I am excited to share my review of As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes. This is such a fun memoir from Cary’s time playing Westley in the iconic movie, The Princess Bride.
We read this delightful memoir for book club and had a lot of fun chatting about our favorite details and then watching the film!
Book Summary: “From actor Cary Elwes, who played the iconic role of Westley in The Princess Bride, comes a first-person account and behind-the-scenes look at the making of the cult classic film filled with never-before-told stories, exclusive photographs, and interviews with costars Robin Wright, Wallace Shawn, Billy Crystal, Christopher Guest, and Mandy Patinkin, as well as author and screenwriter William Goldman, producer Norman Lear, and director Rob Reiner.
The Princess Bride has been a family favorite for close to three decades. Ranked by the American Film Institute as one of the top 100 Greatest Love Stories and by the Writers Guild of America as one of the top 100 screenplays of all time, The Princess Bride will continue to resonate with audiences for years to come.
Cary Elwes was inspired to share his memories and give fans an unprecedented look into the creation of the film while participating in the twenty-fifth anniversary cast reunion. In As You Wish he has created an enchanting experience; in addition to never-before seen photos and interviews with his fellow cast mates, there are plenty of set secrets, backstage stories, and answers to lingering questions about off-screen romances that have plagued fans for years!”
What makes this memoir so fun is the way Cary tells such engaging stories about the process of filming and experiencing this movie. I loved all the details! He goes through how he met everyone on set from the other actors to the directors and even the writer. It was so fun to hear about the order of filming starting with action packed scenes and ending with the kiss that left them all behind. I loved hearing about his training for the sword fights and how some of the most iconic lines in the movie came to be. I have very limited knowledge about the process of making a movie so I loved the behind the scenes stories about the experience.
This book gives great background on the people involved in the movie and how they all became like family. I loved all the anecdotes added from many of the other actors, the director, producers, and writer. It was so fun to see backstage of the whole production and what made everyone excited, nervous, and embarrassed. So many great stories — broken toes, the ATV, stunt doubles, sword fight training, cliffs and heights, kisses and castles, and much more. I loved how different actors were made for their roles and how others felt like imposters. The director brought so many different people together for this project and it’s amazing how big it still is. Also loved hearing about the unclear genre when it came out in theaters then the VHS craze and details about famous people that loved the movie! It just made the whole movie more endearing to know all these backstories.
This was a great book for book club for several reasons:
- Quick read with lots of stories and anecdotes from different actors we know and love
- Fun pictures from production throughout the book
- The audiobook is read by Cary Elwes!
- We watched the movie after our discussion and it was so fun to see the different moments in the film that he talks about in the book!
- Great chance for clever snacks like we had — iocane powder, peanut M&Ms, chocolate covered candy, and more.
Overall, a fun and engaging memoir! If you love the movie, I think you’ll especially appreciate this one!
What are some of your favorite memoirs?
Any books connected to movies that you especially enjoyed?