Thursday, September 18, 2014

Book Review - As You Wish

As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride

By: Cary Elwes
Publisher: Touchstone
Publication Date: October 2014
ISBN: 978-1476764023
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: September 19, 2014

With the 25th anniversary of The Princess Bride upon us, actor Cary Elwes, who brought the character of Westley to life, has penned a memoir about the making of the family classic that fans of the movie should not miss. Interesting, funny, with lots of insight from various cast members, this book is a delight to read.

As You Wish begins with Cary Elwes recalling a note his agent sent him marked only with the word ‘Important.’ Upon calling her, Elwes learned that he was being considered for a role that would eventually change not just his career, but really, his entire life. Producing partners Rob Reiner and Andy Scheinman were interested in meeting Elwes to see if he was the right man to play one of the leads in their upcoming movie.

From the first meeting with Reiner and Scheinman to being introduced to Robin Wright and the other cast members, dealing with the R.O.U.S. (Rodents Of Unusual Size), and preparing for ‘The Greatest Swordfight in Modern Times,’ it’s all here. The book reads like a group project because there are so many sidebars from all the major players (actors, producers, etc.) that add a real family feel to the story (Elwes mentions several times how the cast and crew became very close and it certainly shows here). There are a lot of personal stories, and insights into various cast members (I particularly enjoyed the stories about AndrĂ© the Giant). Plenty of events from the filming are included too and I plan on re-watching the movie this weekend to see if I can spot that broken toe...

When The Princess Bride hit movie screens, it received good reviews although viewers didn’t flock to it in droves. While not a major hit, as soon as the home video market caught on, so too did The Princess Bride. Today, it is considered a classic, a movie that the whole family can enjoy. So too, is As You Wish - thank you, Mr. Elwes, for bringing the back-story of The Princess Bride to life in a book fans will love.

Quill says: A quick, fun read about a wonderful movie. If you enjoyed The Princess Bride, you’ll love this book.

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