As You Wish (Book Review)

Originally posted 2016-03-05 17:00:29.

Title: As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales From the Making of the Princess Bride
Author: Cary Elwes
Length: 245
Published: 2014


“Mawwage..Mwwage is what bwrings us togevah today. Mawwage, that bwessed awwangement, that dweam wifin a dream…”

If this quote doesn’t put a smile on your face, this review isn’t for you.

If you’re still reading, you’ve undoubtedly recognized this quote from the classic film “The Princess Bride”. What you probably don’t know is that this is also how my brother Ben began his own wedding ceremony. That might give you some idea of what kind of hold this movie has on our family.

No matter who was in control of the remote for the evening, “The Princess Bride” was a movie we could all agree on.  But the reasons why we love this movie are harder to describe. Fred Savage is quoted as saying, “Is it an adventure story? Is it funny? Is it moving? Is it thrilling? Is it a children’s story? Is it an adult story? And the answer is…Yes!”, and that couldn’t be more true. It’s the perfect family movie, mashing up genres so smoothly that each viewer and every viewing gives you something unique.

Despite the movie’s disappointing release, “The Princess Bride” has become a cult classic. The film has become the identifying role for a majority of the cast, no more so than with the life and career of our beloved Westley, Cary Elwes. Elwes’ own reflection on the film’s impact over the past 25 years has led him to write “As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales From the Making of the Princess Bride”.

A heart-warming trip down memory lane, Elwes delves into story after story from the film’s creation; from his nerve-wracking first meeting with Rob Reiner, to their exhaustive efforts to make ‘the Greatest Swordfight in Modern Times’. Cary’s narration ranges from comedic, uplifting, and even emotional, all while feeling like we’re sitting by a campfire¸ reminiscing about the good times.

The biggest strength of the memoir lies in the memoir’s biggest and strongest character, Andre the Giant. Every page turned and story read, the closer Andre becomes to the embodiment of the term gentle giant. Two stories stand out above the rest; Andre’s ability to drink absurd amount of alcohol, and his “gastric distress” on set.

As soon as he delivered that line, there issued forth from Andre one of the most monumental farts any of us had ever heard. Now, I suppose you wouldn’t expect a man of Andre’s proportions to pass gas quietly or unobtrusively, but this particular one was truly epic, a veritable symphony of gastric distress that roared for more than several seconds and shook the very foundations of the wood and plaster set we were now grabbing on to out of sheer fear. It was long enough and loud enough that every member of the crew had time to stop what they were doing and take notice. All I can say is that it was a wind that could have held up in comparison to the one Slim Pickens emitted in the campfire scene in Mel Brooks’s Blazing Saddles, widely acknowledges as the champion of all cinematic farts.

The memoir also includes excerpts of cast interviews throughout, from Fred Savage to Robin Wright, each more complimentary than the last. Elwes’ depicts a family like atmosphere that matches the film’s overall tone. “As You Wish” is the perfect gift for the friend or family member in your life that can’t go a day without thinking or saying one of the film’s most quotable lines.

  • My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.
  • Anybody want a peanut?
  • Have fun storming the castle!
  • You fell victim to one of the classic blunders!.
  • Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.
  • Inconceivable!
  • This is true love. You think that happens every day?
  • I’m not a witch. I’m your wife.
  • There’s a shortage of perfect breasts in the world. It would be a pity to damage yours.

And of course,

  • As you Wish


Stay Classy,

Andrew Knauff

Andy Knauff