Monday, October 20, 2014

As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes

genre: film memoir

Here is a little memory for you.  I am 8 or so years old.  My parents have rented a VCR for the first time and my father has hooked it up to our television.  Our wonderful friends the Keddingtons came over and we all sat down in my living room to watch our first rented video tape: The Princess Bride.  I remember, even at that age, how much I loved the story.  When I became an adult, I still enjoyed the film and then I read the book that the film is based on  - WOW, I loved that even more.

When I was looking for a new audiobook, this one popped up and caught my interest, because of that early introduction to the film. This book is a memoir of Cary Elwes's (Wesley's) experience making the movie.  He includes anecdotes and quotes from other actors and directors to flesh out his own memories.  He does some of his own voice acting (speaking for Andre the Giant, for example) and it wasn't annoying.  I liked having the other actors speak on the audio also, that was really fun.

Frankly, this WAS just that: fun.  Was it well written?  Unfortunately, I'm going to give that a no.  It's repetitive, the language isn't fresh and there is a LOT of patting ones' self on the back for a job well done.  BUT, it's a whole audiobook that's sort of like a People Magazine article or a fun ComicCon session.  It's the behind-the-scenes, the inspiration and the outtakes. It's getting a sense for the enormous amount of effort that goes into producing a film of quality.  Elwes is in earnest and he doesn't take himself seriously, which I appreciated.  As with any memoir, I get frustrated when there is actual dialogue because I have a hard time believing people actually remember conversations word-for-word, but I had to let that go.  His appreciation for the vast amount of talent beyond his own (especially the director's) is every evident.

As You Wish is a love letter to a film that really has stood the test of generations - and as a fan myself, that made this audio a great listen.  Knowing what I know now, I have to go watch the movie again.  Darn :)

1 comment:

Melissa Fox said...

I kinda want to read this. Not because it'll be good, but because it'll be FUN. :-)

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