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Sometimes You Just Gotta Cry (Or, Let’s Talk Sad Movies)

Warning: This post may be unsavory to anyone of the male persuasion.

I’m generally a happy and optimistic person, if a bit on the prickly side when someone calls me on the phone and expects me to know who it is without them saying their name, particularly when I only see them in passing and have never spoken to them on the phone.

I digress.

(and notice how I digress IN THE FIRST SENTENCE. Having a conversation with me is kind of like having to play connect the dots with your eyes closed.)

ANYway, while I AM generally happy and optimistic, sometimes I just need to cry. Sometimes emotions get pent up because you can’t always tap into an emotion right when you feel it. And where are those emotions supposed to go? My emotions don’t just evaporate. My emotions ferment and fester and get nice and ripe until I have a complete meltdown over something insignificant.

I’ve learned over the years that when I’m feeling the need to cry but don’t know the reason and don’t really have an outlet, I can rent a sad movie, cry my eyes out, and get on with my life. If I do this, I don’t have meltdowns, I don’t blow things out of proportion, and I don’t get unusually sad. I get on with my life in a productive way.

hope floatsIt used to be that when I needed a good sob, I’d watch Hope Floats (because that first scene can make me cry every. single. time.) and be done with it.

Lately…meh…I don’t really feel like watching Hope Floats. I’ve seen it a dozen times, and I just need something different.

I used to watch Beaches, because there’s this one scene where Bette Midler is yelling at Barbara Hershey that would make me cry and cry and cry…but I’ve now seen it a dozen times.

Kind of related to this whole subject, I saw City of Angels when it first came out, and I’ve never been so depressed over a movie. I’ve never seen it again, because while sad movies can be good, I’d rather not finish the movie thinking that the world is a terrible horrible place.

ps i love youA couple of months ago I rented P.S. I Love You, having a vague idea of what it was about, and sobbed the length of the film.

I’ve been feeling the need to watch a sad movie lately, to adjust my inner balance. I’ve rented P.S. I Love You for the weekend. My husband is playing poker with his buddies tonight, and I have nowhere to go tomorrow, so I can watch the movie tonight and not worry about having puffy eyes tomorrow. I’m going to cry out all of my pent up frustrations so I can start with a fresh, clean bottle with which to start bottling things up again. 😀

(I’m hoping against hope that it’s these pent up feelings that are giving me nightmares again. Two nights ago I had a dream that I saw a woman take her child (5 years old?) to a window, hold him out of the window (the child had wanted to hang out of the window, but still!), and ended up dropping him. The child hit a bench with about half of his body. Obviously, he died. I need to do something so I have more pleasant dreams!)

Now that you know how *I* deal with feelings and emotions that can’t be dealt with in the moment, how do you  deal with those emotions that pile on and pile on until you could explode?

Or! What movies make you cry? (You get -1 point if you mention Steel Magnolias.)

| Tags: 52 comments »

52 Responses to “Sometimes You Just Gotta Cry (Or, Let’s Talk Sad Movies)”

  1. Kiki

    First off, I love Steel Magnolias! It’s one of those movies I’ll leave in if I see it is on, and I guess I’ve seen it at least 20 or more times! (I’m older than you!)

    A movie that’s on on par with City of Angels and that I cannot watch again (thanks, Shirley!) is Terms of Endearment. Oh my. A real tear jerker. Again, I’m older than you and originally saw this one in the movies. My mother’s boyfriend at the time had to leave the theater he got so choked up!

    Natalie Wood also always does it for me–This Property Is Condemned (with Robert Redford), Love With The Proper Stranger (gotta love that Steve McQueen–so sexy and so good) and (sniff sniff) Splendor in the Grass (Warren Beatty).

    Try Marilyn Monroe in Bus Stop. Wow. Truly, wow–you get to see what kind of an great actress she really was. Incredible movie and a truly beautiful woman at the peak of her acting prowess and beauty. The close ups of her face alone are enough to make me weep! But the acting is awesome. And it is sad movie with a good ending.

    I like movies that make me cry in a good way–which is the kind of release I prefer–like A Room With A View, Roman Holiday (Breakfast at Tiffany’s too) and Pride and Prejudice (the KK version, because I love Donald Sutherland’s portrayal of Mr. Bennett, now he makes me cry! And I turn it off before the very last scene which I really can’t stand.)

    Need any other suggestions? I may try the PS I Love You movie myself–it looks like a real cry fest!


  2. Deborah

    The Joy Luck Club does it every time for my family (well mom and sisters). Also Return of the Jedi. I know i know…


  3. nikki

    Turner and Hooch.

    My Girl.


  4. Kathy

    Oh my, what a horrible dream! I already have plans to go see The Blind Side with a friend and I think I’ll just bring a box of tissues for the two of us to share. (It doesn’t take much to make me cry.)


