Hi! We’re lowercasesee (lsc) and NoNeinNyet (NNN) and we joined forces for the CBR Bingo Two Heads Are Better Than One category to review Cary Elwes’s oral history of the making of The Princess Bride.
lsc: I like it! Overall, I was utterly charmed, start to finish.
NNN: It was great! Just the warmest experience I’ve had with a book in recent memory.
lsc: Warm is such a good adjective! There’s just joy in every pore.
NNN: All of the cast and crew members interviewed for this oral history clearly still have a lot of affection for one another.
lsc: The bond they had was so true – to each other, and to the movie itself. I really liked that all their perspectives were included, too, that we got a 360 view of the whole project.
NNN: Elwes did an excellent job gathering material from a large number of people involved. He also wrote well about his own memories and nicely tied everything together throughout the book.
lsc: He was a surprisingly good writer. It’s more than a little unfair that he is so broadly talented, so charming, and so good looking. God gives with both hands and a shovel.
NNN: I listened to the audiobook and he gave a wonderful performance there. His Rob Reiner and Andre the Giant impressions were particular standouts. Many of the contributors also read their own parts which was nice to hear, too.
lsc: Aww! I bet the audio book was absolutely delightful. Did Billy Crystal and Carol Kane contribute, too?
NNN: They did! They have such distinct voices that it was nice to hear them read their own words.
lsc: Carol Kane is ingrained in my head as Lillian (Kimmy Schmidt) it’s fun to re-remember her in Princess Bride.
NNN: Yes! I was kind of picturing her in her Lillian costumes every time she was reading.
NNN: I wanted to take both Wallace Shawn and Robin Wright aside and tell them that of course they were the ones Rob Reiner wanted in their roles. They were perfect at their roles and I couldn’t imagine them played by anyone else.
lsc: Right!! Especially poor Wallace, although I honestly don’t see any Danny Devito in his performance.
I feel like I didn’t learn too much reading it, but I didn’t care, I was having such a good time! It’s fluff, but like whipped cream fluff, not Peeps fluff. And man do I miss Andre the Giant.
NNN: There were so many Andre the Giant stories in this book. He was clearly quite the character and both owned his size yet went out of his way to make people at ease about it.
lsc: And the story about the fart was kind of told … perfectly. As in, I was giggling right along with them and the smacked in the face with being a dick about it.
NNN: Cary did a particularly good turn there taking you on the emotional journey he went on.
lsc: A very good job. And just oh wow is he in love with Robin Wright.
NNN: Who wouldn’t be?
lsc: Fair point. It reminded me a bit of how apparently Jenna Fisher fell in love with John Krasinski.
NNN: That’s a very good comparison!
lsc: Bill Goldman seems like someone I would very much like to be friends with. Actually all the people are so wonderful, it seems like they themselves have to be scripted.
NNN: He’s definitely someone who understands how adaptation works. The movie isn’t an exact copy of the books and while I’m sure Rob Reiner made some changes himself, I’m sure Goldman also made some of the adaptive choices when writing the screenplay.
lsc: He seems like someone who also goes with the flow nicely, who knows which battles to pick.
NNN: Yes. The exact opposite of the type filmmakers fear about the involvement of a creator when they’re making an adaptation.
lsc: I read The Princess Bride late in life (last year, I think) and was pleasantly surprised by how delightful it was. Elwes’s book brought a lot of the same light and, like you said, warmth.
NNN: You can see how part of the reason he was cast was that he just got what Goldman and Reiner were trying to make.