Run time: 98 mins
A warm and silly fairy-tale, played with giddy delight and directed with a rich vein of humour by Rob Reiner (When Harry Met Sally).
A satire on fairy-telling based on the flamboyantly knowing novel by William Goldman; and a sly attack on Hollywood’s tendency to ignore the simple beauty of storytelling.
Buttercup (Robin Wright), is a common but beautiful girl who falls in love with a stable boy named Westley (Cary Elwes). Westley knows that their love is meant to be, yet has nothing to offer for her hand in marriage. So he sets off to seek his fortune, intending to return for her one day. Word reaches Buttercup that Westley’s ship has been attacked. Five years later, the egomaniacal Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon) has chosen Buttercup to be his wife. She doesn’t love him, yet can’t refuse the man who’ll soon be king. But before the wedding, Buttercup is kidnapped by the dastardly Vizzini (Wallace Shawn).
The film expertly balances sweeping romance, wry satire, and imaginative fantasy without missing a step. Very few films can manage such genre acrobatics. Thirty plus years on, Reiner’s salute to Hollywood swashbucklers remains a poignant pastiche, gloriously unencumbered by CGI visuals and gender cliches. (Jack Whiting)