October 31, 2009

#045: Tears

     Some people would say the fact that I write a movie blog calls my manhood into question. Well, I am about to bring it down another notch my discussing movies that make me cry. There are many reasons why a movie might make us cry, and it is largely a personal reaction you have to the characters. There are some movies that are made for the sole purpose of making the audience sad. Take Marley And Me for example. It sucks... the tears from your eyes by making you love this animal, then forcing you to cope with its death. I have never seen it, but that is what I assume happens. It is a technique sure to get the water works going. There is nothing wrong with movies like this, but they don't really earn your tears. There are other movies out there that make some people bawl, and leave others completely unfazed. Juno is a good example of this one. There was no moment in Juno that made me even consider wanting to cry, yet others had a strong reaction to the ending, and cried quite a bit. I have been thinking back on the movies that have made me cry, and why.

     Over the past several years there have been a few movies that have caused me to shed tears. However, they seem to be few and far between. Lots of movies have made me sad, some have made me start to develop a little moisture around the eyeball, but only a few have actually made a tear fall down my face. My most embarrassing admission of crying like a baby is a story from my freshman year of college, with a little movie named My Girl. I had already seen My Girl at least twice. The first time I saw it I was pretty young. I remember being saddened by it, but I don't recall ever crying. I vaguely remember seeing it a second time, this time with even less emotional effect. So here I am, a freshman in college, on a Friday night. All of my friends were going out and for some reason I was staying in for the evening. I was sitting on the couch flipping through the channels and I came across My Girl, and it had just started. I decided to watch it for a bit as I had fond memories of it from childhood. As I watched, I remembered the basic plot points, but this time it seemed so different. I really became invested in what was going on. Long story short, I found myself sitting on the couch crying like a little girl for the last quarter of the movie. I have no clue why, at that moment, My Girl had such an impact on me. I haven't seen it since.

     The next time I remember crying after that was at The Passion Of The Christ.This remains the only time I have cried in an actual movie theater. Surely through the years there have been random tears shed here and there at emotional movies. However, I haven't really cried as the result of a movie for a long time. Last year I watched Young At Heart, a movie about a senior citizen choir. I know that doesn't sound very exciting, but it was a very good movie. It was really emotional, and features a performance of Coldplay's "Fix You" that I will not forget. Every time I hear that song I think about that scene. It was a very sad film and stirred up a lot of emotion, but it didn't make me start to cry. I have been thinking about this lack of emotional response to film,and it made me want to watch a film that just starts the tears flowing.

 I considered watching Marley And Me, but I didn't want to cry about a dog. I heard about a small film named Dear Zachary. It is the story of a man who was killed, and at the time had a son on the way. A close friend made Dear Zachary as a letter to the son, showing him what his father was like. I cried during this movie. However, my prevailing emotion was outrage at the whole situation. This anger tempered my tears, and kept me from really letting loose. At this moment I still feel like I haven't had a good cry. I watch a lot of movies. Every one of them to an extent is designed to garner some emotional response from the viewer. However, I watch them with a critical eye, and it is more difficult for me to let myself get into the story, characters and emotion. I need a movie that is really going to rope me in and make it so I can't hold back the tears. I shared a few movies that made me weep, now I want to know yours. What is the last movie that really made you cry. Give me your recommendations and I will bump them to the top of my Netflix queue. Let's see if I can get some tears going.


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