Friday, September 28, 2012

The Ugly: He's Just Not That into You

Finishing up my fourth week of this, I've realized that I haven't held up my promise of the good, the bad, and the ugly. I mean, how much longer can I go before I have to write about a film that's really, really awful? I don't like writing about bad movies; I'd much rather write about the good ones. But frankly, I can't write about three of them a week until June without throwing a few dumpster films in the mix. And luckily, I've seen several.

Justin Long holds Ginnifer Goodwin in a Scarlett-and-Rhett embrace as he confesses to her, "You're my exception."

And it's all uphill from there, because the credits start to roll. (Pop a cork. You'll definitely need some wine after all of this cheese.)
He's Just Not That Into You has a lot of problems with it. It's not the acting (I totally believe that Ginnifer Goodwin's character is a sad, desperate dame willing to do anything for love and Bradley Cooper's character is a lying douchebag), it's the writing, the plot, the actions of the characters that makes me cringe every time I watch it.
And this is why romantic comedies have such a bad rap. It's the epitome of why romantic comedies suck so much because it follows the same archetypes as most other ones do.
From the chase to the fall, romantic comedies usually follow a set of points that people feel they need to hit in order to be a good movie. In fact, though, following these points does the opposite.
Some filmmakers are able to break the spell, though, and make a romantic comedy worth sitting through (10 Things I Hate About You, The Princess Bride, Never Been Kissed, Something's Gotta Give, Lars and the Real Girl, for example). These give me hope that one day, the good will outweigh the bad and writers will stop following the archetypes that most screenwriters can't seem to get away from.
Another problem filmmakers seem to make is the classic put-more-stars-in-the-movie-to-make-it-seem-less-awful tactic. He's Just Not That Into You is a perfect example with Justin Long, Ben Affleck, Jennifer Aniston, Ginnifer Goodwin, Bradly Cooper, Scarlett Johansson, Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Connelly, and Kevin Connolly. They intertwine all of the characters' stories to make it almost impossible to follow who is longing after whom. Valentine's Day and New Year's Eve followed in these footsteps and got both of them 18% and 7% of Rotten Tomatoes, respectively.
It's not working, people.

Movie Confusion Part II: Boondock Saints

Luckily I didn't get as far as I did with Monty Python and the Holy Grail when I decided (was told) to watch Boondock Saints.
Since the beginning of this school year, a friend of mine, Finley, has been telling me to watch what he call the greatest movie ever, Boondock Saints. I immediately thought of The Last of the Mohicans (which I, as you can guess, haven't seen and therefore know zilch about). Something in my mind morphed the two and I didn't realize that they were different movies until this unfortunate conversation (paraphrased for convenience):
Finley: Have you seen Boondock Saints?
Me: No, but I know it's like, the best movie. My family owns it and I have the soundtrack on my mp3 player.
Kendall: What's it about?
Finley: Two Irish badasses killing people and some cop trying to-
It was about this time that I realized that I had my movies completely mixed up, but just kept my mouth shut and nodded my head.
A little while later I watched the movie with Kendall and realized just how wrong I was. While The Last of the Mohicans is about white Indian, Nathaniel Hawkeye (Daniel Day-Lewis), during the French and Indian War in America, Boondock Saints follows Irish twins, Connor and Murphy McManus, as they turn into vigilantes and try to rid their city of crime. They're followed by the closeted, bat-shit crazy FBI agent, Smecker, as he recreates their crimes in his head in attempt to catch them.
One of the best parts in this movie (along with when the cat is shot. Sorry, PETA) is the tense changes. At points, Smecker would walk in on a crime scene, then explain what had happened as the brothers are shown committing it.
As you can see, this movie is only slightly different than TLotM. But either way, it was pretty awesome and I'm not likely to get it mixed up with a French and Indian War movie again. Probably.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Movie Confusion Part I: Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Once I watch a movie, I can't forget it. It stays there in my head: the actors, their roles, the plot, the minutest of details in the movie because surely one day I'll be on a game show and win a million dollars for knowing that the Starbucks worker in The Devil Wears Prada is the actress who plays the antagonist's (Meryl Streep) daughter. This is bound to happen.
Unfortunately, though, before I see and research a movie and all I know is the title, I'm pretty clueless. I'll make weird assumptions based on its name that sometimes includes what the plot is. Or I'll get it mixed up with another movie. A great (and at the same time horrible, on my part) example of both of these is Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
Up until a few years ago, I thought that MPatHG was an Indiana Jones movie. I know, I know. It doesn't even have Indiana's name in the title (to be fair, the trilogy did have a movie that included a search for the Holy Grail), but that didn't stop younger, stupider me from assuming that it was.
Even when I found out that this movie was in it's own denomination, I still imagined the opening scene to include a sexy man running out of a temple so as to not get run over by a giant boulder. It included some sort of snake sidekick that would spout out words of wisdom like, “Life will never turn out as you thought it would.” as he swallowed someone whole. He would be voiced by Idris Elba. The treasure-seeking hunk would be played by some sort of lesser Harrison Ford (obviously this version would be a lower budget version of Indiana Jones), so maybe Daniel Craig.
I just didn't get it. (But frankly, my version seems much better. I'll look into it.)
But that's okay, because I finally watched the movie, and, to my surprise, found out that it's a comedy. A quite old one, at that.
From the minds of the British comedy group, Monty Python (hence the title; not referring to a snake as I had thought), this 1975 film is pretty awesome. It seems almost ahead of its time; I haven't seen anything like it and that's probably the only reason I could get through it. The jokes are simple, but enjoyable. It has an almost Saturday Night Live-esque nature (I guess the fact that SNL premiered later the same year the movie came out was just a coincidence, right?).
And although I would've enjoyed Daniel Craig and Monty the Python fighting Nazis and finding treasure of all sorts, this was pretty great too. And now I'm a little less confused.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Movie Reviews, Like Carpal Tunnel, Are Silent Killers

