The Princess Bride at 20: Life is still pain, Highness


Is there anyone out there who doesn’t love The Princess Bride? Inconceivable! The fanciful fairy tale had humor and heart, love and lunacy, swashbuckling and silliness. Plus it boasted some of the most hilarious, not to mention most oft-repeated, movie lines in the history of movie lines. If you don’t smile even a little when your friend busts out her best “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father — prepare to die!” then perhaps we shouldn’t be friends. Seriously, scoot away. [Side note: If we should ever meet on the street, ask me to do my lispy priest impression. It kills: “Mawage, that bwessed awangment, that dweam wifin a dweam…”]

So when I read that this September will mark the classic’s 20th anniversary, I felt two things. 1) So very old. The fact that two of the most cherished movies from my childhood turned 20 this year is a reminder that my continually forgetting where I parked my car is not a sign that I’ve grown flaky, just senile. And 2) Happy that they never made a sequel. Wait, wait. Stop throwing Rodents of Unusual Size at me. Trust me, I would love to see the continued adventures of Buttercup, Westley, Inigo and Fezzik. But I fear that the magic and innocent abandon of the original could never be matched.

Also, I saw these then-and-now shots compiled by ABC News and was reminded that time, indeed, is after us all. So, what’s the damage? I have to say, I think the ladies fared better than the men. A few highlights:


Robin Wright Penn/Buttercup

Age has helped Robin grow into the exquisite architecture of her face. Laugh lines and a few crow’s feet show a princess who has become a queen. I would gladly do as she wished.


Fred Savage/The Grandson

Basically, he looks exactly the same, though I’m assuming that front tooth has grown in. Seeing Fred reminds me of The Wonder Years, which reminds me of Winnie, which reminds me that Kevin Arnold was an idiot.


Billy Crystal/Miracle Max

Uhm, Billy, might I suggest you grow back the beard?


Carol Kane/Valerie

I’m not a witch, I’m your wife! Sorry, once full-blown Princess Bride quote-itis sets in, it’s nearly incurable. Carol still looks fantastic and fun. And she is showing off her environmental side by recycling the same earrings from two decades ago.


Carey Elwes/Westley

Oh Westley, Westley. This one hurts. You were so dreamy in your Dread Pirate Roberts gear, it even worked on me. And now it seems your storybook story involved eating giant bowls of spaghetti on your couch while complaining about the lingering back injury you got from being thrown down that hill. I must now go weep in the Pit of Despair.

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