Published: October 14th, 2014
As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride
By: Cary Elwes (with Joe Layden); Foreword by Rob Reiner
From actor Cary Elwes, who played the iconic role of Westley in The Princess Bride, comes a first-person account, and behind-the-scenes look at the making of the cult classic film with never-before-told stories, exclusive photographs, and interviews with costars Robin Wright, Wallace Shawn, Billy Crystal, Christopher Guest, and Mandy Patinkin, as well as author and screenwriter William Goldman, producer Norman Lear, and director Rob Reiner.
The Princess Bride has been a family favorite for close to three decades. Ranked by The American Film Institute as one of the top 100 Greatest Love Stories and by the Writers Guild of America as one of the top 100 screenplays of all time, The Princess Bride will continue to resonate with audiences for years to come.
Cary Elwes was inspired to share his memories and give fans an unprecedented look into the creation of the film while participating in the twenty-fifth anniversary cast reunion. In As You Wish he has created an enchanting experience; in addition to never-before seen photos and interviews with his fellow cast mates, there are plenty of set secrets, backstage stories, and answers to lingering questions about off-screen romances that have plagued fans for years!
So, I love The Princess Bride. It's one of my favorite movies and has definitely earned its cult-classic status - and I agree with it being one of the top 100 screenplays of all time. There is so much going on and all of it ties in together wonderfully and sensibly. The humor is phenomenal, the action is balanced out with romance and friendship. If you're someone who's never seen it (no judgement, honestly), go do that now. No, seriously, I'll wait for you. Then you can talk about this book with me! That said, I was truly excited to get a behind the scenes look at this particular film. And with Cary Elwes (aka dashing Westley) as our tour guide, this couldn't be anything but interesting right? It has interviews from his co-stars, stories about Andre the Giant (whom I knew nothing about, really, before this book) and we get to learn a little about Elwes himself. What more could a fan ask for?
A little bit more, actually. I think what it comes down to for me, is that even though there were a couple injuries (like Cary shooting some action scenes with a couple broken toes!), and getting himself knocked out by Christopher Guest for real, the filming was mainly conflict free. Also, Elwes is extremely British. Well, the stereotype of British would be more accurate I suppose, in that he has nothing bad to say about anyone, EVER. He loved everyone on set, was in awe of them, working with them was a dream, best time of his life, etc. There was some interesting rivalry between Cary and Mandy, but even that was pretty good-natured. A book starts to get kind of repetitive and stale after awhile if there's no conflict to break things up. It got kind of boring, with those rose-colored glasses on. I did like learning the extra trivia, but this book was more pleasant and time-wasting than actually interesting. I still love the movie and really like the original book. I highly recommend them both, but unless you're a hardcore fan, you might find this a little bit disappointing.
VERDICT: 3/5 Stars
*No money or favors were exchanged for this review. This book is now available in stores, online, or maybe even at your local library.*