There are movies that sweep you off your feet, that transport you to amazing imaginary worlds full of Munchkins and droids and jinns. There are great films about the passion of love that was lost, love getting found again, love being made brand new. There are epics filled with thrills and tension and the sorts of incredible peril that gets people to sit down for two hours or more to watch a whole story play out in front of them, chases and gunfights and swords made of laser hissing at one another like two bits of the rainbow having a feud. The Princess Bride is not one of them.
But I like it anway. :D
This is a good movie. It's an entertaining movie. If I'm spending time with a younger cousin in the future, we'll watch this movie and I think it'll pass the time in a fun way. It's funny. I have an injury right now that was just pulsing with pain from how much I was laughing. The characters, most of them anyway, are charming or at least fun to see on the screen. Even the ones who show up for just one scene, like Father Fudd, the deranged king, the miracle man - they stand out.
I like the movie. I like the writing. There's so much to like. I'm going to be doing the Inigo Montoya speech (once again thank you Rachel for teaching me how to spell) at the next gaming session and probably annoying people who already know the movie and have heard it before. I don't even care. It's awesome and hilarious.
I feel like I should like it more? Not just because of the big stack of recommendations, but because of how much I like it on the face of it. If I had an issue, maybe, it's that it feels... thin? Not in a bad way, but I did just come off the Star Wars movies where the writers and artists just piled in a crapload of stuff in every single corner. Here I've got cheaper sets, cheaper effects (though many many kudos for having an actual giant how does that man exist), less... activity maybe? And one of the leads just isn't any fun at all. Part of it is that I don't connect with the actress or her character, but I'm not going to blame someone for doing a job when the job itself isn't good. The Princess Bride gets nothing to say or do that is interesting or fun at all. It's her name on the movie and then it's everyone else's show. Also I just realized that I don't remember any of the music, which is definitely a major letdown coming off of Star Wars and its earthshaking score.
It's a fast film, though, and it's really funny and clever and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's clearly a film for people who love D&D. Thin here isn't a criticism, it's just an observation. And honestly? Know what else is thin? Really really excellent pizza. :D
On a personal note, and I'm sharing this one because it's positive, I said I'd like the film right from the start. As you probably know from RPGnet or from when I talked about Empire Strikes Back, I grew up living with my grandparents. My grandfather isn't a very talkative man; he's private and quiet and introverted. One thing he always did with all of the grandchildren, though, was read bedtime stories. There was a rule, wherever Grandpa was (and I think it still holds for the younger ones), that if he was there when you were going to sleep, he would be reading you a bedtime story. He owns this little book, jacketed with black leather, and nobody gets to touch it except him. I know I never did or even thought of it; that's just his book. Nan would sing to us or give backscratches or tell tales about when she was a little girl, but Grandpa had his book and would read stories to us. That's his ritual, the thing that a quiet, private man used in the quiet part of the day to connect to us, the grandkids. I love him for that. I still wouldn't dream of touching his book or checking to see if there were pictures he wasn't showing us or if it was just a notepad full of accounting figures or what have you. I liked the framing story and it made me smile to think of that little old black book.