Happy Friday everyone. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: There are two kinds of people in this world: People who worship “The Princess Bride” and people who don’t have a heart.
Maybe that’s a little harsh … nah. “The Princess Bride” is a litmus test for me; if you don’t love it, we can’t be friends. I literally don’t know anyone who doesn’t smile when it comes up in conversation.
Funny, smart, sweet, and loaded with quotable lines, it’s just the greatest movie, one that I’ve watched dozens of times and enjoy more each time.
Cary Elwes, the actor who played Westley, loves “The Princess Bride,” too, since it’s easily his most famous role. He’s written a new book (with Joe Layden) called “As You Wish,” a behind-the-scenes tale of the making of the movie.
My awesome wife got it for me for Hanukkah, and I just finished it. Big surprise: I loved it.
It’s really an entertaining book, filled not just with Elwes’ recollections but those of director Rob Reiner, co-stars Chris Sarandon, Robin Wright, Christoper Guest and Billy Crystal.
Some of the many, many fabulous details I never knew:
— Elwes broke his big toe during filming while horsing around on Andre the Giant’s specially-sized ATV (yes, that sentence is just as weird when you read it a second time.)
— Wallace Shawn (aka Vizzini) was riddled with anxiety the entire shoot because he felt certain he’d be fired and be replaced in the movie by Danny DeVito.
— Andre the Giant … well, actually I won’t spoil any of the stuff about him. Needless to say, the Andre stories are worth the book’s price itself.
— The famous swordfight between Westley and Inigo was 100 percent all done by the actors; no stuntmen at all.
It’s really a joy to read this book if you love “The Princess Bride.” Happily, Elwes and the rest of the cast seem to truly appreciate how lucky they were to be a part of it, and how much it means to the film’s legion of fans.
“No more rhymes now, I mean it!”
“Anybody want a peanut?”
**Next up, I thought this was so cool: Sled hockey is a variation of the sport for people with disabilities, like an amputation. Gatorade told a bunch of sled hockey players they wanted to film them for a possible documentary, then a few minutes in a whole bunch of NHL stars showed up to play with them.
Their faces at :48 are just pure joy.
**And finally today, good news if you’re one of thse lucky folks like me who are married (and if you’re not, here’s more good reasons why you should): A new study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research has concluded that being married makes people happier and more satisfied with their lives than those who remain single – particularly during the most stressful periods, like midlife crises.
From this N.Y. Times story: “Those whose lives are most difficult could benefit most from marriage, according to the economists who wrote the new paper, John Helliwell of the Vancouver School of Economics and Shawn Grover of the Canadian Department of Finance. “Marriage may be most important when there is that stress in life and when things are going wrong,” Mr. Grover said.
They analyzed data about well-being from two national surveys in the United Kingdom and the Gallup World Poll. In all but a few parts of the world, even when controlling for people’s life satisfaction before marriage, being married made them happier. This conclusion, however, did not hold true in Latin America, South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.
So there you go: Don’t believe what TV sitcoms have told you for decades: Get married, life is better.
Your humble blogger, who used to wear mismatched clothes, eat frozen Tombstone pizzas on a regular basis, and only clean the apartment when the dirt jumped off the carpet and landed on my face, absolutely agrees.