- Film Guide
In 1987, I was a pimply pre-teen with a best friend named Kim. In seventh grade, we spent five of our seven class periods sitting near one another since our last names are alphabetically close. (She’s an H. I’m a K.) We listened to Sting and Terrence Trent D’Arby equally and unabashedly. In fact, one day we accidentally both wore our brothers’ sleeveless Sting sweatshirts to school. Everyone thought we planned it, and even though we didn’t, we “accidentally” continued buying parallel outfits for years. Kim loved movies as much as I did, and I’m sure my cinephilia stems as much from her friendship as from something inherent that lures me to the movies time and again.
Most of my early film memories include Kim. They may not even be factual memories (and, to be honest, I don’t really care), I just so blend certain periods of cinema with that friendship that I may insert her into these memories. We watched A Clockwork Orange at a sleepover because her older brother told us to—and her parents promptly shut it off. We dissected the meaning of Angel Heart, agreed that Under the Cherry Moon wasn’t nearly as bad as critics claimed, and watched countless hours of John Hughes films. I went to my first art house theater in Boulder, CO, with Kim and saw My Life as a Dog. But mostly we went to the mall, which is where we happened upon The Princess Bride some afternoon in a small, nearly empty theater.
We loved it, of course, and I’m sure we watched it another dozen or so times on VHS. We may have fawned over Westley, perhaps considered naming kids after him, or planned romantic dates with boyfriends we didn’t have. This is why The Princess Bride. It’s a film that, if it speaks to you, takes on a life outside the movie theater, and its reverberations make the world more fun. Despite one’s best efforts otherwise, the quotes instinctively surface! Who doesn’t rhyme “mean it” with “peanut,” or gutturally exclaim, “Hello! My name is Inigo Montoya” from time to time?
The Princess Bride encourages adventure, excitement, love, dreams, laughter, and enduring friendship. It’s exactly the kind of film one wants to share with others, to pass down from friend to friend and generation to generation. This is why The Princess Bride. I hope the film’s original fans want to share it with sons or daughters—or even sons and daughters of sons and daughters.
And, selfishly, I simply want to experience the film on the big screen in 35mm again, so I can pretend I’m back in junior high, awkwardly fitting my paisley Pasta mini-skirt, and laughing at thieves and giants with my friend Kim.
P.S. I’ve since changed my mind about Under the Cherry Moon. It’s a ridiculous movie, but I still love the soundtrack.
The Princess Bride screens one time only on Saturday, October 6 at 2:30pm in the Oriental Main Theater. Milwaukee Brewers star pitcher John Axford is scheduled to present the film. Buy your tickets now.