  5. Jeane

    I cried the most at Somewhere In Time. And whenever I watch Dances with Wolves, I always cry when the wolf, and then the horse, get shot. Bawl like a baby. (This is unusual for me!)


  6. Helen

    The movie MASK makes me cry (Cher, Eric Stoltz, et al). Or, honestly, any sappy TV movie.


  7. J.T. Oldfield

    I can’t think of any movies, but there are *still* episodes of some of my favorite shows that make me cry (namely Buffy/Angel, and Battlestar Galactica).

    And right now I’m on a caffeine come down so a good tear jerker seems like a comfort.


  8. Rita

    An Affair to Remember gets me every time.

    Every. Time. I also bawl my eyes out with The Notebook and Marley and Me.

    As a kid, E.T. did me in.


  9. Lisa

    P.S. I Love You should do the trick. It’ll make you cry and still it doesn’t have a depressing ending. If you really want to cry watch “My Life” with Michael Keaton and Nicole Kidman.


  10. Michelle Miller/the true book addict

    Let me just say…I cry very easily at anything sad or touching. Especially if it involves something to do with children (your dream would have killed me). I cry every week at the end of Ghost Whisperer…that should give you an idea!

    Here are some movies that make me cry every time:

    Terms of Endearment
    Little Women (Winona Ryder/Claire Danes version…Beth’s death…gets me every time)
    Romeo and Juliet (the 1960s version)
    Alpha Dog (can’t even watch this one again)
    Sophie’s Choice
    The Mission

    I could probably name a lot more, but I won’t =o)


  11. Elizabeth

    With Honors – it’s a love story, but not a “love story”. I watched it for the first time in college, and it still gets me. Also, Patrick Dempsey.

    I cry every time Johnny Castle says, “Nobody puts Baby in a corner.”


  12. Jaime

    I found the beginning of Up to be pretty heartwrenching… especially for an animated film.

    The last movie I remember seeing that had *everyone* in the theater sniffling, women and men alike, was Big Fish. And as a bonus, you get Ewan McGregor!


  13. heidenkind

    I also have to say The Joy Luck Club. That’s worth at least 90 minutes of cryfest right there.


  14. Lisa

    P.S I love you did it for me too. It drives my husband crazy for me to say it was a good movie and see tears in my eyes at the same time. The worst was during pregnancy with a girl I cried over Kleenex comercials and once started the tears lasted for hours. I probably would have cried for days over a sad movie.


  15. raych

    Do you do happy-tears? Because the video of Christian the Lion makes me shed Big Fat Happy Tears every time, and it’s, like, a 2-minute investment.

    For your viewing pleasure:


  16. Heather

    I SOSOSO agree with Raych about Christian the Lion. Best video ever!

    Also I LOVE the movie Love Actually. It makes me happy and sad all at the same time, which is my favorite kind of movie. Also the movie Crash for the same reason – happy and sad (but that one, mostly sad).


  17. Lisa

    The last movie that had me sobbing was Marley & Me. The fact that I had an elderly yellow lab at home definitely contributed, but everyone else was sniffling in the theatre…


  18. Kelly

    This is going to sound incredibly lame, but Marley & Me and Eight Below. Both movies about dogs….my dog is my “baby” and so whenever I watch a movie where a dog dies it just kills me. I saw Marley & Me in the theatre and was sobbing so loudly people were staring. My eyes were so red and puffy I made sure I was the last one to leave!!


  19. Marg

    Its probably easier for me to list the movies that didn’t make me cry!

    All time worst movies for crying are My Life starring Nicole Kidman and Michael Keaton and When a Man Loves a Woman starring Meg Ryan and Andy Garcia (I think). I basically started crying in those two movies before the opening credits had finished and didn’t stop until the end.

    Strangely enough, another movie that made me cry a lot is My Best Friend’s Wedding. Supposed to be a comedy but I cried and cried!


  20. Nicole

    I have issues with you giving negative points to a movie which so obviously lets everyone let out there pent-up emotions. Hmmph. That is all.


  21. debnance

    I just added a week’s worth of teary movies to my queue at Blockbuster. Thanks, everyone!


  22. Chris@bookarama

    I’m another one for Marley & Me.

    This might be weird but I bawled during Mama Mia. The scene where Meryl Streep is helping her daughter get ready for the wedding (& she sings of course). Buckets! I thought of my daughter- even though she was only 6 at the time.


  23. Deborah

    i just thought of another one (well mainly b/c i’m watching it on TV and sobbing) Mr Holland’s Opus


  24. Christa

    Ok this is probably stupid and silly but the one movie that really gets me to cry is Armageddon. It has never failed to make me cry! It probably has something to do with the fact that Ben Affleck cries in it to. Beaches also does the trick as well as Marley & Me.


