As You Wish by Cary Elwes
Best for: Readers who like to learn about the behind-the-scenes world of film-making but aren’t looking for salacious gossip.
In a nutshell: Sweet actor writes sweet book about sweet film.
Line that sticks with me: “But there was no hiding for Andre. When you are that big, there is no possible disguise; no way to shrink into the background.”
Why I chose it: I recall it getting good reviews in the cannonball read previously, and it happened to be on sale. Win win!
Review: Long before my husband and I got engaged, we were out drinking with two of our friends. The husband in that couple joked that he’d be happy to officiate our eventual wedding, and that he’d just model it after the ceremony in The Princess Bride. Two years later, he stood before us and 80 of our friends and families and bellowed “Mawwiage. Mawwiage is what bwings us togethew today. And wove, twue wove,” followed by “oooh, sorry, wrong ceremony.” Pretty much everyone except my mother and a couple relatives in their 70s were laughing out loud. Given that the age range was 3-70+, I’d say it shows just how deeply this film has made it into our culture.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book, as I haven’t seen the film in awhile. I wasn’t sure if I’d be missing out on nuances or not be able to place the actors Mr. Elwes discusses. Ha. Yeah right. It’s all perfectly clear in my mind even without the adorable pictures that he includes. The stories he shares are just lovely, and paint everyone in a very good light. I’d question whether he is providing an overly rose-colored view of things, but I found it all convincing. I think it was a group of kind, funny people who made a terrific movie.
I chose a quote about Andre the Giant as the line that sticks with me because I found the stories about him to be the most enjoyable. He led a life that others might find challenging, but he seemed to make the decision that he was going to figure out how to live a life as a literal giant. He seemed to suck the marrow out of life (I hate that imagery but it fits so well) and also gave to so many others.
The only real issues I had with the book are that the quotes from interviews with other actors on set are interspersed in little text boxes that aren’t at an easy stopping point in the main text. So I’d sometimes get lost in a story and then have to go back and find that the text box actually related to that story. And sometimes not so much.
This was a quick read, and it made me want to go rewatch the film. (As of this writing, it seems to be available for rent on Amazon streaming, so off I go!)