Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Mawwiage. Mawwiage is what bwings us togever.....

For those few of you who haven't already figured this out, I'm a hot gay nerd. Which has to be one of the reasons I wound up picking up Cary Elwes (with Joe Layden)'s memoir As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales From the Making of The Princess Bride.

For the record, while the movie itself came out in 1987, I didn't actually see it until 1995, when the guy across the hall from me in my dorm suckered a bunch of us into piling into a small double in Cedar Hall at Wright State to watch what I assumed would be a kid flick. When I found instead was a charming movie with a lot of humor directed at the adults in the audience.

If you haven't seen it, get thee to a Blockbuster, er NetFlix, er...well, it's streaming someplace, I assume... Well, anyway, it's a story told by Peter Falk to Fred Savage about a Farmboy in love with a girl. He goes off to find his fortune to marry her, dies at the hands of a pirate, and then she gets engaged to a prince who wants to kill her off.

Elwes' narrative here is more or less a book format of the 25th anniversary reunion in New York a few years back. We hear tales of him (mostly unknown) being cast in the role of the farm boy Westley, his first meeting with Buttercup (Robin Wright), meeting Andre the Giant and Mandy Patinkin for the first time...

Interspersed throughout are sidebars with cast and crew adding in their thoughts on the passages, allowing for a much broader view of the filming.

Many of the stories (like Christopher Guest actually knocking Elwes out at the end of the Fire Swamp sequence) make me want to stick the DVD in again. Others, like all of the wonderful tales of Andre the Giant, make me want to find old highlights of his time in what was then the WWF. (One story involves Andre getting too drunk to get a cab home, so he passed out on the floor of the hotel lobby. Since no one could rouse him, they roped him off until he woke up. Almost all stories though speak of his gentle nature and how much he endured in every day life.) Others, like Wallace Shawn's (Vizzini) being convinced he was going to get fired after flubbing a few lines are kind of sad.

And sometimes, Elwes (who's married) gets a little too flowery in professing his love for Robin Wright. I notice her asides are a little less worshipful than his stories of her tend to be. On the other hand, "listening" to Carol Kane and Billy Crystal "argue" in print brings a joy found in their shared cameo returning to life in what's fairly obviously a good friendship between them.

If you enjoyed the movie, the book is worth checking out.