I don’t know what your list of TOP 5 MOVIES OF ALL TIME looks like, but if it doesn’t include The Princess Bride, it’s wrong. I know that sounds like a bold statement, but you’re gonna have to trust me on this one.
The movie has sword fighting, “real” giants, magic, pirates, secret chambers, and ROUSs – that’s Rodents Of Unusual Size.
More importantly, it contains a really insightful – and challenging – way of saying, “I love you.”
The movie actually tells a story within a story. An American boy is home sick from school. His mom can’t stay home with him, so his grandfather has to come over and sit with him. When the grandfather arrives, he suggests the lad interrupt his video game to read a book. As the grandfather begins to tell the fanciful story the movie is really about, we’re taken to a farm somewhere in the make believe realm of Florin.
The lady of the farm is going about her chores. Her name is Buttercup. We then meet a handsome young man who works the farm and answers to the name Farm Boy. (Trust me, the story is much better than the characters’ names.)
We’re told – by the narrating grandfather – that anytime Buttercup asked Farm Boy to do anything, he always responded by saying, “As you wish.” In fact, for the whole opening sequence, Farm Boy’s only line is, “As you wish,” which he utters several times.
With the passing of time, Buttercup develops a bit of an attraction for Farm Boy. She begins to invent chores for him to do, just so he will have to be around her. For instance, one day as Farm Boy was leaving the room, she asks him to fetch her a pitcher that was easily within her own reach. Farm Boy stops, turns, and without breaking eye contact with Buttercup, walks across the room, reaches for the pitcher, hands it to her, and says, “As you wish.”
The grandfather then tells his grandson – and us – that it was in that moment that Buttercup realized each time Farm Boy said, “As you wish,” he was really saying, “I love you.”
Pardon me while I wipe away a sentimental tear.
OK, seriously, imagine what marriages, friendships, and families would look like if we thought about love the way Farm Boy did. For him, to love was to help; to love meant to serve.
Sounds like another story I once heard about love and service…
It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.
The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” Jesus answered, “A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean.”
The Princess Bride, written by William Goldman, a.k.a. S. Morgenstern. Released by 20th Century Fox, 1987.
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(Resource cataloged by David R Smith)