I was talking to a friend recently and I asked “Are you a Princess Bride person? Or are you a monster?” Because in my mind, there is pretty much nothing in the middle. The Princess Bride is my favorite movie of all time, which is based on the wonderful book The Princess Bride, written by William Goldman, which he says is based on another book written by the fictional S. Morgenstern. Got all that? In You Are Super Old News, the movie came out thirty years ago. Thirty. Five years ago, for the twenty-fifth anniversary, Cary Elwes, the film’s iconic Westley (aka The Man in Black, aka The Dread Pirate Roberts, aka Fitzwilliam Darcy with a sword), wrote a book about the making of the film called As You Wish, which I have been saving. I was irrationally nervous that reading this book would affect my deep and abiding love for this movie that I’ve probably seen over 100 times, but that turned out to be the opposite of true, so yay.
As You Wish is written by Cary, but includes accounts and interviews from almost everyone else in the cast including Robin Wright, Wallace Shawn, Billy Crystal, Christopher Guest, Mandy Patinkin, and Chris Sarandon. Also included are author William Goldman, producer Norman Lear and director Rob Reiner. Through Cary’s narration and input from all the others, we are led through all the behind the scenes fun in the casting and filming of the movie, and then the legacy in the past thirty years. I especially loved the stories about Andre the Giant, who had already passed away before the book came out, and the training that Cary and Mandy had to do for the greatest sword battle the world has ever known.
It is incredibly charming – I would urge you to listen to the audiobook for even more enjoyment because there really is nothing like Cary Elwes reading you a story to make you feel good inside. I have no idea if this would appeal to non-fans, but again, who cares about those monsters? Because who wouldn’t love a story about fencing, fighting, princesses, pits of despair, six fingered men, revenge, giants, true love and rodents of unusual size?
As You Wish – Grade A