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AMC Classics Series: The Princess Bride


Being a responsible college student this week, I just managed to finish most of my homework early enough to make an impromptu trip to the cinema. (Well, traveling an hour to the cinema doesn't necessarily feel spontaneous but I still think it counts...) The film my sister and I were in in great anticipation to see on the big screen: The Princess Bride.

A grandfather (Peter Falk) sharing a story with his sick grandson (Fred Savage), a classic fairytale filled with "fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles..." More specifically it's your classic romantic comedy adventure of a young blond beauty Buttercup betrothed to a first-class dufus Prince Humperdink. Kidnapped by a humorous trio of imbeciles, her husband-to-be and an mysterious Dread Pirate Robots trail close behind to rescue the semi-damsel in distress.

Would I say as a movie buff it was a goal to see this 80s classic in theaters? Not exactly. There are probably dozens of titles I would've lined up to see before The Princess Bride came to mind. Since my sister is a big fan and I've seen it occasionally, I didn't put up much argument. In fact, the experience actually renewed my interest in the film.

(The epic sword fight between Inigo Montoya and the Six Figured Man is my favorite scene
and one that I shamelessly quoted aloud)

Surprisingly, or perhaps unshockingly to those who are avid lovers of the film, the theater was pretty much sold out. Twenty minutes into its running time, people were still wandering into the theater vying for seats that were unfortunately taken and having to opt closer and closer to a gigantic blurring vision of the screen. Through the duration of the movie, different lines captured just the right amount of laughter, even people occasionally repeating them aloud to their friends. Next to immensely enjoying It's A Wonderful Life with another sold-out crowd of all ages a few weeks prior, this was one of the best viewings I attended in a long time. (Even more recently, The Wolf of Wall Street would've been more memorable if I hadn't been the only one laughing at most of what was going on.)

After the final credits ran and we slowly exited the theater, during our walk back to the car my sister and I couldn't stop gushing about our experience. The Princess Bride amidst its clever script and modest acting performances is one of the few films that blurs genres and still manages to be entertaining without reaching a level of overly cheesy. It's not an over the top blockbuster that's out to prove its worth with special effects, big starring names or steamy love story. The film is actually pretty average yet it remains to be a hit decade after decade. Production wise from design to genre it pokes fun at itself and the happily-ever-after classic fairytale. Through and through the experience served as a great reminder as to why classics remain classics; they're simply enormously entertaining.

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