Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Death cannot stop true snark...

To wonderful and talented Jamie Blair is on vacation this week so you’re all stuck with me. Kathleen. The Dread Pirate Roberts Canadian. On to the post!


Back in college, I discovered something shocking about one of my best friends: She had never seen The Princess Bride. She hadn’t even heard of it. Obviously, I immediately took corrective action. I popped some popcorn, shoved the tape into the VCR (DVDs were this newfangled thing), and sat back. Waiting.

Waiting for her to laugh. Waiting for her to swoon. Waiting for her to fall to her knees and thank me for introducing her to a cultural phenomenon.

Instead, I got yawns. And watch checking. And, “How long is this thing?”

Westley and Buttercup survived the Fireswamp. Westley was taken away to be tortured. Count Rugan was revealed as the six-fingered man. And I shut off the VCR. Defeated.

“So you pretty much hate this, right?” I asked.


“Why?!” I wailed (I took things very seriously back then).

“That Westley guy is an asshole.”

My jaw dropped. “But. But. It’s WESTLEY.”

My friend grabbed a handful of popcorn and shrugged. “The guy’s still an ass.”

“He’s supposed to be that way,” I muttered. “He’s Westley.” There wasn’t much else I could say. No way was I going to tell her that they’d toned down Westley’s snark for the movie, that book* Westley dished it out ten times worse.

It was kind of an interesting lesson, though. For my friend to like a character, the character had to be, well, likable (which sort of made sense since she was so sweet she made Snow White look like one of the Mean Girls). I meanwhile, embraced Westley despite his snark—in fact, I was pretty sure his snark made him just a little more appealing.

Because if there’s one thing I have trouble resisting, it’s a sarcastic character. It’s why I like Edward better before he confesses his love to Bella and why I secretly crush on Ford Prefect even though he would be the worst date in several galaxies. And it’s why I’ll always like Spike better than Angel.

Sarcasm is the one character flaw I have trouble resisting.

So how about you? Is there one character flaw (in fiction) that you just can’t help be drawn to?

*If you haven’t read The Princess Bride, you have to go get it. Right now. I'll wait.


Tom M Franklin said...

the cover of the DVD box for The Princess Bride has the best lettering -- if you turn it upside down, it still spells out "Princess Bride."

sarcasm is a great trait. liking cats is even better.

not liking cats or mistreating them is a major character flaw. i found myself being continually annoyed at Holly Golightly in the film version of Breakfast at Tiffany's. then, at the end, when she pushes her cat out of the taxi window in the pouring rain, she crossed a line.


Becca said...

I totally get that. When I watch Supernatural, a lot of people say that Dean is a jerk and an asshole. But he's pretty snarky and sarcastic himself, which makes him pretty darn attractive.

Sam said...

Yes. Sarcasm is my aphrodisiac.


Anyways, all my characters are sarcastic. The book characters I love most are sarcastic. I don't know, it makes them more relatable. Like they aren't just perfect and peppy.

SM Schmidt said...

I'm going to pretend you made her sit through the movie again for her epiphany of how awesome Westley is to hit her.

Sarcasm & wit and you have me rooting until the end.

Leah said...

I pretty much love you right now.
Just sayin'.

Najela said...

I love when guys are unapologetic assholes. It's even better when the girl is strong and independent who doesn't need a guy like him.

April (BooksandWine) said...

Wow. How can you NOT like the Princess Bride. She has a point, but, but, he has eyes like the sea after a storm.

Also Wesley > Edward.

Clear winner is the Dread Pirate Roberts.

Kaitlin said...


how anyone can not adore that movie (and book) is beyond me. Such people are like aliens.

That arrogance yet lovingness...*swoon*

Melody said...

I have not read The Princess Bride, but I will per your recommendation!

I think I fall in love with the snarky characters. (Maybe it's just a 'I like guys that make me laugh' thing?) But if I were to choose between, say, Captain Jack and Will, I would ultimately pick Will. Because he's good and kind and chivalrous etc... Even if he's not very snarky.

But Westley? Pick him ANY day!

Nikki said...

Oh, I love love love this movie but haven't read the book!! I'll have to read it :)

Sarah Enni said...


Snarkiness is, like, romantic ambrosia. I'm more attracted to a snappy comeback than a goody two-shoes.

Plus, those characters are so much more fun to read about!

Anonymous said...

Sarcasm never dies. All my characters have it, to a certain extent, especially my MCs.

Meredith said...

I so love Westley and his snarkiness. I don't think I'd ever be attracted to a snarky guy in real life, but they sure are cute in books and movies.

Angelica R. Jackson said...

I remember going to see Buckaroo Banzai in the theater, with my friend and my stepmom, and we were the only ones laughing. Laughing to the point that we almost wet ourselves and fell out of the seats. We overheard one guy say, "What the hell was that?" on the way out.

No accounting for tastes. And yes, my tastes run to sarcastic, and my husband occasionally comes up with some gems.

Annie McElfresh said...

I 1000000000000% agree with Becca Dean is the best!!! LOL

Okay, sorry, got distracted by the mear mention of the love of my life Dean. LOL

Snark is great. I heart it soooooo much, but agents seem to not like it as much. At least, that was the reaction I got to a snarky MC I was trying to pedal once. LOL

Celise said...

Totally love this movie. You shoulda kicked your roomie out for not liking it. Loved Westley and all his snarky goodness. And I agree with Becca (big Winchester Boys fangirl here). I think for the first time ever, I'm creating a snarky character. Then again, one has to be when you're an informant for the FBI.

Horserider said...

Sarcasm is mine too. =D

How can there be someone in this world that does NOT like Westley?? I owned Princess Bride for I don't know how many years before I finally discovered it one day, popped it in my PS2 (it also plays DVDs which is why I still don't own an actual DVD player), and watched it. It's now one of my favorite movies ever.

J.S. Wood said...

I can honestly see where one would not like Westley. I, of course, am not one of those people. I adore the snark, which probably explains why everything I write has at least one smart ass in it.

Debra D. said...

Who me? I hate snark. Can't stand it. It offends me, makes me mad, totally...oh, alright. I'm obviously lying, since the two of us together could start Snarkaholics Anonmymous.

Yes to Spike over Angel. Yes to snarky Edward. And oh hella yes to Westley.

Great post, Kath. :D

Jamie B said...

Thanks for posting for me! I haven't read or seen Princess Bride either. *hides*