What It's Like To Watch "The Princess Bride" For The First Time
Inconceivable, I know.
Hi, my name is Krystie Yandoli and I’m a 24-year-old semi-adult who has made it nearly two and a half decades without having ever seen The Princess Bride.
Apparently this is a rarity — or as some of my co-workers led me to believe, a mortal sin — and I made the mistake of allowing this information to be publicly known.
So I took matters into my own hands and finally watched this cult classic. I recruited my co-worker and Princess Bride expert Keely Flaherty to watch the movie with me, just in case I missed something important.
What I know about The Princess Bride without having ever seen it: The movie is a classic fairy tale that everyone knows about except me (I guess?), it's a major component of pop culture, and it was made in the late '80s.
Predictions: I think The Princess Bride is about a young woman who is a princess of a fairy tale land far, far away and is supposed to become a bride in order to fulfill her duties to her great nation. She resists the arranged marriage she's expected to fall into and, instead, rebels by falling in love with someone less expected. Her family eventually approves of her choice, after much battle and detestment. She doesn't end up marrying this dude, because she's an independent progressive princess, but she does end up loving him, which is cool because love and independence don't have to be mutually exclusive.
Keely: That's literally just your feelings and what you would want out of a movie.
Krystie: OMG it's the guy from The Wonder Years!
Keely: Yeah, where's Winnie?
Krystie: I thought this movie was going to take place in medieval times.
Keely: Just watch. See, it's a book. You like books!
Krystie: Westley's hot. That was a very sensual moment.
Keely: Yeah, a very sensual potato sack he's wearing, clipped at the neck.
Krystie: Princess Buttercup? Seriously?
Keely: Probably not the feminist name you were hoping for.
Krystie: OMG he died?!
Keely: He died.
Krystie: This is why people shouldn't get married.
Keely: Because they might get killed by pirates?
Krystie: What are these bad guys going to do to her?!
Keely: The Vulcan neck pinch. Side note: That's the dinosaur from Toy Story.
Krystie: He's also in Clueless.
Krystie: That little bald man is my favorite character so far. What's his name again?
Keely: Vizzini. You like the little man? Your favorite Princess Bride character says a lot about you. That says a lot about you.
Krystie: I said he's my favorite character SO FAR.
Krystie: I wish people would call me brainy. "You think you're brainy, don't you?"
Keely: Uhhh, he said "brave." Not "brainy."
Krystie: They focus a lot on jobs in this movie — they keep saying things like "Your job is at stake" and "Do you want me to send you back to Greenland where you were unemployed?" I wonder what the economic philosophy behind The Princess Bride is.
Keely: I feel like you're taking it to this place that's going to ruin my childhood.
Krystie: Inigo Montoya seems a little socially awkward; you don't need to be divulging your family secrets and all these details to someone you just met.
Keely: Gotta move the plot along somehow, Krystie.
Krystie: Is he in love? He looks like he's in love. Why is he just giving him the sword?!
Keely: They made an agreement.
Krystie: Why would you trust someone you never met with a sword?
Keely: Here's your phallic sword play. He's an expert swordsman; he spent his whole life studying it so he could avenge his father's death.
Krystie: *gasps* That was so close!
Krystie: Omg maybe they're soulmates.
Keely: It would be kind of great if this whole movie became about their romance. *sings* We found love on the cliffs of insanity.
Krystie: I feel like I've seen more of their love story so far than anyone else's.
Krystie: Are you telling me that's really not Zorro?
Keely: That is not Zorro. It's the Man in Black.
Krystie: This whole damn movie is about death.
Keely: It's an adventure romance — the stakes are high.
Krystie: Who's gonna poison who? He's gonna poison him? He's gonna poison him!
Keely: He switched the cups. Pay attention.
Krystie: Vizzini is soooooo *not* Sicilian.
Keely: That's funny because that actor thought he was going to get fired every day on set because he is very clearly not Sicilian.
Krystie: What a sexist pig! I hate him, I thought I was going to like him. Why does he even want her? Ugh, just listen to him mansplaining.
Keely: That's true, he really is mansplaining a lot right now.
Krystie: Yaaassssss princess throw him down that hill.
Krystie: OMG HE JUST SAID "AS YOU WISH." OMG IT'S HER TRUE LOVE! Why did he say those mean things to her then?
Krystie: This is really twisted. The love of her life kidnapped her, threatened her...
Keely: No, he saved her.
Krystie: Yeah but as far as she knew, he kidnapped her.
Keely: Oh. My. God. He saved her.
Keely: That rat looks like something you'd see in a New York City subway.
Krystie: You're telling me Wesley the pirate could beat everyone else except a life-size rat?
Keely: That rat bastard.
Krystie: The princess and the pirate seem like they're in a toxic relationship.
Keely: But not really 'cause it's true love.
Krystie: True love can be toxic.
Keely: Oh shut up.
Krystie: She doesn't look too happy to be getting married.
Krystie: What was a dream? All of it? Some of it? WHAT PART WAS SHE DREAMING?!
Krystie: I don't trust this letter-writing business. She doesn't seem to have a lot of agency or consent in her own life and relationships... OMG THEY'RE TRYING TO KILL HER OMG!
Keely: Yeah, more like HumperDICK, right?
Keely: This poor guy. Poor Westley.
Krystie: This is torture! Are they waterboarding him?
Keely: They're sucking the life out of his nipples.
Keely: Friendship is shoving someone's head in barrel full of water.
Krystie: Yeah but only when they need it.
Krystie: Finally the princess is standing up for herself!
Keely: The feminist fairy tale you wanted yet?
Krystie: You can't just tell a priest to skip to the end of the ceremony. I'm barely a practicing Catholic and even I know that — this guy is the worst.
Keely: Yaaasssss giant!
Krystie: NO! I didn't want Inigo Montoyato to die. Wait, that's sad. That's really sad. I guess everyone can't always have a happy ending but like…
Keely: Yeah he gets sliced in the gut. Sucks, man. Wait, what did you say his last name was?
Krystie: Shhhh. YAY HE'S NOT REALLY DEAD! So much death-faking.
Krystie: Well that's a twist of events. Forgive her? For what? What did she do? SHE'S THE VICTIM HERE.
Keely: Yeah but, love.
Krystie: I like how they all became friends, even if it's in the name of revenge.
Keely: That crown is on point.
Krystie: It looks like it took them all day to read that book. *clutches heart* OMG the grandpa just said "As you wish." OK that's precious.
Biggest takeaway: Basically, true love conquers all. But on a serious note, I think The Princess Bride is one of those movies I had to watch when I was younger in order to really love it, because otherwise I view it differently as an adult and can't really help but see some of the flaws. I can't love it for what it is, plus it's not nostalgic for me or a part of my childhood at all. I think the relationship between the grandson and grandfather is adorable. The princess was OK, the bad guys were cool because they ended up being round characters, and the pirate was hot but I don't think he deserved the princess, although I guess true love isn't always logical. Overall, The Princess Bride was cute but isn't one of my favorite movies ever; I guess I could see why little kids would like it. I feel like I should be more affected than I am, I hate that people overhyped this experience for me.
Keely: I think you should watch it a second time.
*goes home, presses play again*