One of the hardest things about watching a movie is watching it with a clear mind. I know it's a little clich├ęd, but we seldom ever do it. You see previews for a film you want to see, make a note of the release date, and think of whom to see it with. Then you either hear or read a bad, a really bad, review for the movie you thought you wanted to see but now you're not so sure.
It's a total bummer.
My mom does this all the time. Every season in an entertainment magazine a list of movies is printed; she'll tear it out and highlight the ones she wants to see. As each date approaches, she'll read the magazine's review for it. Most of the time it's not what she was hoping for (because her choice in movies can really suck sometimes, like the reviews for the Kevin-James-is-an-adorable-chubby-guy or Adam-Sandler-makes-a-bunch-of-boob-jokes movies she looks forward to seeing. Sometimes the two will even be put together and somehow push out a sequel, which she'll want to see until she reads the bad reviews it will so obviously get. This is very true.)
Then my mom will sigh hopelessly and tell me, “Well, I guess your father and I won't go see Grown Ups tonight, it got such bad reviews. There's really no point in even going to dinner. We'll just stay home.” And then I give her a look because I totally love it when they're out of the house.

Looking at reviews is a bad idea.
Critics' definition of a review is telling everything bad about how a movie was written, directed, produced, and acted-out. But movie-goers seldom walk out of theaters saying, “The movie's last hour or so squanders these rich narrative possibilities in an incoherently plotted, generically action-packed anticlimax.” (Dana Stevens on The Bourne Legacy, Slate) or “[It] feels like a retreat - into manufactured drama shellacked with sticky sentimentality, into risk-free storytelling full of coldly contrived conflict.” (Stephen Whitty on The Odd Life of Timothy Green, Newark Star-Ledger). People go to see movies because it looks like two hours of fun cheaper and more legal than heroine. (Really, Macy? Heroine? This is your AP Lang blog. Oh, whatever. It's all downhill from here.)
Anyway, if someone is getting paid, either by you or an employer, to give you advice it's not what you should listen to (exception: therapists...maybe). And if I have to give out advice now, it would be to (1) just go see the movie without looking at the reviews (besides, who wants to be told how bad the gift is before opening it?), (2) like better movies, or (3) ask a friend who's seen it, unless they're a movie critic because did you not just read this blog?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Literarily Obsessed: The Great Gatsby

Since 1926, a year after F. Scott Fitzgerald's book, The Great Gatsby, was published, film-makers have been trying to immortalize the characters of the book into a movie. According to director and screenwriter, Baz Luhrmann, none have succeeded.

