Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Princess Bride

Every kid from the eighties remembers the first time they discovered The Princess Bride. I mean, come on. You can't be the child of the eighties and not know this movie (it's like not knowing who Zack Morris is).

I recall watching this movie for the first time during one of those weekends at Daddy's. I must have been about 7 or 8 years old when Westley stole that tiny beating silly heart of mine. I actually believed Florin existed and had nightmares about 'em Rodents of Unusual Size.

Today, as I'm two days shy of turning 26, I still love the story as much as I did back then. A true fantasy classic, especially in a society unbridled with none but chick and/or testosterone-filled flicks. Only the most rare special ones can haul the line and be loved by everyone. When a film accomplishes that, I bet you the filmmakers drove themselves insane making it happen, not because they desired to pursue the "course of true love".

Somehow, The Princess Bride was one of those remarkable films that transcended the margins of gender bias. Or so I thought ...

Last year, I was at a party when a girl, intoxicated, went on a rampage about The Princess Bride, of all movies. She swore that only men love the movie. Inconceivable!

Why don't we exchange The Princess Bride for any sort of gruff and bloody combat film, or at least one that holds the possibility of being over generalized? But the sickeningly sweet true love we see happening between Buttercup and Westley? True love was so flipping palpable in the film that it could have gotten its own character credit.

So, while this girl was talking obscenities, I narrowed my eyes and unbeknownst to anyone, let them burn into her. Nobody messes around with my Princess Bride. I did a swift mental check to confirm I had all the pièces requises before jumping in.

I stopped myself short. Because seriously, you and I both know there is no good in arguing with people who had a tad bit too much to drink. Plus, I'd admit there's something lovable about a disagreement that linked men's genitals with an adoration of this starry-eyed film. How progressive!

But hey. This is the magic about The Princess Bride I love, that it seems to be enchanted by all. The movie cleverly evenhanded intelligence and humor with deeds, trickery, and romance that could make love fiends melt. Cynical folks could gasp and writhe when Westley plummeted down the mountain yelling, "As you wish..." Vengeance buffs could explode to attention when hearing, "My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

Were better words ever spoken?!  Nope.

Speaking of gender generalizations and for the sake of some chick-giggles about the opposite sex, do read what a friend sent me (a bit of truth in this, I'm afraid):

Things The Princess Bride has taught me about real men:
  • Real men tell their lady “I love you” (but in code)
  • Real men know the powers of looking good (You won’t get a cool name like ‘the man in black’ by wearing just anything)
  • Real men will do anything to save the one they love (including fighting a skilled swordsmen, beating a giant and killing a fool)
  • Real men will keep their promises (and return to you after being a pirate for 5 years)
  • Real men are optimistic (even though no one’s ever survived the fire swamp)
  • Real men aren’t afraid (of giant rodents)
  • Real men don’t lie (and can see through tall tales about being returned to their pirate ship)
  • Real men aren’t afraid of torture (regardless of what the albino says)
  • Real men know it’s okay to cry (especially after having 1 year of life sucked out of you)
  • Real men believe in miracles (for a price)
  • Real men don’t let anything stop them from getting the girl (even being mostly dead)
  • Real men are always ready to fight (even when they wake up and can’t move their arms)
  • Real men don’t give up (even with a danger in their gut)
  • Real men don’t fight to the death (they fight to the pain)
  • Real men know anything is possible (you miserable, vomitous mass)
  • Real men know what love truly is (and know how to kiss so passionately and purely that it leaves all others behind)

Oh, dear. Even our Westley, who always seem to represent chivalry, is a typical male just the same.  Yet, he saved his own ass. Wanna know how he did it? Reading the book might do you good. ;)