After doing for heavy metal what Blazing Saddles did for westerns, This Is Spinal Tap also managed to spark a minor cottage industry known as the Christopher Guest mockumentary. Now, Tap was hardly the first fake rock documentary, since The Rutles had been around for several years. Eric Idle’s spoof of Beatlemania, however, never got near the National Film Registry as did Rob Reiner’s affectionate yet lacerating take on head-bangers.
There are very few movies that, after 18 years, I react to the same way I did when I first saw it. The Princess Bride is definitely one of those movies. I get exactly the same feeling of giddy delight from watching this that I did back in 1987. As a fantasy, it takes its fairy-tale elements just serious enough that it doesn’t feel condescending while still managing a knowing wink at a normally cynical modern audience.
Rob Reiner‘s fourth movie is as different from the three that came before it as they are from each other and nothing much like the many he has directed since. He obviously brings a great deal of love and respect to William Goldman‘s original novel and successfully communicated his enthusiasm to a talented cast.