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Today I’ll be indulging in some Hollywoodness and talking about a movie. There will be three parts. Part 1: My Background with the film. Part 2: My Synopsis of the film, and Part 3: My Grand Philosophical Conclusions from the film. This is Part 1.

But first, two fun facts that actually do have something to do with the rest of this post:

1) In 2002, when I was interning in L.A., one of my internships was at an entertainment news show. I was originally helping one of the producers, but after several weeks was moved to the archive room. Though the move was done kindly and diplomatically, I know it was because I was not quite cutting it at the unfamiliar and extremely fast-pased environment of a producers desk.

2) In January of 2003, back at college in Abilene, TX, I took a one-week ‘J-term’ course on Art & Culture. I took the course because I needed the credit hours, and I honestly remember very little from this course – EXCEPT that we watched this musical stage production called Into The Woods, and that I was a bit fascinated by it after having watched it. 

So. Fun facts aside now. As a screenwriter, KP has the privilege of being part of the Writer’s Guild of America, where one of the coolest perks this time of year is the ability to receive screeners and attend screenings. Basically, for those who are perhaps not in the know, this means FREE movies. Lots and lots of free movies. Either as free DVDs sent to your house, or as invites to free screenings with lots of other entertainment industry-folk. You get most of the latest and greatest wildly-acclaimed movies of the year, and often before the official wide release too. It’s pretty great being married to someone who gets screeners, I’m not gonna lie. It’s about the only way nowadays, with kids and all, that I get to see anything cool and still feel relevant. So KP got an invite to a screening of the newly-adapted film Into the Woods, which opens elsewhere on Christmas Day, for this past Saturday. There would also be a a live telecast Q&A with the cast after, so we hired a babysitter and went.

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At the screening. And yes, this is the best (aka only) picture I have from the evening.
At the screening. And yes, this is the best (aka only) picture I have from the evening.

The screening was on the Disney lot and I’m kind of kicking myself now that KP and I didn’t take a picture outside the theater beforehand. We don’t go out often, and I certainty don’t do my hair and makeup everyday and I need to get better at photo documenting these momentous occasions. Anyways. Apparently, there were a couple cool directors and writers at the screening as well. Not that I recognized them of course, but I had a few whispers from KP into my ear, letting me know that “that was so and so…who wrote/produced/directed such and such…”. However, there WAS actually one person that I recognized that KP didn’t.

As we briefly passed each other in the lobby, I had an immediate sense of recognition, but it wasn’t until after it’d be too awkward to turn back did it dawn on me who she was. It was the producer I’d briefly interned for in the spring of 2002! In a flash, the remembrance of that unique time in my young adulthood, with all the naivete, anxiousness, excitement, intimidation, discouragement, and hope came jolting back to me. Just as soon as I’d emotionally gone back in time though, did I snap back to the present and just smiled instead. Ha! How far I’ve come from that girl back then! I can admit that I was once ill-prepared for that position I was placed in because I now realize that I am more than my previous shortcomings; I have a new confidence that I didn’t back then. It’s taken me many (many!) years in this town to give up my insecurities and discover that the stresses and impossible perfection that everyone else here seems to thrive on truly neither matters nor defines me. And I am a much, much more happier person than I used to be in this world.

Back when I first watched the recorded stage version of Into The Woods in early 2003, I was back at my rather conservative and religious college only a few months after having returned from my internship stint in Los Angeles. My time in L.A. had changed me. Perhaps not drastically or even outwardly, but I was inwardly at an interesting place in my life, trying to reconcile a wide array of people’s differing perspectives and backgrounds into some kind of solidarity. As many young people do, I was at a place of searching and pondering and working things around in my mind in order to make sense of them. So when I watched Into the Woods at that point in my life, I picked up something profound from it. Profound, yet vague. I’m sure we talked about it more in class at the time, but as I was busy college student in my last semester of college, I was soon sidetracked and eventually the only mark the musical left in my memory was that it had a deeper meaning than just fairy tales after ‘happily ever after’.

It’s now 11 years later. When KP got the screening invite in the mail and asked if I was interested in making the screening a date night, my long-lost intrigue was sparked and I happily agreed.

Follow here to go to Part 2: The Synopsis of the film. Warning, there are spoilers. If you can even call them spoilers at all, that is, since the musical’s been out for a long time now and it’s not like knowing the story really ruins the enjoyment. But still. If you don’t want to know what happens, skip Part 2 and go directly to Part 3: My Grand Philosophical Conclusion.

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