|I’m already crying
Somebody asked me what I find to be the most manipulative movie I’ve ever seen. I responded with Crash. I stand by that answer. I’ve never seen a movie scream at me so hard to cry already. Michael Pena’s screaming scene (pictured in the below blog) is bundled with all of the plot devices string pulling necessary to build a bridge out of Dolly Parton movies.
That said, I’ll admit it. I cried the first time I saw Crash. I was very much manipulated by its dark magic. However, the second time I saw the movie I couldn’t help but cringe. After being asked that question, and thinking about Crash‘s effect on me, I got to thinking about tearjerkers that are consistent with their manipulation.
What are the movies that always seem to make me cry, no matter how many times I’ve seen them?
I’m going to break these down by category, rating the films by the mileage they get out of my tear ducts.
The Denzel Tear
|So what, I’m crying
- The Champ
- If any of you can sit through this scene without shedding a Denzel, then I suggest you buy a coffin and lay in it. Seriously.
- You see a pattern emerging? Sports movies tend to illicit the coveted Denzel tear from me. You’ve got the basic question, can this underdog really do it? And when that resounding yes is finally given, how can you not cry? HOW CAN YOU NOT CRY!
- Into the Wild
- This movie’s ending is not what makes me cry. It is instead the entire performance of Hal Holbrook. Almost every moment this man is onscreen is completely heartbreaking, especially the moment where Holbrook’s character pleads for permission to adopt Chris, only to be met with, “Can we talk about this when I get back?” Holbrook knows he’ll never see Chris again and breaks down as he watches the young man walk away. Powerful stuff.
- Toy Story 2
- Don’t act like you didn’t shed a Denzel when Jessie sang her song about being forgotten by her owner and left on the side of the road. Don’t. Even. Act like it.
|What? It’s sad!
- Life is Beautiful
- You cried. I cried. We all cried. Admit it. When that little boy tells his mother that he’s won a tank, all I’ve won is the condescending stare of the dude that only caught the ending. “That’s not dust,” I say, mildly flexing my biceps as I wipe my tears, “I’m freaking crying.”
- Big Fish
- Oh yeah. Billy Crudup’s final monologue, and ultimate acceptance of his father, rips me a new one every time. A new tear duct.
- Paths of Glory
- Often accused of being emotionally distant, Stanley Kubrick fans are quick to point out the heart wrenching ending to this often overlooked masterpiece.
- Cast Away
- You cried too. Right? Right…?
The Uncontrollable Sob
- Breaking the Waves
- This movie does terrible things to me. Every time I see those bells ringing at the end I lose it. It doesn’t matter if that’s the only part I saw.
- Toy Story 3
- And we thought Jessie’s song was sad. Andy’s beautiful farewell to his toys at the end of Toy Story 3 is like watching my childhood get folded into a bottle and thrown to sea.
- Cinema Paradiso
- Dancer In The Dark
- Either Lars Von Trier has a direct line to all things sad, or I have a lot in common with the man. Either way, I’m scared. This movie slaughters all things good in the world and leaves you in a kiddie pool made of salt water and snot. If you ever watch this movie with another person, apologize to them in advance for the emotional sewage you will become.
What are your biggest tearjerkers? Let me know in the comments section or below the link on Facebook.