I tend toward “pretty emotional/maybe bi-polar,” so movies make me cry quite often, and for numerous reasons. I decided to make a list of films that made me cry so hard I descended into that sobbing stage where you’re not breathing, but gasping for air and making horrible noises, and the tears are dripping into your bra (if you’re a lady). These aren’t my all-time favorites or anything, just ones that make me bawl like Nancy Kerrigan, post knee-bashing.
- Steel Magnolias – I used to watch this on a weekly basis as a kid cause it was one of the few VHS tapes we had; lots of it went over my head. I know it’s cliché to cry at this film, it’s one of the most classic tear-jerkers pretty much ever, but once I grew up, and felt the pain of Shelby’s short life, her dramatic collapse, the fact that her parents and husband had to decide to pull the plug, it was all too much to bear. Just when I think I’m ready to set down the tissues, watching the rest of the family in the final scene as they are moving on with their lives makes me cry even harder.
The Notebook – Yet another clichéd tear-jerker, but the first time I saw this (and I fucking despise Nicholas Sparks and everything that comes out of his mind), I had tears literally running down my neck into my shirt. The cast and their chemistry are what makes this film effective, and the tragedy of Alzheimer’s being able to literally take away your entire life, is a cross no one should have to bear.
- Titanic – Okay… I’m sorry these are all clichéd. However, as this is one of my all time favorites, for many reasons, it SO deserves a spot here. I have been fascinated with the history of the Titanic since I was a kid; and I cared much more about the overall story than the “Kate & Leo” love affair. Watching the ship go down, the montage of people holding their loved ones as water rushes in, knowing this all HAPPENED, destroys me. Yes, Kate & Leo is sad, but after their gross sex scene, I didn’t care about them. I cared about all the rest of the passengers, and the FINAL, FINAL scene, is truly one of my favorite cinematic moments EVER. Just thinking about it, I think my chest might cave in.
- It’s A Wonderful Life – It’s Christmas, you realize the impact your life (however small) may have on others, the Auld Lang Syne scene… I love it all so, so much. I was forced to watch this as a kid, (eww! Black and white!) and by the time it was over, I was sobbing, and blown away by how much I loved it. I always take like, personal offense when someone tells me they haven’t seen this, and have no desire to. YOU’RE MISSING OUT ON A LIFE EXPERIENCE!
- I Am Legend (dog death scene) – I’m not even a dog person, but oh god, Sam is the most loyal, faithful, BEST movie dog, ever. She saves Will Smith’s life, (in a chilling, nail-biting scene) to then become a zombie dog, and be mercy-killed by her owner. Sam was his ONE companion, and he had to snuff out her existence. It’s a double whammy, and I was almost hysterical in the theater.
- Forrest Gump –This is one of the greatest movies ever, (well, depending on who you talk to) and I cry on and off throughout (the war, little Jenny’s miserable life, Lt. Dan swimming, we could go on for a while). It’s the ending though, with little Forrest getting on the bus, and the feather…the mixture of sad and hope is what gets me every single time.
- A.I. – The distress this film caused me merited its own post.
- The Family Stone – This film is far from perfect, and there are parts that I find disgusting, stupid, and inconsistent with what real people might actually do, ever. But Craig T. Nelson and Diane Keaton are just such marvelous parental units, and the warm, cozy, kooky family they’ve created – you can’t help but want to be a part of it. The ending that you see coming a mile away, doesn’t hurt any less for it. That picture of preggers Keaton, and all that it represents, makes my eyes feel like they’re going to fall out from the weeping.
- King Kong – He’s an animal, being tortured and used by humans. If you don’t cry, maybe there’s something wrong with you. Just sayin’. I think this movie was really beautiful and touching, and while it was overly long, it’s clearly Peter Jackson’s love letter to the original. I’m guilty of humanizing animals (I’m still holding out hope that one day my cat will talk to me), so the scene where he’s looking out at the sunset, and it seems like he’s moved by its beauty, is my favorite.