I love this movie. I'd forgotten how much I enjoy this movie until I watched it yesterday after I finished the book. And I like it even more in light of the book.
This movie is definitely coated in cheese, but I think it makes the movie all that much better. It also kind of matches the tone Goldman maintained throughout the book. I just started smiling from the first scene with little Fred Savage and his character's grandfather. There was a lot about this movie that I'd forgotten in the years since I saw it last.
I think this adaptation is really well done, probably because Goldman also wrote the script. There are some differences, but I like that the story stayed pretty much the same. I also really liked that Goldman included some of his wittier dialogue, even if it wasn't always in the same situation or said by the same character. I also think that the casting was near perfect - the actors all did a fantastic job.
The only complaint is in regards to characters. In the book Buttercup is not really setup to gain the reader's respect, but her character in the movie is such a ditz. I just would have liked to see Buttercup with a little more backbone and brains, even though I know she wasn't really supposed to have much. The other character I would have liked to see done a little differently was Prince Humperdink. I liked his pompousness in the movie, but there was a certain mood missing. In the book, every time he was in a scene I felt like Goldman was laughing at him. For being a conceited and powerful prince, he wasn't very eloquent or smart. I would have liked to see more of this aspect in the movie
My thoughts on this book to movie adaptation are probably so positive because I saw the movie before I read the book. So instead of being disappointed that the Pit of Despair was almost totally cut, I was pleasantly surprised at the additional elaboration. I remember when I read the book for the first time I was so excited about the details of what happened in the lightning sand. I also really enjoyed the background on Inigo and Fezzik because I always liked their characters in the movie so it was fun to read more about them. I think I liked the book more because of the movie and I'm not sure what I would think of the movie if I'd fallen in love with the book first. Overall, I think the movie is a wonderful adaptation.