This is one of my most favorite movies ever. I mean, come on:
Etc.OK, so I probably watch this movie once a year, at an absolute minimum, but probably more like 5-6 times. It's my happy movie that I play when I've had a bad day. My sister and I used to walk around our block reciting lines from the movie. And yet somehow I'd never noticed it before but...
Princess Buttercup is totally a wuss.
(OK, there are plot spoilers coming up, but if you haven't seen this movie then you FAIL AT LIFE so I'm going to pretty much disown you anyway.)**
OK, so they're in the fireswamp. And Westley gets attacked by an R.O.U.S. And instead of DOING ANYTHING like grabbing a a rock or whacking the thing with a tree branch, home girl literally stands by and watches as the love of her life gets eaten half to death. Lamesauce.
Then later, she tells the Evil Prince Humperdinck that she won't marry him, and he's like, "It's cool, sugarpie. I'll send out some ships to look for your BF." The fact that A: She believes that Westley would actually leave in the first place and B: She believes for even a second that Humperdinck would do as he says makes her a TOTAL idiot.
Look, I get it. Buttercup is supposed to be a classic damsel in distress. After all, it is a fairytale. And I'm used to ass-kickers like Katniss and Katsa and Hermione who don't stand idly by and watch their boyfriends get attacked by giant rodents. But Buttercup was so flat and annoying that I had to wonder...WHAT does hotty-mctotty Westley see in her anyway? I mean, one minute she's like ordering him around the farm, and the next they're OMGTOTALLYMAKINGOUT?? No way. Westley's way too awesome for that crap.
So I ranted and raved throughout the whole movie, driving my husband crazy about my complaints on the weak characterization and how Buttercup was the only character who wasn't remotely funny. Until finally hubs told me to shut up and enjoy the movie.
And then I realized that we'd had this conversation before.
The fact of the matter is, as writers, we're always looking at our characters, analyzing them, trying to figure out how to make them better. I know one of the main things I need to focus on in an upcoming round of revisions is characterization of two of my characters, because they're falling shy of where I'd like them to be.
But since we're always looking for how to make our own work better, and then we CP read and try to seek out the flaws, we start to lose a sense of how to just read and watch for fun. I've noticed that my critical reading skills have improved greatly, but my ability to escape into the world of a book has drastically decreased. I'm always questioning, always asking WHY? Why would a character act that way? Why would the plot go there?
I'm not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing. On the one hand, I'm a more active, conscious reader. But on the other, I can't just zone out with a book. And I miss that.
What about you? How has being a writer changed the way you read or watch TV/movies?
*Yeah, I skipped a few. But that would be a lot of pictures. For the record, it's: "Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles!" And Cary Elwes.
**OK, that was a joke. Except it really wasn't. No really though, this movie is more than 20 years old and one of the most classic and quotable films of my generation, so I think a few spoilers are allowed.