I’m dumbfounded when friends list The Princess Bride among their favorite movies. How did such an awful film earn cult status? Its flaws are glaring:
- Bad acting. Andre the Giant was not hired for his acting chops. Mandy Patinkin (Inigo) substitutes a funny accent for fine acting. Cary Elwes (Westley) smirks his way through every line. Wallace Shawn (Vizzini) gives me a headache.
Giant? Yes. Thespian? No.
- Horrible music. The Princess Bride fakes an orchestral score with cheesy synthesizers. Compare its soundtrack to scores from other films of its era—Back to the Future, for example. Bride’s Casio-generated, forgettable pseudo-melodies just don’t stand the test of time.
- Terrible special effects. Laughable, rubbery monsters. Soulless sound stages. Toy boat models. This Bride ain’t much to look at.
- Drama-less ending. At the film’s climax, our heroes finally come face-to-face with the hated villain, and… they ignore him and escape out the window. The End. Wait, what?! Who’s writing this stuff?
The only way to enjoy Bride is to laugh at it—to point out how god-awful it is. It’s the Plan Nine from Outer Space of the fantasy genre, fit only to be spurned by snarky talking heads.