Why ‘The Princess Bride’ embodies the best spirit of the holiday season

And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow,
 stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store? What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.

That immortal quote from Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas could be applied to many unsung holiday entertainments, including “The Princess Bride,” which the Chicago Symphony Orchestra will perform in live-to-picture concerts Nov. 25-27, under Richard Kaufman. 

While not overtly Christmas-themed, there's a case to be made that the film reflects the best sentiments of the season, as critic Matthew Monagle contends in an essay published on the site Film School Rejects. 

Here's an excerpt: 

While the script [of “The Princess Bride”] doesn’t explicitly mention the holiday — it actually makes no note of the season whatsoever — the filmed version points to the aftermath of a successful Christmas. I always assumed “The Princess Bride” was a Christmas movie, even years before I noticed there are actually some Christmas decorations on display throughout the film.

In my household, it was the holiday movie par excellence, the perfect film for adults and kids alike. For the next several hours, my uncles would quote lines about Sicilians and mawwaige, and all of this occurred with such regularity — as seasonal as hot chocolate and outdoor lights – that I never stopped to think that it wasn’t overtly about Christmas at all.

There’s a little something for everyone in “The Princess Bride,” and while it may seem silly to say that is in keeping with the Christmas spirit, well, what better way to bring people together than a story about a grandfather and a grandson finding common ground in literacy?

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