The conversation started off innocently enough. It was lunchtime, and I was searching the internet for random quotes from The Princess Bride. Because, you know, one of the best movies ever, right?
Well, not according to some.
I had found a website devoted to The Princess Bride quotes when suddenly my co-worker leans over and says, “Ugh. I hate The Princess Bride.”
It took a few moments to digest what she said. I heard the words “hate” and “Princess Bride”, and I was trying to figure out how they went together. Because in the world I live in, you don’t hate The Princess Bride. I mean, what could you possibly hate? It has Princess Buttercup and The Dread Pirate Roberts and Andre the Giant and The Six-Fingered Man and Miracle Max and ROUS and shrieking eels and Fred Savage and My Dear Sweet Westley and I’m-Not-A-Witch-I’m-Your-Wife and OH MY GOD NO ONE HATES THE PRINCESS BRIDE!!!!
Seriously, it was like I was trying to translate Elvish. Except that the Elvish language is cool, and hating The Princess Bride clearly is not.
When I finally realized what she was telling me, it took all my strength to not fall onto the floor. I held on tight to the table. I calmly asked her to repeat what she said. Maybe I heard her wrong. But, alas…no. I had met someone who hates The Princess Bride. Maybe the Mayans were right after all.
It felt as though I was watching an episode of Ripley’s Believe It or Not. And I was leaning towards the “NOT” side. I had met people who had never seen the movie before which, although a small disgrace, is somewhat believable. But to meet someone who actually hates the movie?
My first question to her after the whole “Um….what? Huh? Um…repeat that?” episode was, of course, “WHY?” Because I figure if you’re going to hate a movie like The Princess Bride, you’ve got to have a pretty damn good explanation. Her reasoning behind this madness, however, was the fact that as a child she was forced to watch the movie with her mom over and over again. So really, it’s probably not the movie itself she hates; it’s the fact that it was something of which she had no control. It’s probably somewhat equivalent to my hatred towards One Magic Christmas. Forced to watch it as a kid, hate it now. But I say “somewhat” because one does simply not compare One Magic Christmas to The Princess Bride. My co-worker’s declaration of hate does not hold up.
After I cleared my head of this blasphemy, I got to thinking about movies that I hate. And to be honest – excluding One Magic Christmas – I don’t think I actually hate any movies. Yes, there are movies that I probably don’t want to see ever again. Drive Me Crazy, starring Sabrina the Teenage Witch and the Entourage guy with puffy hair is totally stupid – and not in the “so-stupid-it’s-good” sort of way. The Bachelor starring Chris O’Donnell and Renee Zellwegger is a train wreck, but I don’t think I would go so far as to say that I actually hate it. And The Man on the Moon – not the wonderfully depressing movie about young love starring Reese Witherspoon, but the horribly depressing one about Andy Kaufman starring Jim Carrey – is like two hours of torture, but I probably don’t hate it.
Hate, when it comes to movies, is a mighty strong word. The definition of hate according to Dictionary.com is “to dislike intensely or passionately; feel extreme aversion for or extreme hostility toward.” Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t think a movie has ever made me feel that way.
Not even Old Yeller.
AND CERTAINLY NOT THE PRINCESS BRIDE.
If I were to give my co-worker some advice, it would be to try watching the movie again WITH A CLEAR MIND. Don’t think about how many times you had to watch this with your mom when you were a kid. Don’t think about how uncool it would be to have the same taste in movies as your mom. Watch this movie as though you were watching it for the very first time. Revel in the joys of the dialogue, the swashbuckling, the romance. Laugh. Cry. Cheer. Whatever. Just don’t say you hate the movie. I may have let you off easy this time. Next time you may not be so lucky.
But that doesn’t mean I’m going to listen to my own advice and watch One Magic Christmas again. Because one does simply not compare One Magic Christmas to The Princess Bride.