Sunday, June 10, 2012

Movies That Always Make Me Cry

What movie makes you cry every time you watch it? I mean, it doesn’t matter how many times you see it, it never fails to make you weepy. 

I was sifting through the $5.00 DVD bin at Wal-Mart the other day, when I unearthed one of my all-time favorite happy tear-jerkers – You’ve Got Mail. I actually screamed so loud that everyone turned around and stared at me. I held the movie up and shrugged with a “sorry” smile on my face. 

I love this movie! It never fails to make me cry and laugh. You see, it’s one thing when a movie makes you cry, but to make you cry and laugh – ah that’s a movie! The 1998 production starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan is actually based on a play Parfumerie by Miklós László.  You’ve got mail isn’t the first movie adapted from the play. The Shop Around the Corner, a 1940 film by Ernst Lubitsch and also a 1949 musical remake, In the Good Old Summertime by Robert Z. Leonard starring Judy Garland were first. The 1998 version updates the story with the use of email between the main characters.

Next on my list is The Waitress. This movie stars Keri Russell as Jenna, an unhappy waitress married to an abusive husband, Earl, played by Jeremy Sisto.  Jenna finds herself pregnant while working at Joe’s Pie Diner where she uses her incredible talent for inventing new kinds of pie. Her dream is to leave Earl and win a national pie contest.  Along the way she has an affair with her doctor, Jim Pomatter, played by Nathan Fillion. Her only friends are coworkers Becky and Dawn (Cheryl Hines and Adrienne Shelly), and Joe (Andy Griffith), the curmudgeonly owner of the diner and several other local businesses, who encourages her to begin a new life elsewhere. 

One of the saddest things about this movie is that Adrienne Shelly, who wrote, directed and had a small part in the movie, was murdered in 2006 before her movie was released in 2007. Initially, thought to be a suicide, Shelly was found hanging from a bed sheet tied to a shower rod in the New York apartment she used as an office. A construction worker in the apartment under her office confessed to killing her after she complained about the noise he was making. 

Having traveled to Ireland last October, I was thrilled and perplexed when I saw Leap Year, (2010) starring Amy Adams and Matthew Goode. The movie has breathtaking scenes of Ireland that unfortunately, are not geographically correct. No matter, this is one of my favorite laugh/cry movies. Adams character, Anna Brady, travels to Ireland where her fiancé is attending a medical conference in Dublin. She plans to use the Irish tradition of Leap Day (Feb. 29) when a man receives a proposal on Leap Day, he must accept it. Through many trials and tribulations, Anna tries to make it to Dublin with the unwilling help of Declan O’Calloghan. And yes, you guessed it; Anna discovers the love she was looking for is the maddening Irishman, Declan.

I must include The Upside of Anger (2005) on my list of movies that never fail to make me cry. 

I fell in love with this movie, even though I’m not a big Costner fan, but the chemistry between Kevin Costner, who plays Denny, a retired baseball player turned radio announcer and Joan Allen, Terry, a woman who believes her husband abandoned his family, is undeniable. The movies reveals through a flashback why Terry and her daughters are grieving for a man they though had run away with his secretary. It isn’t until Denny enters the picture, that Terry is able to come to terms with the choices her daughters, played by Keri Russell, Alicia Witt, and Erica Christensen, have made. Denny also is responsible for discovering what happened to her husband.

I cannot end this teary-movie fest without The Notebook, based on the novel of the same name by Nicholas Sparks. This movies never fails to appear in the journals of teenage girls when I ask my students to write about their favorite movie.

The story begins in a nursing home with an 80-year-old man, Duke, played by James Garner, reading to an elderly woman, played by Genna Rowlands. The story Duke is reading serves as the narrative for their life, played by Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams. The sadness that hangs over the entire story is that Allie (Rowlands and McAdams) has Alzheimer’s disease and cannot remember that Duke is her husband Noah (Garner and Gosling). The bittersweet moment does occur, however fleeting, when an elderly Allie remembers Noah. 

These five movies are certainly not the only ones who make me cry or laugh for that matter. They are ones. I must say, I never tire of watching when I'm in one of those "moods." 

What movie makes you a bit weepy?

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