  25. melanie

    yes to Steel Magnolias
    Terms of Endearment
    The Color Purple ( I remember watching it in the theater while on vacation and I was sunburned, and those tears hurt! – cried the whole 2 hours)
    Return to Me (my alltime fave chick/crying flick)
    the first 15 minutes of UP
    Ice Age (yes another animated one)
    Without a Trace (at least 20 years old…)
    Dear Frankie
    Notting Hill
    I could go on, but I won’t.

    I also cry when I’m embarrassed for people (in real life and movies) but that’s a whole other list.

    I couldn’t cry in ps i love you because that girl got on my last nerve.
    🙂 have a great weekend.


  26. Rebekah

    When my dad plays and sings “Puff the Magice Dragon” I cry every time. And he can be relentless about it, when he remembers that this happens. Stupid Jackie leaving Puff to disappear into forgottenness ALONE for all eternity. My mom tries to consol me by saying they bring Puff back in the end, but for me it’s too late. The damage has been done.


  27. Tonya

    Well, OF COURSE, Steel Magnolias makes everyone cry! The one that always makes me cry (other than SM – extra point for second mention?) is A Walk to Remember. I cry every single time in the exact same spot. I know what’s coming, but it doesn’t matter. I’m going to cry anyway.


  28. raych

    Ahhhhhh, I’d forgotten about Puff! Dad is a jerk. Even when he DOESN’T sing the verse about how dragons live forever, but not so little boys, that’s all I can think of and then I weep.


  29. Petunia

    I suppose I shouldn’t start by telling you that I’ve never seen Hope Floats or Steel Magnolias, and that I detested P.S. I Love You. Sorry.
    I don’t cry a lot with movies but I did cry watching Anne of Green Gables. The scene near the end with Anne and Matthew? OMG!! Even my husband was crying. Atonement also gets me every time. The good thing about Anne is that you are left with happy happy feelings for having spent some time on Prince Edward Island.


  30. Kailana

    Hope Floats! That’s the movie that was on TV earlier! I caught part of it and I knew I had seen it before but I couldn’t remember what it was and by the time I thought to check it wasn’t on the guide anymore!


  31. Veronica

    When I need a good cry movie I turn to either “Philadelphia” or “Swing Kids.” Neither of them are girl cry movies, like the movies you mentioned watching (not that I’m saying there’s anything wrong with girl movies – my other suggestion, and all time favorite movie, would be “Fried Green Tomatoes” but I think that might be too happy through most of the movie to really be a good cry fest). But these are GREAT movies, social commentaries about their time (AIDS in the early 90’s or German boys who really don’t want to be Nazis), and very emotional. Great to cry to.


  32. Amy @ My Friend Amy

    Little Women. I sob through the ENTIRE thing. Injustice always makes me cry as well, I cried quite a lot in the Duchess.


  33. Becky

    The Little Princess was re-made in the 90s with a very cool Indian sub-theme and a great choral soundtrack. It’s absolutely one of my favorites. There’s one scene near the end where she’s being carried away by the police, kicking and screaming, while her father (who has amnesia) is denying knowing her and she’s crying and screaming for her “papa” to “know me”. Something about this scene gets me every.stinkin.time.


  34. Elizabeth

    These are all movies that make me cry, except City of Angels. I, too found it to be a movie that didn’t really have any hope. PS I Love You is a good one because it’s also cute and funny.
    Reading some of the comments here, I have to agree about Ann of GG, Little Women.
    I used to bawl big time over the Kodak and hallmark commercials.


  35. Jessica

    What do I do when I feel like crying? Read. That’s my default state. Of course, I usually cry anyway. I cry when other people cry; I cry if I’m reading aloud and the character is crying; I cry in emotional scenes in commercials and movie reviews…

    The movie that always gets me is “It’s a Wonderful Life.” I actually start crying before the credits are even running. There are a bunch of other scenes. By the end, I’ve got tears running off my nose and down my chin. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen it now, but I cry even when I see the cover of the DVD!


  36. Nish

    I recently saw “Finding Neverland” and sobbed throughout the second half. Now, that’s one tearjerker!


  37. Kari

    Love Actually!!! I cry from good, I cry from sad. That movie has it all.

    I also seem to keep crying whenever I watch the Office episode of Jim and Pam’s wedding. I think you need to be an Office fan for that one, though.

    Someone mentioned the beginning of Up…that one got me too!


  38. zibilee

    If I really want to bawl my eyes out I watch the movie version of Atonement. I have watched it so many times that I start crying even before the sad part starts. My husband has to leave the room when I play it because he can’t stand seeing me that way. That movie is the best way for me to get the tears going.


