One of my favorite movies is “The Princess Bride.” It’s a film suitable for children aged 7 and up (although these days, it’s typically rated for 12-year-olds). And it’s also incredibly enjoyable for adults. Fantasy, humor, romance – all in just the right proportions, in a story that’s perfectly crafted.
As You Wish – Spoilers!
The story begins with Buttercup, a beautiful girl living on a farm, who is adored by Westley, the farmhand. He’ll do anything she asks – that’s so sweet, isn’t it? But her beauty catches the eye of the country’s crown prince when Westley goes missing at sea. The prince needs a princess because he’s about to become king soon. You see, his father is quite old and all that. So, he urgently asks Buttercup to marry him. And because Buttercup misses Westley terribly and doesn’t care anymore, she agrees to the marriage.
But! Of course, various things happen that I can’t reveal unless I want to spoil the story. The crown prince has schemes; he’s clearly not to be trusted. And Buttercup becomes the victim of his wicked plans. But! Then, more things happen that you don’t expect, or perhaps you do. Is Westley truly lost? Who’s coming to rescue Buttercup? And does that person have good intentions?
Frame Story in “The Princess Bride”
What’s fun about this film is that it uses a frame narrative. It starts with a sick boy at home. His grandfather comes to read him a book. This occasionally takes you out of the main tale and back into the boy’s room, where he offers comments or asks questions. Grandpa reassures him or urges patience. It adds a playful element to the film and is likely why it holds the attention of younger viewers so well.
This movie is pretty old (yes, 1987 is a long time ago). The actor playing the grandpa was well-known at the time, and you might recognize the young boy as the one from the TV series The Wonder Years. Buttercup is played by Robin Wright (from House of Cards and Wonder Woman). Even though the film is old, it’s still a delightful one to watch. Perfect for a cozy afternoon, especially on a rainy day.
Inspiration and Films Like “The Princess Bride”
I’m sure that several Errol Flynn films served as inspiration for “The Dread Pirate Roberts,” a character in The Princess Bride. Errol Flynn starred in many swashbuckling films in the 1930s and 40s, where he was either a pirate or another kind of swordsman. The Princess Bride even includes a scene that directly references one of his films. It’s quite enjoyable and perhaps an idea to watch one of Flynn’s movies, such as The Seahawk or The Adventures of Robin Hood.
In the 1980s, more classic films were made. If you enjoyed The Princess Bride, you might also like to watch Labyrinth or The Goonies, for instance. Both are adventure films with a hint of fantasy. Labyrinth explores themes of adolescence, while The Goonies centers around friendship. These films are typically a bit scarier and edgier than what’s made for kids today, but watching them together in a safe environment can be loads of fun! Enjoy.