6 Ways 'Into The Woods' Is Not What You Expect


Even if you didn't expect to find your new favorite movie in Rob Marshall's new musical extravaganza "Into the Woods," going to see the film adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim show might just be the best gift you give yourself this Christmas.

Sure, it looks like a classic musical, complete with 11 o'clock torch song, something you could take your parents to -- and you could, but you'll also be super into it. It's a musical, yes, and it touches on the familiar fairytales like Cinderella, Rapunzel, Jack and the Beanstalk and more, but it's almost certainly not what you'd expect. (Unless you're a fan of the show, in which case it's exactly what you'd expect, in the best possible way.)

Here are six things about "Into the Woods" that might surprise you.

  1. It's super dark.

    Yes, it's about fairytales, but it's not for kids. There's indecision and sketchy hookups and weird jokes and a gender-confused cow that occasionally comes back to life. It's a lot like high school, when you put it that way. Oh, and there's death and toe dismemberment too. Take the familiar frames of your childhood storybooks, twist them and then wring them out one more time just to make sure, and you've got "Into the Woods."

  2. Anna Kendrick is your new queen.

    Just accept it now, it'll be a lot easier in the long run. Kendrick kills in "Into the Woods." Don't let the trailers, which mostly have her wandering around and wishing for things, fool you: Cinderella is a driving player in this tangled tale, and Kendrick can belt with the best of them. Just bring a tissue for her rendition of "No One Is Alone," and take notes on her "On the Steps of the Palace" performance for future Tinder dating sassiness. Sometimes your decision is not to decide.

  3. Chris Pine is in this movie basically just to be handsome.

    We mean that as a compliment! Pine's pectorals deserve a marquee billing for all the work they do in this movie. In the princely duet "Agony," alongside Billy Magnussen, Pine fulfills his non-makeout duties (oh yeah, his other two main activities are making out and riding horses, plus aforementioned shirt-ripping) with one of the movie's most memorable songs. Ever wondered what a dick-measuring contest set to music would be like? You're about to find out.

  4. You want James Corden in your life.

    Please, please say that James Corden's iteration of "The Late Late Show" will have plenty of song and dance numbers, because he's charming as all hell in "Into the Woods." That's not even to mention his chemistry with Emily Blunt who plays his wife (no names necessary, they are the Baker and Baker's Wife). They're your surrogate parents. Accept it.

  5. Johnny Depp isn't really in it.

    Get ready for, like, five minutes of Johnny Depp acting as an allegory for sexytimes and puberty! But that's all. Depp's dapper wolf doesn't come back after he serves his purpose. So that could go either way for you: congrats, Depp naysayers! Sorry, Depp fans.

  6. Meryl Streep is at peak Streep.

    Some said that Bernadette Peters' iconic Broadway performance as The Witch would overshadow any later attempts at inhabiting the role. "Some" were wrong. Streep is off the walls as The Witch, and there's a running gag with her extra-dramatic entrances and exits. Plus, she gets to say all the stuff we wish we could say, including a memorably screeched "who cares" from above while two characters have a boring argument. Bow down to the Streep.

"Into The Woods" is in theaters on Christmas.