption of Neil Gaiman's Stardust) to capture a similar tone. Infinitely watchable.

1 comment:

J.T. said...

I love this movie. I have forced my kid to watch it at least five times.

Vengence for sitting through so many episodes of iCarly.