In late 2010, when I was in ninth grade, I heard that my favorite actor, Leonardo DiCaprio, would be starring in a film-adaptation of the novel, The Great Gatsby. I had heard of the book before, and my affection towards the actor made me go straight to the school's library and check it out.
A while later, after several chapter re-readings and lots of skull-scratching, I finally finished the 218 page book and loved it. Maybe it was because I always pictured DiCaprio as the title character, Jay Gatsby, but I also thought that the 1920's style writing was really interesting. I decided to read it again, and again, and a fourth, fifth, and sixth time.
Narrated by Nick Carraway, the novel follows him after he moves into a new house next to the party-throwing, mysterious millionaire Gatsby. What Nick doesn't know is that he's more connected to his neighbor than he knows, and as Gatsby's past unravels, Nick finds himself stuck in the middle of it all.
Each time I read it, I picked up something that I hadn't before. Like the first four times I read it, I thought that Gatsby was alive for a bit after Wilson had shot him (you can't be angry if I just spoiled the ending for you; this book has been out for more than eighty years). Then I realized that Gatsby died immediately from the wound and when Nick had described him as lying in the bed protesting to him, “Look here, old sport, you’ve got to get somebody for me. You’ve got to try hard. I can’t go through this alone.” it was more metaphoric than literal. Quite a difference, no?
Perhaps the most interesting thing about this book it that it doesn't really have a set genre. There's some romance, some mystery, a little violence, and a pinch of historical fiction.

Filming for Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby began on September 5, 2011 and continued into the early months of the next year.
So in the summer of 2012, when I practically had the book memorized by heart and had been counting down the days until the movie was released (on Christmas day), and I heard that The Great Gatsby's release date had been pushed back to the summer of 2013, I was completely crushed. Like, you don't understand.
Imagine being pregnant: the deal is that the baby will be born in nine months and that the burden will be lifted off your shoulders then, no matter how good or bad the birth is. But seven months in, the doctor tell you that, instead of just nine months, you'll be pregnant for an additional three months because of some “complications”. It sucks, right? And I had been looking forward to my baby for two years, almost the amount of time I've been in this hell hole they call “high school”. Can you see now why I was heart-broken?
And now I'm being made to wait another nine months to see what Baz Luhrmann has accomplished and it totally sucks ass.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I Wouldn't Call it an Obsession, Per Se, But

I have a huge bias towards Leonardo DiCaprio and his movies.
Once you've watched a lot of movies, you sort of start to grow affiliations with certain actors you feel like you can relate to. For me, while I can't say I exactly relate to him or his characters (a mentally-challenged eighteen year old boy, an con artist turned prisoner turned federal agent worker, an Irish-American living in New York in the nineteenth century, to name a few), I have such a strong admiration for this actor that I'd be lying if some of my friends hadn't called it an obsession.
Before 2010 I couldn't keep Leonardo DiCaprio straight from Matt Damon. Then again, I also confused Tom Hanks and Mel Gibson, Adam Sandler and Ben Stiller, and Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill. It wasn't until early spring in 2010, when promotion for the summer blockbuster, Inception, started, when I joined the fandom and never looked back.
Everybody knows Leonardo DiCaprio for his role in the 1997 blockbuster, Titanic. It's the movie, when the actor's mentioned, that most people think of. I, however, never really fell hard for the romance and actually remember him for some of his other roles.

What's Eating Gilbert Grape?: This movie (1993), where he plays the mentally-challenged brother of Johnny Depp, first got DiCaprio attention from critics. Centered around the title character, Gilbert (Depp) and his growing wanderlust, it's funny and sweet and sad and I love it.

Catch Me If You Can: When you put two of the greatest actors and one of the most interesting stories of our time together, you get CMIYC (2002). Based on the true story of conman, Frank Abagnale, Jr (DiCaprio), and his run from feds such as Hanratty (Tom Hanks), it's one of the first movies I can remember watching of DiCaprio's; it remains his best received film to date.

Blood Diamond: The accent. That's all I have to say.

Shutter Island: Yeah, okay, the special effects suck (especially for 2008), but this Martin Scorsese-directed film is so amazing that you have to look past that to the cryptic plot and the momentarily-shirtless DiCaprio.

Inception: This is probably one of my favorite movies. Not just because of DiCaprio (or Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who's a plus), but because Christopher Nolan's script is completely ridiculous, the effects are great, and the whole cast is just perfect. Nolan was robbed at the Oscars.

J. Edgar: When I saw this in theaters (with my dad, nonetheless, because it was rated-R and I was only fifteen), all I remember seeing when I looked up from my seat in the front row of the back section was a sea of old men and women. Besides my dad, a few other middle-aged people, and a twenty-something year old I sat next to, the average age of people in the theater was about seventy. Then again, what else would you expect from a movie about a man prominent from the 30s to the 70s? Only DiCaprio could persuade me to see a movie like this.

