Westley vs. Romeo

November 2, 2010 at 6:07 pm (Fictional Character Battles) (, )

Both of these guys died for love. But only one came back.

It was this one.

Westley is also known as The Dread Pirate Roberts from The Princess Bride, which I had to rewatch recently to get the bad taste of Cary Elwes being in the Saw movies out of my mouth. Romeo Montague fell into a star-crossed love with the beauteous Juliet Capulet in Romeo and Juliet, because Shakespeare wasn’t big on clever titles.

But, like all of us, the great bard had a fondness for pretty boys.

Which of these guys is better than the other?

And did anyone in The Princess Bride pronounce the “T” in Westley?

On to the battle!

Physicality. For our battle in looks today, we’re facing young Cary Elwes off against young Leonardo DiCaprio. Both have gotten puffy as they’ve aged, which seems to be a thing that happens to blonde actors (see also: Spader, James). But in their pre-puffy days, well …. (I couldn’t think of a good way to end that sentence. Thank heavens for the ellipsis!) Anyway, Westley is played by young Cary Elwes, whose good looks evoke all sorts of swashbuckling stars of the ’30s and ’40s, which is a bonus in my book. Young Leonardo DiCaprio played Romeo in that Romeo+Juliet movie, and, yeah, he was cute and all. But he’s no Cary Elwes. Winner? Westley.

It probably would've been a tougher battle against this Romeo. Damn.

Better catchphrase? When Westley returns to Buttercup as the Dread Pirate Roberts, she doesn’t recognize his masked self until he says, “As you wish.” It’s what he always said to her when they were a-courtin’. *sighhhhhhh* How romantic. I don’t think Romeo has a catchphrase, but he does speak in iambic pentameter, which has got to be hard. Winner? Westley.

Became a pirate? Westley was nearly killed by the Dread Pirate Roberts, but convinced the pirate to spare him for love. That’s so sweet and unlikely! The Dread Pirate Roberts took Westley under his wing and, eventually, turned the reins of the whole pirating operation over to him. Thus, Westley became the Dread Pirate Roberts, who, as the name implies, is a pirate. Romeo never became a pirate. Romeo just died. Winner? Westley.

Movie pirate!

Stayed true to his one and only love? From the beginning of The Princess Bride to the end of The Princess Bride, the only woman Westley has eyes for is Buttercup. That’s trueness, right there. Upon first seeing Juliet, Romeo can think of none other and eventually commits suicide rather than live without her. Which seems like a big fat example of overwhelming faithfulness, until you remember that Romeo had a thing for Rosaline up until the very second he saw Juliet. Pff. Teenagers. Winner? Westley.

Died a tragic death? As far as I know, Westley and Buttercup lived happily ever after, because no one has made a sequel and they had better not ever do it, nosiree. Romeo, on the other hand, committed suicide when he thought Juliet was dead, and then it turned out she wasn’t really dead, but he was, so she committed suicide too. Whether that’s tragic or not depends on how you feel about lovestruck teens, I guess. But we can all agree that Romeo is absolutely and utterly dead. Winner? Romeo.

Hangs with a cooler crew? Westley is a pirate and thus hangs out with pirates. Since they’re movie pirates and not the torture-you-to-death-in-front-of-your-wife kind, that’s cool. Also, he later hangs out with Andre the Giant and Inigo Montoya, who is so cool he doesn’t even mind that nobody in the whole film pronounces his name right. Romeo’s bestest buddy is Mercutio, who is played by the uber-cool Harold Perrineau. Which is cool. Unfortunately, Mercutio dies a sudden and tragic death, and curses the houses of both the Montagues and Capulets, which is less cool. So I guess Westley wins. As well he should.

Inigo Montoya is so cool, it doesn't even matter that his hair looks like that.

Mercutio, on the other hand, has very cool hair.

Shares a more romantic moment with his lady love? Who can hear the names Romeo and Juliet without thinking of the balcony scene, and “Wherefore art thou, Romeo?” That’s so romantic, squee! But lest we get caught up in the romance of a night-time rendezvous, let us remember that “Since the invention of the kiss, there have been five kisses rated the most passionate, the most pure. This one left them all behind. The end.” Winner? Westley.

This scene was pretty romantic, though.

But Buttercup and Westley for the win.

Overall winner? In a sound trouncing, Westley takes this one. Sorry, Romeo.

It's because I'm biased.

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