And what a web it is, my friends. Full of adventure and love, giants and sword fights, this movie truly exists in a category far above many others. It’s the story of Westley and Buttercup, but it’s also the story of so much more. It’s the story of a man full of anger and revenge over his lost father, who nearly drank himself to death before finding a friend to spend his time with. It’s the story of a man who is ostracized due to his size who finds a kindred spirit and people who see past his gigantism. It’s also the story of a man full of greed that will sacrifice anyone and anything in order to get to his goal.
The beauty of this film is that it wraps all these stories together into a beautiful tapestry that you can wrap around yourself when you need to feel goodness and warmth. That’s a remarkable thing for a movie to do. It is just remarkable filmmaking by someone that truly loved the subject material. Rob Reiner did a great job with this, but some people may not know how involved William Goldman was in the film. Not only did he write the book, he also wrote the screenplay, and took place in a lot of the readings of the script originally. He had consistently kept his script from falling into the wrong hands, despite knowing that he had a classic in his hands.
This is mainly due to the perfect dialogue that is written throughout. The movie has to be one of the most quotable of all time. From the very beginning where Peter Falk sits down to talk to Fred Savage, you’re hooked on the language. “As You Wish” will go down in David’s history as one of the greatest uses of language in film. But the humor of the dialogue goes perfectly with the flow of the film, as well as some of the more cheesy effects, like the R.O.U.S, and “The Machine”. That’s something you just can’t see without an eye for material, and Reiner always seemed to have that.
Finally, I’ll round out my gushing over the movie with the cast (and a recommendation). Could anyone else ever play these roles? When you think the fact that Cary Elwes was essentially a nobody before this, and Mandy Pantikin wasn’t quite a household name, it’s amazing to think that this movie succeeded so well. Sure, it has some very famous people in it, from Billy Crystal, Christopher Guest, and of course, Wallace Shawn and Andre the Giant, but the core is a bunch of unknowns. They perform so admirably and beautifully that you cannot help but love all the characters.
I also wanted to suggest a book to you, which I try not to do often. I don't want the website to seem like a bunch of plugs for material that isn't here. However, please seek out the book As You Wish by Cary Elwes. You won't be disappointed. Some of the stories are incredibly unique surrounding the filming are incredibly unique, and Elwes's voice is perfect for the tale. I highly recommend it.
With a review like this, you know what is going to happen. I’m giving this movie a full “A+”.
For more on this film, check out IMDB.
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"