Leonardo DiCaprio's next project, you ask? A little movie called, The Great Gatsby.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Studio Bias: Guys in Tights

Like millions of others this summer, I saw The Amazing Spider-Man. A few weeks later, also like millions of others, I saw The Dark Knight Rises. While one might think that those two are in the same category since they're both superhero movies, apparently there's a big difference between them (excluding characters, plot, setting). You see, The Dark Knight Rises was made by DC Comics while The Amazing Spider-Man was from Marvel.
Now, before this summer, I didn't know there was a difference. I mean, they're all just superhero movies, right? Well, according to a friend, the difference is huge. DC Comics “sucks” and that apparently hindered TDKR in some way. I don't know what he was talking about. Personally, I like the movie better than The Amazing Spider-Man (maybe it's because I love Christian Bale and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, but Christopher Nolan wrote such a great ending to the trilogy that it was hard for TASM, which was just setting things up, to compete).
I also don't know where, when, or why his vendetta against DC Comics began, but I don't think it's fair to judge a movie based on the studio that made it.
“Wait. Aren't you the girl who just slandered Pixar for Brave even when it got positive reviews...just because it was Pixar?”
Yes. Shut up. This is completely different.
Think of it like this: if a student consistently gets As on tests but then gets a C, it would be fair to say that the C was not the student's best work. But it's unfair a teacher to grade a test differently because of the student or their past tests, no matter what the grade.
It's like that.
I seriously loved The Dark Knight Rises. I was completely engrossed the whole two hours and forty-five minutes; I even sat through it twice. I still liked The Amazing Spider-Man, I just didn't connect emotionally like this final piece of the Batman puzzle did (okay, that's a lie. I cried three times at TASM).
And I definitely don't care which studio made which. Whether it was the same one that pushed out The Avengers or the one that has the monopoly on Christopher Nolan doesn't matter. After all, they're just guys in tights.

Pixar: The New Disney?

Between the years of 1995 and 2010 Pixar Animation Studios was known for its creative, original, funny, and critically-acclaimed films that attracted audiences both of children and the adults that took them to see the movies (it was a chore for no one). The geniuses behind the scenes pushed out ten films ranking between 92 and 99% on the popular critic review site, They even managed two sequels in this. Many wondered when the roll that Pixar was on would end. That day came on June 24, 2011 when Cars 2 was released.

In 1999 Toy Story 2, Pixar's first sequel, was released. It got great reviews (100% on Rotten Tomatoes) and even spawned Toy Story 3. That was a miracle. Not even the legendary Godfather trilogy did as well critically. Pixar should have quit making sequels while they were ahead, but instead they released Cars 2 (whose predecessor wasn't even that good of a movie; it maintains a 74% on Rotten Tomatoes, the lowest before the sequel) in 2011.
To say the least, it tanked, even for a non-Pixar movie. Critics gave it an average of 38% (certified “rotten”).My sister, who hated Cars, cursed the movie's sequel for tarnishing her beloved Pixar's record. The studio had it's first chance to redeem itself in 2012 with Brave.
It seemed like this movie, set in old-Ireland about a young girl, Merida, wishing to change her fate, had a good chance to take back what Cars had lost Pixar. And while some (like my sister) say it did (it earned 77% on Rotten Tomatoes, a dismal for old Pixar), I was thoroughly disappointed.This studio was known for its incredibly original movies. They've had talking, mischievous toys, a war between insects and grasshoppers, and a monster-run power company collecting children's screams. They've even had a fish in search of his son, who's lost on land (you've heard about people lost at sea. Imagine what it's like for fish up here.)
The biggest problem I have with Brave is that it's just not original. Don't tell me it is, because it's not. The only slightly original aspect of the movie I can think of is that it takes place in Ireland (oh my gosh).
Merida makes a wish to change her life, it isn't what she expected, she regrets it, there's a race against time to change her life back before it's permanent. We've heard this all before.
It just wasn't the comeback movie I wanted Pixar to have. I mean, they're getting there at least.A note to the studio: stop making sequels. Just this past year it was announced that their next movie is going to be Monsters University, a prequel to Monsters, Inc. Rumors have been going around that Toy Story 4 and Finding Nemo 2 are in the early stages of development. I'm just afraid that our beloved old-Pixar movies are going to be ruined if these sequels suck ass. Maybe Pixar is the new Disney (while it is a part of Walt Disney Pictures). Maybe they've had their golden age and it's all c-list celebrities voicing animals and princesses from here.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Rabies Effect

