GWAS took Husband to see Stardust last night, after convincing him that it definitely wasn't a chick flick.
After reading reviews which compared the film to The Princess Bride (which, to my horror, is now 20 years old!), I was hopeful, 'cause that film is, like, my Favourite All Time Film. I first saw TPB when I was seven or eight, and have watched it about ten zillion times since... I can recite most of it word for word. I have the DVD. I made Husband's entire family watch it so that they might develop a similar appreciation for the greatness that is The Princess Bride before we got married. It is that important to my being.
What made TPB such a special movie was its subtle satire, witty dialogue, nail-biting action scenes (the sword fighting, the Fire Swamp, the Battle of Wits, the torture machine) and assorted strange characters (Fezzik the giant, Prince Humperdinck, Miracle Max). And I would have given my Barbie collection to be as beautiful as Princess Buttercup (Robin Wright Penn) or to be rescued by Westley (Cary Elwes), who was right up there with River Phoenix (Indiana Jones) and Corey Feldman (The Goonies) in the hot looks department. Sadly, Claire Danes and Sienna Miller put together are no Robin Wright Penn, and Charlie Cox is a bit dorky looking for my liking (though I do rather fancy Ben Barnes, who appears at the film's beginning – hello!). The dialogue is also weak and predictable. What quickly becomes apparent watching Stardust is that it not only references The Princess Bride – I found myself recognising scenes, special effects, characters and storylines from a host of other excellent films: The Neverending Story, Death Becomes Her, The Witches of Eastwick, Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Titanic, The Lord of the Rings... Stardust is a virtual menagerie of film references. If it were a uni student, it might be expelled for plagiarism.
The highlights are Michelle Pfieffer's performance as a youth-hungry old witch (Claire Danes is likable but her character is given little to work with) and Robert De Niro as the cross-dressing ship captain (Jack Sparrow he is not but he adds a little Priscilla pizazz to the film).
Stardust is derivative with a capital D – to compare it to The Princess Bride is offensive – but it you're a sucker for a happy fairytale ending, like moi, or haven't seen The Princess Bride, you might leave the cinema with a starry-eyed glow.
Girl With a Satchel