The Crying Game

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Like my colleague who penned Wednesday’s Buzz Blog, I’m not ashamed to admit that I cry at sentimental commercials designed to pull at the heartstrings.  But my tears aren’t reserved exclusively for TV ads.  I cry at everything.

I cry, of course, over the sad things that affect all human beings, like the horrific shootings in Connecticut two weeks ago.  But I mostly cry out of unbridled joy, like over the “26 Random Acts of Kindness” movement that has sprung up in that tragedy’s aftermath.  God bless you, Ann Curry.

It’s true, I’m a total Jon Crier.  Or Elie Sob.

Let the record show that I’m not the kind of guy who merely gets misty eyed or has a single tear stream down his cheek.  I convulsively sob like Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) in pretty much any episode of Homeland or Elinor (Emma Thompson) in Sense and Sensibility when she learns that Edward (Hugh Grant) did not, in fact, marry Lucy.  In other words, it ain’t pretty.

This time of year I’m especially susceptible to waterworks thanks to the movies that are playing on screens large and small.  The ending of It’s a Wonderful Life turns me into a puddle reminiscent of Frosty without his magic hat.  I’ve seen it dozens of times, but I still bawl during that final scene when the residents of Bedford Falls rally for their friend George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart.)  I’ve seen Love Actually just as often, but the ending montage of families and friends reuniting at the airport to the strains of The Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows” chokes me up every time.

My crying isn’t limited to the comfort of my own home.  Sure, I’m prone to tears while plopped in front of the tube watching a holiday classic, but  I’m also a public place crier who lets it flow at the multiplex.  And on airplanes.  (I watched The Intouchables on a plane this past summer and cried so hard that three different flight attendants came up to me to make sure I was okay.)

On Christmas Eve I saw The Impossible; I cried in the middle during a brief father/son reunion that wasn’t even part of the main plot, and I sobbed at the end.  The fact that it’s based on a true story certainly contributed to my tears, but I cry at made up stuff, too.  On Christmas Day, I saw Les Miserables (for the second time) and got all blubbery during “One Day More” and “Do You Hear the People Sing?”

One would think I would be embarrassed by my unmanly crying habit in movies, but I have no shame whatsoever.  It helps that movie theaters are dark and everyone is staring at the screen, not at me.  But when the lights come up and my eyes are all puffy and I’m blowing my nose into a scratchy napkin stained with popcorn butter, I don’t even try to hide my emotions.  It’s very cathartic.

Did you ever see In America (starring Paddy Considine, Samantha Morton and Djimon Hounsou)?  I caught it at the Sundance Film Festival eleven years ago and cried hysterically along with a couple of friends, our shoulders shaking up and down in unison as we tore one remaining Puffs tissue into thirds so we could share it.

I certainly cry at the real tear-jerkers, like Terms of Endearment and Brian’s Song and Brokeback Mountain, but the ones that really get me aren’t always that obvious.  One of my favorite tear-inducing moments is that scene in That Thing You Do where Faye (Liv Tyler) is placing letters in a mailbox when she hears the title song come over her transistor radio and then they all dance around the appliance store.  Another is when the professors in A Beautiful Mind one-by-one drop off their pens for John Nash (Russell Crowe.) And don’t even get me started on the moment in Rudy when he (Sean Astin) finally gets accepted into Notre Dame.

Make fun of me all you want.  I’m the town crier and I’m proud of it.

Now it’s time for you to voice your choice in today’s poll and let us know what movie makes you cry.  I just admitted to crying during That Thing You Do, for Pete’s sake. Voting anonymously in this poll is the least you can do.

TODAY’S POLL:  What movie is your favorite tearjerker?

The Notebook

Steal Magnolias

Terms of Endearment


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