So I'm not exactly a dog person. When I was younger and would visit a friend's house, their dog would jump on me and I would hate it. What makes a dog think that this scared-looking, four-foot-five girl wants them jumping on her, scratching her leg, and licking her hand? I had another friend whose dog would either be trying to kill me or find Narnia in my crotch; I couldn't deal with that bi-polar beast.
I don't remember how long ago it was when I decided to break out the old VCR player and watch Old Yeller (recently enough for VCRs to be considered "old"). I knew the basic plot before starting it: a beloved dog gets rabies and must be shot. So it was no surprise when the beloved dog, Old Yeller, got (gasp) rabies and had to be shot.
Maybe it's because I've never had a dog and I sort of hate them, but I seriously didn’t really care when Travis pulled the trigger. I'm an awful person, I know.
Not long after this, I watched the 1983 horror film, Cujo. In this dog-gets-rabies-and-is-shot movie, a less "family friendly" approach is taken. Based on Stephen King's novel of the same name, the majority of this film is just a woman trying to get out of her car but avoid Cujo's (the rabid dog in this movie) thirst for blood. If you have an affinity for repetition, you should watch it.
Eventually, though, the lady gets out of her car, shoots Cujo, cries over her dead son's body, shoots Cujo again, and by this time I was just counting down the minutes until the movie ended.
Now I'm not saying that I love cat movies. Most of them are annoying because the cat is always either incredibly lazy and everybody hates them or the antagonist and everybody hates them. Yet when the dog in a movie goes on a killing rampage everybody feels bad for it. It's just animal bias and I’m sick of it!
Just kidding. I really don’t care. Movies where animals are the main characters are usually awful kids’ movies where they all portray human stereotypes and are voiced by George Lopez and Drew Barrymore.
And although rabies isn’t exactly an awesome subject for a movie to be based around, it definitely makes them more interesting. If Old Yeller had just been about a boy and his dog fighting off some non-rabid pigs, I would’ve fallen asleep. If Cujo had just lounged around the farm for the whole hour and a half I would’ve shot my TV. And if the Air Buddies had gone to space and contracted rabies from some extra-terrestrial being, I would’ve actually watched the 2009, straight-to-DVD movie, Space Buddies.
So in short, animal movies: bad. Animal movies with rabies: slightly better.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Godfather: Tales of a Mafia Family

I love a movie with a good history. I will literally spend hours at a time on Wikipedia reading about legendary movies, the awards it's won, and the actors who've starred in it. Then whenever a movie I know about is brought up in conversation, I can go on and on about it and annoy everyone with my vast movie knowledge. That's what I do.
So a month or so back, when I was thinking of books to take up my time during the summer, The Godfather seemed like an easy choice. I already knew it was famous for winning several Academy awards, and who doesn't want to read a book about the mafia? I sure did, so I checked it out.
After a few weeks on the waiting list at the library I finally held all 443 pages of Mario Puzo's critically-acclaimed masterpiece in my hands. I read it when I could, while babysitting or during boring lectures in class. At times I was absolutely engrossed in the book; other times...not so much. Puzo lost me in the long chapters about the Godfather's past (necessary to the plot or not, it was boring. Maybe that's why they didn't include it in the movie) and Michael's first few months in Italy.
But if I could say three words about this book, I wouldn't be able to because I'm pretty sure I can't swear in this blog. I'll give you two: it's amazing. Most of it completely blew me away. Who knew that lying, manipulating, killing mafia-men could be so likable? All I want to do is have dinner with them and be recruited into the family business (and no, I don't mean the olive oil one). Of course, my non-Sicilian heritage might cause a problem.
The movie, though, well that's a slightly different story. Marlon Brando's Vito (the Don) Corleone couldn't instil fear in a mouse, although he won the award for Best Actor the same night his movie won the top prize. I can almost see why he became the second man in history to refuse the award for Best Actor (another piece of information that I found on my endless journey to find a life on the internet). Maybe the book was just too fresh in my mind to be interested in the movie. For me, the book is much better and, while time consuming, definitely worth it.

