If you’re anything like me, you have at least one iconic film that you grew up with, one that in some small way shaped a part of who you were and has become synonymous with your younger self. For me and for many others perhaps, that movie is The Princess Bride. I was head-over-heels in love with Westley and I wanted nothing more than to be Princess Buttercup. I watched it countless times, could quote practically every line by heart, (still can,) and faithfully proclaimed it my favorite movie for several years.
Like many childhood loves, The Princess Bride, while still a favorite, ceased to take up so much of my attention as I grew up. In fact it had probably been several years since I actually sat down to watch the film when I saw that a new book had made the nonfiction New York Times bestseller list: As You Wish by Cary Elwes. Imagine my excitement upon discovering an entire book wholly dedicated to the making of my childhood favorite movie! I greedily ordered it for the store, knowing the film’s status as a cult classic would entice fans to pick up the book and discover the backstory of The Princess Bride.
As soon as I could, I snatched up As You Wish, eager to see if the memoir would be as engaging and interesting as the film. I was not disappointed. I’m generally not as swept up by a nonfiction read, but I couldn’t put it down! I picked it up and only paused to grab a coffee and a bite of food, immediately diving back into the pages until I’d read the entire thing. It was all at once humorous and heartwarming and more than once I found myself smiling goofily at the pages.
As You Wish gives readers an in-depth look at the making of The Princess Bride from its conception to the final take, all from the perspective of its leading actor, Cary Elwes. His voice comes distinctly through the pages, making the book a very personal read. The director, author, and other actors from the film also chime in from time to time with their own perspectives and memories. The result is an absolute treat for anyone who has ever pledged undying love, engaged in a battle of wits, or sworn revenge alongside the beloved characters of The Princess Bride.