We are going to enjoy a bit of comic relief this week as a respite from the ever-present Trump and Hillary Show.* We are going to use as our source of inspiration the 1987 classic movie, The Princess Bride. If somehow this movie has escaped you, it is your assignment to see it this week. If you have seen it, it might be time to see it again, because that is one of the reasons it is a classic: it holds up magnificently well over repeated viewings. The dialogue is so good, it gets you every time, even though you know what’s coming.
My adult children have seen it so many times, they can quote whole scenes of dialogue verbatim. This is one of the reasons for its enduring quality going on for almost 30 years now. That, and the fact that there is no indication that the film was made 30 years ago. With its period costuming and Old English dialogue, it could have been made yesterday.
It is every bit a romance, a swashbuckling adventure, a fairy tale, and a nutty satire. It is all these things and more, and this is another reason for its success — it can be enjoyed from so many different angles by all ages. The kids (and the kid in us) will love the magical fairy tale; the adults will enjoy the clever and humorous dialogue and the romance, and everyone will love the adventure.
How did this come about? I wandered into a Barns & Noble bookstore this weekend and my eye simply landed on a book titled, As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride, by Cary Elwes, the actor who played the leading role of Westley in the movie. I instinctively and impulsively bought it for my kids intending to save it for a birthday or Christmas gift, but in the meantime, I will, of course, have to read it myself.
And what does any of this have to do with our spiritual life? Everything.
Anything that connects this well to so many people has got to be true to our humanity. It must capture experiences we’ve had, longings that are common to us all, and things we are all curious about. In other words, if it’s connecting to our humanity, it must have a lot of truth in it, and if it has a lot of truth in it, it will hold up to The Truth which is the word of God. So get ready for the biblical truth as illustrated through the stories in and around the making and the story of The Princess Bride.
“This is true love. You think this happens every day?”
* I just read an article by the publisher of a conservative newspaper in Arizona that after 125 years of endorsing the Republican candidate has decided to endorse the Democrat. They are now receiving death threats. Death threats from Christians. Death threats from Christians who want to keep all non-Christians out of the country. Does anyone even want to go there?