Yesterday, I went to see the new Into the Woods with my sister and Mel and Hope. It was really the only way we could have seen it, since Mel and Hope were the people who introduced us to it to begin with. We giggled all the way through it, sometimes before the line was even finished. It was a great outing.
Amendment: Tammy and I totally saw the filmed version of this play in high school. We have loved it even longer than I remembered.
On the movie itself, I have some thoughts.
1. I know what was missing from my life. Chris Pine singing Agony. It made me so happy.
2. How dare they cut out the reprise of Agony from the second act! I know the whole play is too long to do as a film. But come on! “There’s a dwarf standing guard?” That’s just good comedy. Imagine Chris Pine singing this:
3. I really liked Anna Kendrick as Cinderella. She did a great job.
4. Okay. I know I’m going to lose some people here. Meryl Streep. She’s awesome. She’s amazing. She’s fantastic. She did a fine job – a job she should be proud of. Worth every penny.
She’s no Bernadette Peters. There. I said it.
Let’s move on.
5. This movie really should be a sing-along. I know at least four people who would really enjoy that.
6. Just because it’s Disney and involves fairy tales does not automatically make it a movie for children. At least, not a public movie for children. Sure, it was funny when a certain character said, “May I kiss you?” and a kid in the theatre shouted out “NO!” But there were some moments when it was really uncomfortable that the children were there. Maybe they could watch it when it comes out on video at home, where they are free to ask questions or be redirected or distracted by puppets or something when scenes come up that raise questions that parents aren’t prepared to answer yet. That’s what a parental guidance rating means – that some parental guidance might be necessary, and that’s hard to do (and terribly annoying to others who are old enough to understand the movie without it being explained to them) while whispering in a theater.
7. Speaking of moments (or whole, complete scenes) that are not necessarily child-friendly, Johnny Depp as the wolf was everything I imagined he would be.
8. I didn’t enjoy Lilla Crawford as Red Riding Hood. She wasn’t bad, and she has a nice voice. But…the timing or something was off. There were some great lines that she just didn’t hit right.
All in all, I liked it, and I really love that Hope drove in for the afternoon just to see it with us. That made it spectacular. Good friends. Good times.