Time: 98 Minutes
AWARDS: Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song.
THE PRINCESS BRIDE is Rob Reiner's third directorial effort and it's a gem to behold. Much like his first film THIS IS SPINAL TAP (a classic in its own right), this simple story about the search for true love will touch your heart and tickle your funny bone. Adapted from the book of the same name written by screenwriter/novelist William Goldman, Reiner captures the romantic essence, clever wit and dry humor of the novel, which is not an easy thing to do. Most film adaptations fail to capture the unique quality at the heart of a novel, which is why they rarely impart the same magic as the book. Reiner succeeds in a big way, which is what makes this movie so special.
THE PRINCESS BRIDE centers on the true love of Westley (Elwes), a farmboy working for Buttercup (Wright), the most beautiful woman in the land. He toils tirelessly to please her, never once complaining about her rude and demeaning behavior towards him. It takes a while, but she finally realizes that he's madly in love with her and that she loves him as well. With their feelings happily out in the open, he swears his undying love to her. However, he has no money to support them, so he leaves to make his fortune, pledging that nothing will stop him from coming back for her. Unfortunately, the ship he was on is attacked by the Dread Pirate Roberts, who kills everyone aboard, leaving Buttercup desolate and swearing she will never love again.
As we all know, the path of true love is never easy. Believing Westley dead and love an unattainable dream, Buttercup agrees though she's not given much choice to marry the conniving and spineless Prince Humperdinck (Sarandon). Unfortunately for her, the prince is only seeking marriage in order to start a war and acquire more land, which will happen when Princess Buttercup is found dead on his enemy's soil. What he doesn't realize is that she has pledged her love to another and everyone knows nothing can break the bonds of true love not even death. Needless to say, Westley comes to the rescue and the lovers are eventually reunited, but the road to get there is filled with myriad complications as well as unexpected friendships that help save the day. Elwes and Wright are perfectly cast as the beautiful young lovers. They make you believe love really can conquer any obstacle. Though romantic, their scenes are honest and heartfelt without being sappy.