Maybe I’m just one cold-hearted SOB, because I can hardly name any movies that get my waterworks going. I can come up with a long list of movies that didn’t:
Maybe it’s just that I can’t suspend my disbelief and shut off that voice in my head that keeps saying “it’s just a movie.” Maybe it’s something deeper than that. For a long period of my life I couldn’t cry, even if I wanted to. And then I wouldn’t cry, even if I needed to, for fear that I wouldn’t be able to stop. I think it might have been a way of protecting myself.
It’s only in the last few years — maybe the last five — that the damn finally broke. Becoming a parent tore down some of the wall around my emotions in that sense. There are some things I can’t watch without getting emotional now; some news stories I can’t take, the ones where children are harmed.
But I still can only come up with one movie in recent memory that brought me to tears: Fahrenheit 9/11. During the segments with the mom who lost her son in Iraq, when she was reading his last letter and again when she was standing in front of the White House asking “Why?”, I lost it. Just sobbed. I know that was part of the director’s formula. Well, I fell for it. He got me.
The only other movie I can think of that came close to doing that to me was It’s My Party. The final scenes were just too much, especially for anyone who’s lost someone to AIDS. In a similar vein, the final scene in Longtime Companion, where all the people suddenly appear walking up the beach to join the main characters for a reunion. And then they vanish. That one would probably break me up today. And if I let it.