Home Movie: The Princess Bride

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Home Movie: The Princess Bride TV Poster Image
Star-studded remake is most fun for original film's fans.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Educational Value

The show intends to entertain rather than to educate. 

Positive Messages

This is an enduring story of true love that overcomes obstacles and people who intend to undermine it, but the comical nature of the retelling overshadows most positive themes. It does showcase the creativity of the actors involved in the home movie-style production and allow for a lot of racial diversity among the cast.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Even more so in this retelling, Buttercup strikes viewers as a mostly helpless woman who pines for her true love and waits to be rescued rather than saving herself. The story’s villain is selfish and willing to kill for what he wants, but Wesley will risk anything for true love. Other characters are driven by a sense of revenge and blind loyalty.

Violence & Scariness

A torture device causes Wesley to scream and writhe in pain. Sword fights happen, often with toy props instead of anything resembling swords. There’s a poisoning, mention of Buttercup wanting to kill herself, and several threats on others’ lives. 

Sexy Stuff

Some instances of kissing, including one scene in which two men play Buttercup and Wesley and kiss passionately.

Language

Rarely “s - - t” and “Jesus.”

Consumerism

This production is a remake of The Princess Bride and was a fundraiser for the charity World Central Kitchen, which is referenced at the beginning of each episode.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

In one scene, a man dies by a poisoned drink.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Home Movie: The Princess Bride is a fan-filmed remake of The Princess Bride and comprises scenes created by celebrities' fan-film recreations. The intentionally low-budget style gives it the feel of an improv show, as the actors source backyard landscapes and unconventional costumes and props to hilarious results. Expect the same content that appears in the movie itself -- romance, swordplay (though here it’s often with toys and props other than swords), mention of suicide, threats of murder, a torture scene, and a poisoning death -- as well as gender-swapping in some scenes and one kiss (with tongue) between two men as they act out the attraction between the main characters. This movie is a lot more fun to watch for viewers who know the storyline well enough to be able to follow the constant cast and setting changes that the production brings.

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What's the story?

HOME MOVIE: THE PRINCESS BRIDE is a conglomerate remake of the modern classic love story between the fair-haired Buttercup and her besmitten farm boy suitor, Wesley. Using scenes recreated by screen stars like Jon Hamm, Jennifer Garner, David Oyelowo, and Zoe Saldana, director Jason Reitman pieces together the story in its entirety and presents it in chapters of varying lengths. As Buttercup and Wesley’s star-crossed love tale evolves, villains attempt to keep them apart but true love refuses to surrender. They and the rest of the characters are played by a rotating cast of performers with makeshift costumes, settings, and props.

Is it any good?

If you’ve ever wondered what you might get by challenging a bunch of big-name celebs with a movie remake on a nonexistent budget, then you’re in luck. Enter Home Movie: The Princess Bride, a total oddity in traditional entertainment but oddly satisfying nonetheless. There’s nothing perfect or even polished about it. Despite the fact that it’s a word-for-word copy of the original story, it’s full of unpredictable twists like gender-swapping character presentations, cameos by actors’ kids, and family pets in supporting roles. Action figures and toy building sets help stage stunts that exceed the lack of budget (The Cliffs of Insanity, for one), and imagination and humor helps fill in the rest. 

This fan-film version of The Princess Bride is designed for viewers with a better-than-average knowledge of the original movie, as the constant cast changes make it almost impossible to follow otherwise. Even with a good recollection of the story and dialogue for context, the option to watch in split-screen alongside pictures and reference notes from the film is a help in identifying both the characters and the multitude of actors who appear. As for the individual performances, some are decidedly better than others. Some fail to wow, while others -- like Patton Oswalt’s version of the lispy and cackling Vizzini -- utterly delight.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the entertainment value (or lack thereof) of projects like this home movie version of a beloved movie. Did you enjoy watching it? Does the chapter format (and the wait between new chapter releases) encourage or discourage interest? Is it fun to see celebrities in this kind of less-polished production? 

  • Whose performance impressed you most in Home Movie: The Princess Bride? Which ones involved notable creativity? Where did you see performers take the most artistic license with their re-creations? Do you think this production has very broad appeal, or is it targeted more toward a specific group of viewers? 

  • How does technology enable projects like this one and open the playing field for nontraditional entertainment? Does this change our definition of what entertainment is? 

TV details

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For kids who love classics

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