As part of our VD week re-run especiale, here are my last year’s movies to cry to. Most of which, despite being a year older and a year jadeder, will still make me tear up at the very thought of them.
I am getting more emotional by the second. Hell, seconds before sitting down to write this I was in TEARS over Common dying in an Alicia Keyes video. Seriously.
And while I am having both Jason and Cesar assemble special Valentine’s day movie lists for you, I told them very specifically that I want to do a “tearjerker” one. And since I said so and no one outranks me on this block (bonus points if you get the reference), here it is, just in time for you to add to your netflix queue for Thursday. Or not.
Some Basic Rules
Since this is, theoretically pre-Valentine’s day themed, it is somewhat love themed as well (therefore no “Brian’s Song” or “Rudy” or “Glory”) and also on principle am not including “Beaches” or “Terms of Endearment” as come on, who do you think I am? A gay man? (well, actually, I am not including them because seriously “Beaches” drives me bananas and I get so annoyed by it, I cannot even bring myself to cry in the end, and “Terms of Endearment” only masochists can watch). Oh and also, no cartoons. Cartoons are out to get you and your tears every time.
In any case, here they are:
movies that make me cry.
in no particular order.
some more obvious.
If you are a girl my age (as in, born in the early 80s) this is probably the movie that made you realize you could cry at movies (some may say “Bambi” but “Bambi” was just scary, if you ask me). Seriously, if you were 11 and watching this, you could 100% put yourself into the shoes of Vada when the worst happens. I still tolerate Macauley Culkin’s existence because he played Thomas J. And I’ve hated bees ever since.
Moonstruck is a hopelessly romantic movie. It is also really, really funny and really, really good which means that you don’t necessarily have to feel guilty for loving it. So, that scene where Cher gets made over, goes to the opera with Nicolas Cage, who is her fiance’s (younger, hotter, more insane and therefore infinitely more appealing) brother, and cries, and he looks at her filled with love and lust and desperation has been ripped off in everything from “Pretty Woman” to your big date last week, and its priceless.
Danny Aiello is toast and he doesn’t even know it.
Blame everything on the moon.
Textbook. A hopelessly romantic movie that is actually kinda bad, so you feel guilty for loving it, but you know, the heart wants what the heart wants. And the heart wants to cry when Alli McGraw (still as pretty and fresh faced as ever) dies.
Henry Mancini Francis Lai should get a cut from Kleenex for that theme song.
You should never have to say you’re sorry you shed a tear to this.
The Way we Were
Which brings us to the other blonde boy/brunnette girl tearjerker classic. This time with Barbra Streisend as the spunky jewish socialist who falls for the overprivileged WASPy Robert Redford. From the get go, this is not going to end well. The end is a killer.
now, that we got those out of the way, lets move to crying in the 80s and 90s and 00s
Three Colors: Blue:
It is better to have loved and lost, than not to have loved at all. Juliette Binoche is a masterclass of sorrow in the first part of Kieslowski’s trilogy. I saw this in the movie theater and it felt so intimate that I felt almost uncomfortable watching it. But not uncomfortable enough to not use my scarf as a tissue.
Me You and Everyone we Know
This, of course, now runs the risk of being overplayed and totally backlashed at, but come on: it 100% touches upon the isolation of the big city, of awkward courtships, of small things that make your life.
So many things to pick from: the old couple that finally found each other for a short time, the desperate (and up until them icy) Art curator on the bench with the little kid, the phone call awaiting and my personal favorite: The Tyronne street walk. Watch and feel both tingly and ready to burst all at ones.
and throw in “Are you the Favorite Person of Anybody?” for good measure
because, you know, Miranda July is out to get you. She is.
Punch Drunk Love
This movie is soooooooo good. I hate Adam Sandler. I am not a big PT Anderson fan. I am sort of on the fence about John Brion and yet there is no more perfect movie for me right now. I was sick the other week and I stayed home, and watched this (I had already rerented it from netflixed and then went along and bought it from half.com for 1.98 just so I could own it forever). And man, when they start walking/running/gliding towards each other at any point (whether the first kiss, or in Hawaii or in my mind) i lose it. Every single time.
Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind
This should have been Jim Carrey’s only movie. Ever. And everything would be perfect.
I’ve seen grown men cry at this. I mean, he just wants to be loved. I think that the genius of Tim Burton lies in the fact that the most basic of human needs is put in a fairy tale like setting, so it is just easier for you to swallow it. I mean, after all, it is about some kid with scissors for hands, how can that possibly relate to you? Yeah, riiiiight
Imitation of Life
I remember being 12 and hearing my Dad describe the reaction to the funeral scene in this movie as “The whole of Belgrade peed less for a week because they lost all the water in their bodies crying so much during it”. My mother has owned this on VHS and on DVD (she is an unabashed movie crier, something we all made fun of her for growing up, and she never cared) and seriously, look at Mahalia Jackson go at it, and …I am grabbing the kleenex just thinking about it.
Universally wonderful. Michael used the clip below in his Morrissey review and I instantly reordered and rewatched the 3hr+ uncut version of it, and it is just as amazing as the original you saw forever a go. This clip is like ever tender moment ever on the screen, rolled in one man’s face:
and that is that for me. Now, go on and tell me I forgot “English Patient” and “Notebook” and “An Affair to Remember” and “Betty Blue” and “In the mood for love” ….go on.