My Cary Elwes Childhood Part II: Glory

I was in seventh grade when I first watched the 1989 film, Glory. My pretty unorthodox Social Studies teacher, Mr. Schile, decided to show his classes the R-rated movie as a part of a huge Civil War unit we had been working on. As any normal kid would be, I was stoked that we would be taking up a few class days to watch a movie, no matter what it was.
I loved that class. Maybe it was because I was given the role of General Robert E. Lee in a simulation we did during the unit (and led the South to victory over the North, might I add); maybe it was because of the stories we heard of our teacher’s past (punched by a woman while working as a cop, almost kicked out of college while on a trip to California where he accidentally visited a gay bar with his friend); maybe it was the delicious brownies he made or the hours we spent trying to throw a hacky sack into the garbage bin. Or maybe it was just because I love history.
The latter would most likely be why I fell in love with this movie when Mr. Schile decided that violence and the F-word were appropriate for a classroom of twelve-year-olds.
In short, Glory is about the first all-black regiment and the soldiers’ battle between races during the Civil War. I squealed when I saw Cary Elwes come onto the screen (it shouldn't surprise you now that I'm kind of a huge fan of his). Starring a plethora of other amazing actors (Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman), you get to see the trials and tribulations these men go through as they fight for the North while also fighting to prove themselves; to break the barriers between the races their country has been struggling with for so long.
While the idea, a war movie following a group struggling to prove themselves, isn’t new or even surprising, Glory brings a fresh perspective and I love it. I love Colonel Shaw’s (Broderick) struggle to succeed in commanding his ranks while keeping ties with his friend and second-in-command, Major Cabot Forbes (Elwes), and the very loyal Thomas Searles. I love the sassy Trip (Washington), the quiet Rawlins (Freeman), and the stuttering Sharts. I love how, even though it's historical, even though it's violent, even though it's melancholy, it's still a movie that I go back to and watch again and again.
And maybe it shouldn't have been such a big part of my childhood considering it's graphic content (I'm pretty sure a soldier's head gets blown off in the first scene), but that's just what being a kid entails. Sometimes you have to grow up before you're ready, and I grew up with Glory; I grew up with The Princess Bride. Sure, there are other movies that had an impact on me when I was younger, and maybe I'll write about those later, but none had such a big impact on me as these two did.

Friday, September 7, 2012

My Cary Elwes Childhood Part I: The Princess Bride

Throughout the 1980s, Cary Elwes was considered one of Hollywood's leading men. He starred in memorable roles such as the dashing thieve in The Princess Bride and a Civil War major in Glory. And now, while he isn't considered as golden as he used to be (and he just starred in the movie with the worst opening of a film in more than two thousand theaters ever, The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure ), he's still a great actor and will, for me, be remembered for those two roles in the 80s that made him Hollywood eye candy and were also a big part of my childhood: The Princess Bride and Glory.

The eels swim towards Buttercup, the masked man scales a giant cliff, the ROUS attack Westley in the Fire Swamp, and then he's hooked up to the water machine. These are all scenes in The Princess Bride that make my skin crawl and have me squirming in my seat even to this day; even after watching it at least ten times. From this, who would know that this 1987 movie's a comedy?
Handsome Westley (Elwes), with his Zorro-esque mask, ponytail, and completely masculine 'stache, holds never-ending love for the cookie-cutter Buttercup. But, alas, the childhood-loves lose each other growing up, find each other, lose each other again, then find each other only after Buttercup's engaged to the Prince (way to go, Buttercup).
The minions of the evil Vizzini (taken captive by the poison, iocane powder), Inigo (Patinkin) and Fezzini (Andre the Giant), help Westley on his quest to get the soon-to-be princess Buttercup out of her engagement and back in his arms.
Through all of this, author of the 1973 novel, William Goldman, manages to write in laughs and the most quotable quotes. Even if you haven't seen the movie, you've heard a line or two from it, whether it's Inigo's infamous, “My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” or Westley's secret to how he defeated Vizzini, “I spent the last few years building up an immunity to iocane powder.” They bring the comical aspect to the movie.
And while there aren't any “cool” graphics or insane plot twists (hold for the six-fingered man) in The Princess Bride, you can't deny that it's phenomenal. It's one of the few non-Disney love stories that I can stand, let alone love. I've been watching it since I was born, practically; it's a favorite of my family's. I'll show it to my children and they'll fall in love with the movie and the characters as I have. Then they'll have their own Cary Elwes childhood.