GAGGING on THE PRINCESS BRIDE
March 16, 2013 § 1 Comment
WHY do I ALWAYS want to stick a finger down my throat while watching THE PRINCESS BRIDE?
It’s witty, it’s cult classic, the Spaniard scenes are oft quoted over frat house beer.
I’m watching it now, with commercials, which is a trial, I assure you, and a whole ‘nother topic about living in the hinterlands and trying to keep up on the film industry. It is raining. I will soon drive thirty miles into “town” to stream Rebecca Thomas’ new movie, ELECTRICK CHILDREN, at my favorite coffee shop. Producer Jessica Caldwell (@JessBCaldwell) kindly “followed” me on twitter (@lightscamwomen) after I started posting about what a cool flick I thought ELECTRICK CHILDREN would be- ONCE I COULD ACCESS IT!
I am that person lucky enough to live amid nature’s vast, untainted beauty on a hundred acre farm near great tracts of forestland, no neighbors close enough to hear me when I scream. I am that hermit who could eschew all technology, even the electricity delivered to me by a community company, not a big firm. But I like my well pump working. So I don’t.
Right now, on TV, Wesley and Buttercup are in the fireswamp.
I finally get why I didn’t like the movie when I first saw it in 1987. It’s not a bad movie, it simply is yet another movie pretending to be about love and artificially promoting that ruse in the title. What woman in her early twenties in the late eighties didn’t react positively to the word “Princess”, and worse still, to the word, “Bride?”
That’s how they got women to watch this thing with their eighteen year old dates.
At least there’s the wise old crone who “Boos” Buttercup when the nuptials are officially announced in the Monty Python-esque European village scene. The crone serves, as usual, as the voice of reason, the saving grace. This is the part where the foolish virgin realizes it’s better to sacrifice herself and save the hero than give in to her baser desires. Of course, this particular Hollywood virgin, dear old Buttercup, hasn’t an ink jot of base desire in her. Dear old Robin Wright, the actress who played the chillingly stiff and childishly beautiful Buttercup, presumably must. She later married Sean Penn.
I wasn’t independent enough in my thinking or in touch enough with my SELF in the eighties to recognize my dislike of PRINCESS BRIDE for what it was. A downright internal revolt against portrayals of women in such stupid roles.
Buttercup’s darling, and her character works in the movie. But the fact that I didn’t understand my own feelings about her portrayal chills me now, since I’m finally the over-fifty wise old crone.
I’ve nothing against Buttercuppy characters continuing to be written for the screen.
It’s worth pointing out that PRINCESS BRIDE (1987) was based on a novel written in 1973 by William Golding, who also wrote the screenplay. The seventies were a scary period for women. Just look them up.
I honestly believe that if young women today can experience enough well written movies starring strong, realistically portrayed women, they’ll also be able to watch the Buttercups and get how dumb they are. And laugh. And walk away being strong, realistic women themselves.
Not Wesley’s prize.
Tell me it’s already happening. Tell me I didn’t need to make this point. Please?