As you may or may not know I am a big fan of Princess Bride. OK fine you probably know that since I did just do a Film Flashback Friday post about the movie. In said post I mentioned I had just picked up the memoir from Cary Elwes and promised to review it for you my Sweeties! And I always keep my promises.
I am the kind of person who watches the DVD extra behind the scenes stories after finishing a movie. I just find that information fascinating! Really this book is set up to be one big behind the scenes book. There is commentary from other actors, the screen writer, and the director. My favorite parts were the stories about Andre the Giant. He is figuratively and literally larger than life. The stories about how much he could eat, drink, and laugh were simply astounding. If I had a time machine I would totally use it to go back and hang out with him.
The book starts at casting and goes all the way through filming with a closing chapter on the recent 25th anniversary celebration. While the majority of the book is from the perspective of Cary Elwes (well that is a duh! moment since it is his book), the other contributors are inserted within each chapter as text boxes to give a different perspective to what Cary is talking about in that section. Personally I found that format to be distracting as I was constantly having to stop mid-section to read the inserts. I would have preferred the other contributors to be added as quotes or more inside the text itself. But then I have this compulsion against turning a page without reading every last bit of text, I just can’t do it. You many not have the same compulsion.
My main complaint against the book, and this may sound silly, is that everything was too positive. Everything was inspired, wonderful, profound, you get my point. I am normally not cynical but I have trouble believing that every piece of the movie was that perfect, that all the actors and every last person on set was that blown away by…everything. Oh and everyone got along with everyone else. I did not expect this to be some dirty tell all book, the deep dark secrets of Princess Bride, but is one failure too much to ask?
The writing tone aside, this was a very interesting read. I am not up to speed on the process of making a movie and this book went far beyond the typical behind the scenes outtakes. The book talks about the little things like how they did the training for the sword fight sequence, some of the processes for creating the costumes, and how the filming schedule worked.
Overall, I give this movie one spoon way up. The content was fantastic, just not the delivery
Love and never bet against a Sicilian when death is on the line