Here’s the first thing I found out in reading As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride. I found out that the longevity of this movie’s popularity was not just luck or an accidental success. It began with the writer and the director, both of whom were passionately involved with this project from the beginning.
There was something special that imbued this entire production with heart. William Goldman, the author of the book and writer of the screenplay, was clear about the fact that this was his favorite story, and he’d been trying to get someone to make it into a movie for years, but everyone was afraid of it. It would take a certain kind of director to dance deftly through all the varying styles — fairy tale, adventure, romance, satire — and make them all work together, without sacrificing any one of them for another, and that director simply hadn’t shown up yet.
Then along came director Rob Reiner (This is Spinal Tap, Stand By Me) for whom The Princess Bride happened to be his favorite book, and when he found out this would be an opportunity to work with Goldman, he was not only interested; he was ecstatic. Even Cary Elwes (lead character, Westley) was already connected to this story, having been in love with it since he first read the book when he was thirteen.
Point being, this was no accident. There was lots of of T.L.C. with this project from the beginning, and more than anything, there was a lot of heart. Great work doesn’t just happen; it is the result of passion and heart. Proof of this is that 25 years later it still has the same pull as all the cast and crew showed up for the 25th anniversary at the New York Film Festival — all, that is, except Peter Falk and Andre the Giant, who were not there because they were no longer on the planet (the only excuse accepted).
What is your passion? What work do you do that you can pour your heart into? Paul has said that he opened his heart wide to the Corinthians. He said that he poured his life out as a drink offering to the Philippians. We need not just live. We need to live with a passion. What can you put your heart into? If there’s nothing, you may want to reexamine what you are doing. Why do we do what we do?
Is your heart in your life? If not, what would it take to get it there?