“The Princess Bride” Turns 25

The other day, someone told me the cast of “The Princess Bride” just celebrated the classic comedy’s 25th anniversary.

“Princess Bride”?  Didn’t he mean “Princess Diaries”?

I looked up the film, watched it, loved it, opened the “Princess Bride” 25th Anniversary Facebook Fanclub, and clicked “like.” To my surprise, 2.2 million other fans (including many of my friends and former students…who were born after 1995!) had already beaten me to it.

Looks like clothing and accessories such as Keds, skinny jeans, and Wayfarer sunglasses aren’t the only old things that are making a comeback. Even classic movies, many older than “Princess Bride,” are making their way back to the theaters. I mean, what’s with this fascination with the old?

“The Princess Bride” doesn’t have the glamor of “The Devil Wears Prada” or the explosions from “Transformers 3,” and certainly not the magic of the “Harry Potter” series, but it was no less captivating and adventurous, filled with thin, digestible slices of wisdom.

I felt like a kid watching this untypical fairy tale unfold.

For those who haven’t seen it, Buttercup (a poor farm girl turned princess), is engaged to a prince, but he is far from charming.  Westley (her former farmhand and true love) wrestles with death to rescue her.

The evil Prince Humperdinck reveals his ambitious schedule to a wicked, six-fingered accomplice who was preparing to torture Westley:

[Y]ou know how much I love watching you work, but I’ve got my country’s 500th anniversary to plan, my wedding to arrange, my wife to murder, and Gilder to frame for it. I’m swamped!

In one memorable scene, Westley told Princess Buttercup:

Death cannot stop true love.  What it can do is delay it for a while.

The lines in “Princess Bride” are cheesy, clever, funny, deep, and at times heart-melting.

While the film retains the familiar fairy tale plot in which the good guys win and the reunited lovers live happily after, there are unexpected twists in the story that would make a child interrupt to ask if the storyteller didn’t get it wrong.  Adults who bring their childlike expectations to the movie would do the same and might be surprised that they still had such expectations.

“Princess Bride” is a film where both the old and new, the expected and unexpected, meet. As they celebrate their anniversary, if you’re looking to re-enter that semi-familiar, colorful, hopeful, and enchanting fairy tale world, make sure to watch (or re-watch) this movie.

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