“This is bizarre” was my husband’s comment after watching just the first 20 minutes of Into the Woods. I shushed him. Although I agreed that it was bizarre, I had hoped the movie was going to get better… it didn’t. I hate to give anyone or anything a negative review, but honesty is the best policy, so here goes…
Into the Woods is a modern twist on four fairytales: Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk and Rapunzel – which all surround an original story about a baker and his wife longing to have a child. Into the Woods originally was performed on Broadway – and perhaps it ought to have been left alone as a stage performance.
About 80% of Disney’s movie is in song – even the dialogue. The movie has a big cast – Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, & Johnny Depp – to name a few. And all that sing have wonderful voices. But to sit through two hours of singing – 27 songs – was just a bit much for me! I will say that the duet between the 2 princes at the babbling brook, entitled “Agony,” was quite funny – one of the highlights of the movie.
The storyline was a bit jumpy. There was no climax to the heroic moments. Had the movie ended at the 90 minute mark when Cinderella married Prince Charming and the entire town was celebrating, I would have been satisfied. However, the movie had to drag on for 30 more minutes while (Spoiler alert…) each of the four main characters lost a loved one – and Prince Charming may have been charming, but certainly wasn’t faithful to Cinderella and they both decided to part ways! That’s not how Disney ended his Cinderella story! I’m not a fan of the ending due to all of the storyline mishaps – the tagline “be careful what you wish for” is certainly true for this movie!
My guess is that either you’ll really love this movie, or you’ll prefer the idea that ‘once is enough.’ I believe this movie is tailored to please the broadway/theater-loving crowd – and that’s okay, it just wasn’t my type of movie.
Appropriate for Children?
I’d suggest children who want to see this be about 12 years of age or older. While this movie is rated PG, and rightfully so, it isn’t the creepy characters that I give this age suggestion (no foul language or gory scenes either)… it’s the fact that it’s 2 hours long and I can’t see any child younger than 12 being able to sit through all the singing! There are situations that are implied, such as adultery, violence, toes being cut off… while none of that is pictured, it’s still suggested – it may go over your child’s head, but others could pick up on it – use your discretion.
Thanks to Disney and the Owens Group for the the advanced, complimentary screening of this film!