As Princess Buttercup pushes the Man in Black who she thinks is trying to kidnap her down a steep ravine, he calls out, as he tumbles head over heels, “As … you … wish!” Buttercup immediately realizes it is her beloved Westly after all behind that black mask, and preferring to risk her life with whatever was at the bottom of that ravine then to be separated from her true love, she plunges down the hill after him. She thought he was dead. She thought her life was not worth living. Her whole countenance had turned gray for three miserable years, but upon hearing that telltale phrase that had characterized his love for her, and desire to serve her completely, the color came back to her face. And there, in a breathless heap at the bottom of hill, the two were reunited.
“Can you move?” asks Wesley, as he assesses the damage from their tumble.
“Move? You’re alive — if you want I can fly,” replies Buttercup.
Ah, true love. What can match it? What can kill it? What can stand in its way? Not even death itself. This will be proven in the story as Westly will have the life sucked out of him in Prince Humperdink’s torture chamber, only to come back to life driven by one great passion. As Miracle Max blew air into his dead lungs, his mouth formed the words of his motivation as the air flowed back out over his lips — his reason to live: “True Love.”
Is this not the role of truly great stories — to refocus our attention on the truly important things in life? A good story showcases what we experience every day but forget to notice. In this case, it’s the true love that made us one, that bound us to another for life, that allows us to guard a treasure for posterity and keep it forever. Who does such a thing anymore? And God tells us how:
Has not the one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful to the wife of your youth.(Malachi 2:15-16)
Who is the “wife of your youth?” It is the one you fell in love with. The one you would have crossed an ocean for. The one you had to be near no matter what. The one with whom you found true love. You did not know true love until you met. You only heard about it and read about it in stories like this one. She’s the wife of your youth because she’s the same person. Age and familiarity have changed nothing.
So when you read this story or watch this movie, you are not outdone by Westly and Buttercup, you are reminded of what you have that goes way beyond them. Westly and Buttercup are not the greatest, most perfect love though they are presented as such. This is just a movie. They have been through nothing. You have been brought through countless Fire Swamps, through eel infested waters, up against snakes and bats and spiders, and you have had the life sucked out of you a thousand times, only to be resurrected to live and love again. No, Westly and Buttercup have not outdone you, you have outdone them.
Remember the wife of your youth.