Saturday, November 3, 2007


Washington Post staff writer Desson Thomson talks about movies that make us weep and I thought about the flicks that brought tears to my eyes. This isn't a difficult task--I mist up during Kodak commercials. In fact, I sometimes cry during movie TRAILERS. I think it's the music that does it. Cue up the swelling soundtrack, turn on the tears...I really should invest in a good waterproof mascara.

Anyway, the two easy picks for me are It's a Wonderful Life---the moment when Harry toasts his brother George as the richest man in town always starts me bawling--and E.T. I cry three times (pretty much on cue) during E.T.--when he dies, when he comes back to life and when he leaves. I went through several tissues (as surreptitiously as possible) during a viewing of Antwone Fisher. And I sobbed through the entire second half of Shadowlands starring a sublimely subtle Anthony Hopkins as C.S. Lewis. Amazing, the Adam Sandler comedy Fifty First Dates made me teary-eyed and I always get choked up at the scene at the end of The Fisher King when a speechless Jeff Bridges comes back for Mercedes Ruehl.

In The Color Purple when Celie is reunited with her sister Nettie, the waterworks flow. A character's death usually prompts tears for most--and I am no exception when Gerry Conlon (Daniel Day-Lewis) loses his father (Pete Postlewaite as Giuseppe Conlon) when he dies in prison during In the Name of the Father. Tears flow for a different reason at the end of The Shawshank Redemption when Andy DuFresne is reunited with Red.

Of course your standard "chick flick" is a good bet for a tearjerker. I'm not a big chick flick fan--hate Steel Magnolias, Terms of Endearment and basically any formulaic film featuring a gaggle of gals bonding. Blech! But I do mist up during Pretty Woman, sob empathetically along with Demi during Ghost and cry tears of joy for Emma Thompson and Hugh Grant in Sense and Sensibility.

When a flick should but doesn't induce tears for me, that's a sign that something is wrong. Not with me but with the film. Either the direction or story or performance isn't evoking the appropriate response--and as I've mentioned before when it comes to crying, I'm easy. Still, I was dry-eyed for the death of Russell Crowe in Gladiator, couldn't muster a tear when Rick and Ilsa parted ways in Casablanca and was more dumbstruck than dampened during Moonstruck. Go figure...

But one movie that has me weeping throughout is none other than Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Weeping from being doubled over with laughter, that is. What are your personal tearjerkers?

1 comment:

  1. I ALWAYS cry when Russel dies in Gladiator. I think the most I've ever cried though was the opening scene in Saving Private Ryan. My sister and friends actually MADE me leave the movie and come back when I composed myself. And I cried a lot in the movie "Big Fish" More because of what was going on in my own life but it was major waterworks nonetheless.