"Temporality is part of the truth" -- Chuck Klosterman

Monday, May 14, 2012

Lachrymose Film

I disclosed a couple of weeks ago that I cried at the end of a movie. I wasn't ashamed. Here are the movies that made me cry. All five of them. I'm still not ashamed.

Sorry, but the following contains spoilers. Because I have to explain why I'm crying at the end of the movie, see.

We Bought a Zoo. It wasn't my fault. Read why.

About Schmidt. I love me an Alexander Payne ending. In Sideways, it cuts out before she answers the door. In The Descendants, the dad simply eats ice cream on the couch with his daughters. And in About Schmidt, Jack Nicholson reads a letter. Then he cries. Admittedly, I was in the beginnings of a divorce when I watched this, so I wasn't anything but a pile of weepiness, but even now I get misty when I think about those stick figures drawn by the African boy.


I am Sam. This is a tough one to confess. I'm a grown man who's worked with developmentally disabled adults, and I know when I'm being manipulated. But even though the story itself is more sentimental than realistic, Sean Penn gives an incredibly believable performance and you can't argue with Dakota Fanning. Thus, the fake happy ending won me over and I spilled my tears because the disabled father gets custody of this precocious daughter. Probably my divorce affected me here as well.


MASH: Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen. Being the most watched television episode in history (still, because I don't count Superbowls), I don't know how I ended up watching this by myself. At thirteen, I knew a good thing when I saw it. Still in shock at Hawkeye's revelation of what killing the chicken meant, I watched him take off in that helicopter while BJ's final message spelled out in rocks: "Goodbye." And I'm bawling like a baby who wants his Mommy. Or at least a good hug. Obviously the best series finale ever.




The MASH finale was the first time I cried at a movie. Then I cried one more time before I was fourteen, and it wouldn't happen again until I was in the throes of a divorce.

Savannah Smiles. Who knows this movie? I found myself watching it on video at my aunt's house one night, again alone. Even at my tender age (can a thirteen-year-old boy be considered "tender"?), I recognized the Utah locales even though I hadn't lived there for a few years. I can't really think of another reason why I cared so much about this cute little girl getting accidentally kidnapped by these hapless escaped convicts. But she turned the key and unlocked my heart just like she did to those crooks. Thus, under full Stockholm Syndrome myself, when she has to leave them at the top of Bridal Veil Falls because they chose to give her back to her family rather than escape the law, I cried.

There you have it. For posterity and everything. I probably won't cry at another movie for a while. Unless Jonsi does the soundtrack and a precocious girl is in danger and Jack Nicholson cries, too. Then I might.

What's your favorite weepy movie?

P.S. "Lachrymose" means "teary" or "weepy." A great word, isn't it?

19 comments:

  1. Savannah Smiles. I LOVED that movie.

    I saw Saving Private Ryan in the theater when it came out and I sobbed. And then sobbed some more. I've never cried so hard over a movie before or since.

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    1. Saving Private Ryan was surely a powerful movie, but I think it was well established at the beginning that certain soldiers wouldn't be coming back, so I kept my tears in check.

      And it's swell to know another Savannah Smiles devotee.

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  2. I once started crying during an episode of the Bionic Woman. I think her boyfriend died. Or possibly her dog. Overly sentimental adverts get me sometimes too.

    mood
    Moody Writing
    @mooderino
    The Funnily Enough

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    1. Was that the old Bionic Woman or the new one? Never mind. :)

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  3. Agh. I'm not an overly macho type or anything but I absolutely detest it when a movie makes me cry. So much that if it makes me want to, I won't watch it again.

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    1. Okay, rev. You've admitted to the crying. So which ones were they?

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    2. "Battlefield Earth" and "Transformers 3"

      I wept for the death of a fun novel and the destruction of a decent franchise and horrible crossover.

      Other than that, I'm not admitting anything.

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    3. I agree with your assessment of BE. But after reading that book, you couldn't expect anything more than a hack job. I still haven't seen Trans3. The second one turned me off.

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  4. I cry for movies. But I'm a woman, so I have an excuse. Most recently, I cried in several places when I saw "The Hunger Games" movie. I cried for the MASH farewell too. That was a good show.

    I also cry when I read certain books...Okay, so I'm an overly sensitive woman who gets WAY too attached to fictional characters. It's a curse sometimes...

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    1. I don't think I've ever cried reading a book. I think the closest I've come to that would be the Sword of Shannara. Two characters reunite at the end and it made me giddy for a little while. (Don't judge. I was young then, too.)

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  5. I agree with Candice. I cry way too easily. Yesterday, I got all teary watching Once Upon a Time when Emma kissed her son and broke the curse. How lame is that? However, my favorite weepy moment is in Sense and Sensibility. I love it because it's the rare cryle (where you cry out of happiness). The scene at the end where Hugh Grant tells Emma Thompson that he's not married. Thompson does this hiccoughy thing and then starts sobbing. Then she looks up at him with this gloriously tear streaked smile. Gets me every freakin' time. Most resentful crying in a movie is at the end of Titanic when Cameron pans on all the dead people in the water, including a mother clutching her frozen baby. Actually, I think that moment was so over the top manipulative that I actually stopped crying to shake my head in embarrassment that the director actually stooped so low.

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    1. I got all choked up at that scene with Emma and Henry too, AND that scene from Sense and Sensibility! Classic!

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    2. I, too, do enjoy a good Emma Thompson hiccuppy thing. But I didn't cry.

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  6. I am a girl, and I have been known to cry at Kleenex and Hallmark commercials so does that tell you anything? Yup, I cry in movies all too easily and often. My most recent total sobfest was at the final Harry Potter movie when Harry goes into the forest prepared to die and sees his family. I sobbed from that point through the end of the movie. Part of it for me was the end of story that has been so much a part of my life for more than ten years (as if that is an excuse).

    I also cried st Savannah Smiles and I Am Sam along with a couple of total chic flicks you may or may not have seen, Beaches and Steel Magnolias.

    Sometimes a good cry isn't a bad thing.

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    1. Thought Harry Potter film 8 was a bit of a let down, even with Neville's badass swordplay. So no crying.

      Never saw Beaches. On purpose. May did make me watch Steel Magnolias a couple of years ago. Meh. I say, Meh.

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  7. I cried all through I Am Sam. In fact, at one point, I had to walk away from it.

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    1. It was just the last part that got to me. Maybe because not only does he get his daughter, but he gets to ref a soccer game on top of that. :)

      Thanks for visiting, Holly.

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  8. I cried like a baby at Big Fish, and I very rarely tear up at movies (I'm struggling to come up with another example). Then I looked around the theatre to find that almost every single person was crying as well. Many men were sobbing loud enough for me to take note.

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    1. I don't think I've ever cried in the movie theater. Much too public for me.

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