Recently, the internet has exploded due to rumours that Sony was looking to remake the 1987 classic, The Princess Bride. People are understably outraged at the mere suggestion. As a Princess Bride fan myself, I thought this was a great opportunity to share why I loved that movie so much, and relate it to our hypergamous journey. (I ought to note that there will be spoilers, but in my defence, this movie is a cult classic and has been out longer than I have been alive. Do give it a watch if you haven’t seen it. The film is amazing!)
Westley’s love for Buttercup were in the words, “As you wish,” an expression that he would repeat lovingly throughout the film. However, he was not just a man who would whisper sweet nothings in your ear. Our leading protagonist was a man of action. No matter how big or how small Buttercup’s requests were, he would move to fulfil her request and ensure her happiness at all costs.
Westley may have started out as a poor farm boy with a heart of gold, but he knew the importance of caring for his new family. Once he and Buttercup declared their love for each other, Westley knew that he had a responsibility to provide for her. He would be the man of the house, and that was his duty to fulfil. He knew that he couldn’t make enough to sustain them while still working on the farm, so he left to seek his fortune. He made the difficult decision not to return until he could adequately provide for his love.
While Westley was presumed dead, Buttercup became engaged to Prince Humperdinck. She did not love him, but decided her was a decent option for her with Westley gone. (Talk about mercenary mate selection!) When they met again, Westley proved time and time again that he loved her and was committed to her alone. Death could not separate their true love, as was proved time and time again in their story.
One thing I loved about Westley was his staying quality. Not only was he committed to Buttercup, but he was willing to see things through to the bitter end. He never gave up, despite any challenges that they faced together. They faced abduction, political plots, the Fire Swamp, rodents of unusual size, duels, near death, and more. He took the time to strategize solutions, raise hopes, and work to overcome any challenge that came their way. With that level of perseverance, this guy is a keeper.
I don’t think I need to list any more of Westley’s acts of bravery. He did not cower in fear, run away or encourage Buttercup to fight at his side. He came forward as her defender and fought tooth and nail for her protection. He negotiated with pirates. stood up to Princes, and fought experienced swordsmen. Why would he go through this effort? He saw something that he loved, and would do anything he could to safeguard the woman he loved.
Christelyn has made the point in the past that other ecosystems reinforce their communal norms. One thing I love about watching classic Hollywood films, anime and K-dramas is that they always show men leading the charge, protecting, providing, producing and problem-solving. Their women are ladies to be treasured, loved and cherished. While truth is stranger than fiction, at least there is a common understanding of what is expected in their social circles. Their women, by extension, no matter what communities they come from, are afforded similar treatment many times.
It is simply inconceivable that we would ever accept anything less, whether we choose to date inside our race or journey across the rainbeau. Black women are ladies to be treasured, valued and cherished. We too are worthy of love, care and protection. I truly believe that what comes out of you is what you put into yourself constantly. Content like this helps me to stay focused on the ideal qualities in a man I would like to have.
As a self-proclaimed media junkie, I would love to hear other people’s favourite movies that fall into this category. What are some good movies where we see a man taking care of his woman? What kind of ideal qualities do you see promoted in film? Any movie or television show recommendations for me?
Lastly, on the remake note, perhaps this move will allow children and new audiences to be exposed to an amazing story. However, I truly believe there is value in upholding the classics and sharing it with generations to come. It’s nice for up and coming generations to see the beauty of older films, from a time when filters, graphics and effects weren’t needed to carry a story. Viewers just needed to rely on moving acting, striking scenery and thought-provoking plots… just my two cents.