Sunday, March 30, 2008

Tear jerkers

What's your favourite tear jerker?
We were watching Nanny McPhee earlier. We've come to realise that we're very, very soppy. This list of things that makes me weep uncontrollably includes but is no way limited to:

Field of Dreams
A Life Less Ordinary
Betty Blue
Moulin Rouge
Love Actually
Vanilla Sky
Silent Running
Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence
It's a Wonderful Life
Holiday Inn
White Christmas
Miracle on 32nd Street
(in fact, most Christmas things will have me dabbing the tears away at some point)
A Matter of Life & Death
Nanny Mcphee

Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Raymond Briggs' Ethel & Ernest
Howard Cruse's Stuck Rubber Baby

It's harder for a book or comic to make me weep as the emotion creeps on slower than it does with film. I'm sure there are more, but I can't think of them right now.

In fact, it's pretty obvious that even the slightest touch of sentimentality is almost guaranteed to have me weeping pretty uncontrollably.
And like many of you, at least those of you willing and strong enough to admit to this, there's a strange feeling of enjoyment from the act of physically breaking down. The weeping, the sense of loss, sadness, joy, pain, misery, whatever it is that brings me to tears is nothing more than an emotional release.
Of course, being me, I like to watch these sorts of films late at night, alone, so I can dab my eyes in peace and quiet.

When I'm watching Field of Dreams and Burt Lancaster just walks over the threshold of the baseball diamond never to return in order to save the life, or when Costner plays ball with his dad, or in the final scenes of salvation and hope - I'm full of sadness, full of tears, full of that feeling when your voice catches in your throat and you know you can't speak without having your voice break and knowing you'll be in pieces, uncontrollably sobbing if you even try to speak. That feeling of sadness, that feeling of emotional release is cathartic. It's the emotional release that's important and invigorating.
But then again, I'm just a soppy thing.

But the unexpected film that gets me, the one that I catch a lot of flak for with most people I know, people who really can't believe I'm that soppy, is Love Actually. There are key moments in the film that I just can't get through without the tears rolling down my face. There are just so many in there that I can't really list them all. But the one that always stays with me is the Keira Knightley and the bloke who played Egg in this life scenes. No matter what my mood is, no matter how steeled I am towards not getting emotional, is the scene where Egg turns upo at her door with his boards and his music and just tells her what he feels, thats the moment I will never be able to get through without uncontrollably sobbing. The sense of lost opportunity, the sense of regret and hopeless love is just too much, too sad for words. Usually, from that moment on I'm inconsolable. And the enjoyment I get from those feelings is a wonderfully freeing, wonderfully liberating thing. I'm crying for every moment in my life that I regret, every moment in my life that I'm thankful for and everything in my life that I know I'll never be able to change.


  1. I know exactly what you mean. I blart at the drop of a hat too. Something of which I'm by turns embarrassed of and grateful for (Usually depending on the company).

    You should try tracking down the novel Field of Dreams is based on, it's called Shoeless Joe and is written by someone called Kinsella or something like that, the main character has the same surname so whatever his name was is who you're looking for. I read it when I was about 16 and remember it being lovely and pretty great all round. I still have a copy but it's boxed up in Brum somewhere.

    Anyway was nice to read that someone else enjoys indulging their sappyness from time to time. Anyway time for bed.

  2. Funnily enough, I've got the Shoeless Joe book by W P Kinsella, bought after falling in love with the film. But apart from one little bit (the if you build it speech) it didn't have me blubbing.
    Again, most probably due to abook's emotional imp[act being a slower yet longer lasting effect rather than the immediate emotional slug of a film's visual impact?