Friday, June 3, 2011

Fiction Friday: The Book/Film That Has Everything

When I was in college, I had the opportunity to take a remarkable class called "Literature and Film."  In this class, I was given the best possible assignment someone like me could ever hope to be assigned.  I had to write a paper about a book and that book's film adaptation.  We were given a list of books/films to choose from.  One of my favorite books (and my favorite film of all time) was on that list.

I am the sort of person who likes a lot of different things.  If you were to ask me what my favorite genre of literature is, I would probably say Young Adult, and I might say Fantasy/Sci Fi, but I'd have to throw in some Adventure, definitely a splash of Romance or some Paranormal or some Mystery/Suspense.  And the funnier the better.  I like...well...everything (even Horror if it's done right).  The same thing goes for film.  I like everything (except for MOST Chick Flicks and Horror...and Westerns). 

So when a writer combines all the genres into one big awesome novel/film, that's when said writer makes Ruth happy.  It's like that writer got right into my brain and said, "AS YOU WISH!"

What I like is a novel/film with fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles!  All of these things and more can be found in the novel/film The Princess Bride by S. Morgenstern William Goldman.  This brilliant writer wrote both the novel and the film's screenplay (as well as several other screenplays, including the one for "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid."  (Is that a Western?  Maybe I should actually WATCH that one...  Because right now the only "Westerns" I like are the funny ones, like "The Shakiest Gun in the West" and "The Apple Dumpling Gang"...and does "Three Amigos!" count?  What about "Old Yeller"???)).

Most people I consider to be cool have seen the movie "The Princess Bride."  Yes, it was made when my age was still in the single digits...back when Andre the Giant (who could also be called Andre the Awesome) was still alive.  I can quote the movie frontwards and backwards.  Okay, maybe not...but I could probably get pretty close.  The special effects are dreadful.  The music is lousy.  It matters not.  It's still my favorite movie...and I like movies.  The acting is extraordinary (especially the comedic scenes...Mandy Patinkin FTW!).  The writing is outstanding.  This is one of the funniest movies ever...and it's got a great plot full of all that stuff I listed above.  If you haven't seen "The Princess Bride" (INCONCEIVABLE!) either because you've been living under a rock for the past 25 years and have never heard of it or because you've written off a movie with such a title as a "Chick Flick," then stop reading my blog (if I say that, then you KNOW this is serious) and GO BUY THAT MOVIE.  I didn't say rent.  I said buy.  Trust me.  You'll want to keep it and cherish it forever...and ever...  And I mean it (anybody want a peanut?).

As for the book, well, it's not my favorite book, though it's definitely one of my favorites.  That being said, it's even better than the movie.  It's funnier.  It's got more action.  It's got more "twue wuv."  It's got more fencing, fighting, torture, revenge...etc.  It's got more everything.  And William Goldman successfully managed to hoodwink a more naive Ruth.  I truly believed for a long time that there actually was such a person as S. Morgenstern who wrote The Princess Bride way back in the day.  William Goldman actually wrote it in the 1970s pretending to offer an edited version of Morgenstern's original.  Clever of Goldman.  Clever and tricksy hobbitses.  So if you've seen the movie (and of course, loved it...because everyone loves this movie, and if you don't then there's something wrong with you, you miserable vomitous mass, you warthog faced buffoon; you queen of refuse, you queen of garbage, you queen of PUTRESCENCE!  BOO!  BOO! BOOOOOOO!) and haven't read the book, then GET THEE TO A LIBRARY/BOOKSTORE IMMEDIATELY.  Or the Dread Pirate Robers will come for your SOULLLLLLL!

As for that paper I had to write for that class...well, I've never had so much fun writing a paper.  I've never had such a good time doing research.  ...and I got an A (not to mention the best grade in the class). 

By the way, never get involved in a land war in Asia or go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line...just sayin'.

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