It is inconceivable that there is anything to add

By Mary Sollosi
September 25, 2017 at 09:30 AM EDT
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  • Movie
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Good people of the internet, joyous news! The Princess Bride is now 30 years old!

So… what more is there to say about The Princess Bride? That is, other than that it is now 30, which has already been expressed (and with great efficiency, if I may say so). Nothing, that’s what. It’s all been said.

Rob Reiner’s adaptation of William Goldman’s novel is one of the most quotable movies of all time, obviously. This is a known fact. It has been proven again and again and again. (Seriously, of all time.) But we all know this. There is no need to go over it.

Furthermore, beyond just yelling “inconceivable” whenever mildly frustrated, we, the devoted fans of the practically perfect movie, have seen the cast reunite; we’ve heard all the fun facts until they don’t qualify as “little-known” anymore; we’ve demanded a stage adaptation; we’ve mourned Peter Falk and André the Giant. I have as much confidence in the promise of a new take on The Princess Bride as little Fred Savage has enthusiasm for a “kissing book” at the beginning of the movie. But no, please, tell me about that time you dressed as Inigo Montoya for Halloween one year.

Everett Collection

How did this weird, sweet little movie become so ubiquitous? The Princess Bride has it all — “fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles,” of course, but also chemistry, specificity, family-friendliness, the aforementioned quotability, and absolutely flawless timing to make it a formative childhood film experience for both Gen X-ers and Millennials, all of which situate it as an ideal piece of pop culture to be embraced and celebrated on the internet. (Go ahead. Search “The Princess Bride” on Etsy. I dare you.)

So now, here we are, 30 years after the movie hit theaters, and every single thing there is to say is already out there. To be completely fair, though, that’s not entirely on us fans! Part of the brilliance of The Princess Bride is how cleverly it comments on itself and the fairy tale tropes it knowingly invokes — but is never the slightest bit insincere, for all its self-awareness. That is just beyond unnecessary, to repeat what the movie says about itself.

But when you look at it next to so many recent live-action fairy tales, which reverently reproduce beloved stories with so little originality that no amount of money can hide the fact that the films are little more than cynical studio cash grabs (looking at you, Beauty and the Beast), how can you possibly refrain from cheerily wishing people fun storming the castle? Why would anyone pass up a chance to explain, again, in thousands of completely redundant words, that The Princess Bride is a perfect movie?

No, after 30 years of adoration and dissemination, there’s not a single thing left to say about the uniformly wonderful Princess Bride. But maybe there doesn’t need to be; maybe rather than demanding something new, it’s perfectly good to just ask grandpa to come back and read the same story again tomorrow. When it comes to certain movies, it might be conceivable that some things bear repeating.

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  • Movie
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  • PG
runtime
  • 98 minutes
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