  39. Christie

    Oh, I love movies that make me cry. Of course I’m at that age where practically everything does but still, I have several go-to films when I need to wail it out:
    The Notebook
    The Bridges of Madison County (I know and even though the book was BAD, it still made me sob!)
    The Way We Were (I can’t even hear the song without welling up)
    The Legends of the Fall (because I am nothing if not a complete sucker for star-crossed lovers)
    Romeo and Juliet (Zeffirelli)
    Big Fish
    ET…that would be me and all the little kids
    And strangely, Grease makes me cry. It came out the summer I was 17, I saw it a bazillion times and now it makes me feel really nostalgic.
    Lots of TV makes me cry. I have sobbed my way through several episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Grey’s Anatomy, ER and even Alias.
    Yes, I am a sap!


  40. jenniffer

    steel magnolias and terms of endearment make me cry as soon as i turn them on–no matter at what spot in the movie, because i know IT is coming…

    and mamma mia makes me laugh/cry/laugh/cry…


  41. Belle

    I rather like the idea of playing connect the dots with my eyes closed 🙂
    I cried the first time I watched P.S. I Love You, but it wasn’t until the second time I watched it – my husband had missed it the first time, and he actually likes chick flicks, which is a blessing, but anyway, I wanted to watch it with him. Well, I cried even more! I think it was because I had even more of a clue what was going to happen and so that whole first part, before he dies, I was already sobbing my heart out. I didn’t do that the first time around.

    I like to cry over the sad bits in books, too.


  42. Sadako

    About Schmidt made me tear up when I saw it, and I almost NEVER do that. The ending was so sweet.

    Also, just noticed you’re reading Never Let Me Go–I read it a few months ago, hope you enjoy it! It’s very interesting…not sure I like-liked it but it did make me think.


  43. bybee

    I cried because I was sad in Titanic — it was that part where the band is playing and some of the passengers have realized that it’s hopeless. The mother is putting her kids to bed and the old couple have just laid down together.

    I cried because I was happy at the end of a Korean movie called Marathon.


  44. Patti

    I pretty much have cried for all these movies that have been mentioned that I’ve seen. I’ve realized that I also cry during most comedies. My fiance will look over at me during a movie and I will have tears running down my cheeks. Any sentimental scene where I’ve grown the characters, I’m down for the count.
    Other good crying movies include: Pay It Forward, Moulin Rouge, Big Fish, Bridge to Terabithia (though the book is a better cryfest) … oh man, I want to go home and watch all these now.


  45. Jeanne

    Last night I watched Gods and Monsters and was sobbing audibly by the end, not something I do much at all. I didn’t know it would be so sad. It’s not a chick flick, though; it’s about a gay man who survived WWI and went to Hollywood to make those early B&W Frankenstein movies, based on a true story.


  46. Petunia

    I’ve awarded you the Superior Scribbler award. You are so deserving of it.


  47. Care

    Love Actually! (had to ask Hub: “ya know that Christmas movie with Hugh Grant and Alan Rickman and all the different story lines?” and he always knows the answer.) or About a Boy! and if you can find it, I most definitely recommend The Nephew starring Pierce Brosnan.
    Also, I just cried during Walk the Line. A Prairie Home Companion had me in tears. and The Quiet Man! -give that one a try, for sure. and for another reach back: The Goodbye Girl with Marsha Mason and Richard Dreyfus.
    But don’t watch In the Valley of Elah. – scary sad and real.


  48. T

    I definitely agree that all the movies I’ve seen which have been mentioned. Each one has made me cry. I can’t speak for the ones mentioned which I haven’t seen.

    I would just like to point out an important omission. I thought surely this movie would be at the top of many people’s list. It came out when I was a kid (now in my mid 20’s) and it’s a guaranteed tear jerker every single time!

    My Girl!

    If you don’t cry at this movie, male or female, you simply don’t have a heart. lol.


  49. Lenore


    I don’t cry THAT often while watching movies…but sometimes I’ll be in a weakened mental state and something like THE BUCKET LIST will get me.

    Some movies that get me every time:
    TITANIC (yes, indeed)


  50. Dreamybee

    The Green Mile-just watched it on TV and I was bawling by the end. That one comes around and punches you in the gut at the end with something that you’d totally forgotten about from the beginning. Where the Wild Things Are tore me up, which I totally didn’t expect. Any movie where a pet suffers or dies will do me in. And, of course, Steel Magnolias. 🙂 Doesn’t matter how many times I’ve seen it, I just can’t hold it together through Sally Field’s scene at the cemetery.


  51. devi

    “wind struck” korean movie… When I first watched that movie, I thought it was a comedy, but then… Hiks… Just watch the movie… and don’t forget to put a box of tissue near you 😉


  52. Raiah Green ()

    Steel Magnolias and Hope Floats are definitely among the list of great tear jerker movies, however if there was one movie for me to recommend for anyone who just needs to cry it would have to be Pay It Forward. I first saw the movie when I was about 8 years old. I am 19 now, and I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve seen it, and I still cry just as hard as the first time I saw it. It’s an incredible film.


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