The Frida Cinema

Orange County's Year-Round Film Festival

The Princess Bride

The Princess Bride

A fundraiser for Project MotiVATe — Mentoring Vietnamese American Teens

Tickets: $12

Rob Reiner’s enduring classic The Princess Bride, with its often absurdist humor, successfully parodies the fantasy/fairy-tale genre for the same reason his earlier rock-documentary send-up This Is Spinal Tap did. Both films first completely establish themselves in their respective settings—taking them seriously—then going for the laughs.

The Princess Bride is a story within a story: Grandpa (Peter Falk) arrives at the home of his sick grandson (Fred Savage) to read him a story. The last thing the grandson wants to hear is Grandpa reading from “a kissing book,” but he is quickly engrossed in the adventures of Westley (Cary Elwes) and Princess Buttercup (Robin Wright). Westley must rescue Buttercup from her dreaded betrothal to evil prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon). Before the story ends happily ever after, Westley and Buttercup will encounter a string of perilous and often hilarious cliffhangers.

With its tone-perfect soundtrack by Mark Knopfler, The Princess Bride assembles a large ensemble cast: Mandy Patinkin, Christopher Guest, Wallace Shawn, André the Giant, Billy Crystal, Carol Kane, and Peter Cook—with a widicuwous—speech impediment, as The Impressive Clergyman.

About Project MotiVATe

Project MotiVATe is a Vietnamese American Youth Mentorship Program based in Orange County. Started back in 1996 as a camp for youth, it has grown into a year-round mentorship program providing free tutoring, educational and developmental workshops for students. Graduating seniors are provided with scholarships ranging from $500–$4000.


“The laughs may not tear your belly up, but they’re constant and they dovetail with the story. Aiming modestly, Bride achieves much more than most film comedies.” — Desson Howe, Washington Post

The Princess Bride reveals itself as a sly parody of sword and sorcery movies, a film that somehow manages to exist on two levels at once: While younger viewers will sit spellbound at the thrilling events on the screen, adults, I think, will be laughing a lot.” — Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

“The tone owes more to Spinal Tap than to any of Reiner’s other outings ? it is witty and irreverent without ever going so far over-the-top that it turns the proceedings into camp. Reiner manages the difficult yet ultimately rewarding task of creating a movie that simultaneously parodies a genre while also celebrating and participating in it.” — James Berardinelli, ReelViews