Posted by: pendrops | November 28, 2006

movie cry

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It’s been a while since I’ve had a good movie cry, but the other night Jason and I watched Cast Away and I sobbed for several minutes into the credits. It doesn’t take much to make me cry at a movie. I can’t help it. Without warning, I find myself invested in the story, the characters, the hope, crying at anything from Beaches, to A Beautiful Mind, to Sabrina, to It’s a Wonderful Life, to You’ve Got Mail, and even The Wedding Singer.

I remember my first movie cry: Annie. My mom, Gram, cousins and I sank into butter-smeared seats at the Beverly Movie House in Peoria and watched the story of the little orphan.

And tears came, but not at the moments you’d expect. Not when Annie sings at the beginning, “Won’t you please come get your baby.” Or when Daddy Warbucks sends her off with “them bad people.” Or when Grace asks Daddy Warbucks if they can adopt Annie.

No, I cried when the camera pans down from an ornate golden ceiling, over three gleaming balconies buzzing with maids and butlers, and onto Annie’s stunned face as she takes in the exquisite mansion. Something about the beauty and Annie’s sweet surprise gripped me and brought tears to my little eyes.

Equally as memorable is my Rudy movie cry, which also took place in the cool darkness of a local theater. Though neither a football nor a Notre Dame fan, I became so completely invested in Rudy’s quest that when he ran onto the field, unbidden tears cascaded down my face. Something about his determination and belief moved me.

For the remaining moments of the movie, my quiet cry morphed into a full-fledged sob in which I hiccupped, gasped, and bawled without control. When I tried to stop, I broke into unstoppable laughter. They say crying and laughing are the two closest related emotions: indeed, they are. Even as my mom and I exited the theater, tears streaked my cheeks as I giggled and blubbered.

I knew I would cry the other night when Jason and I watched Cast Away. I’ve seen the movie before, but am always pierced by the ways loss mingles with hope and how that resonate with something in my core.

Movies ultimately say something about life and, while the circumstances may be different, the heart is the same. Beauty, defeat, kindness, failure, redemption; these are the marks of a powerful movie. They are the marks of a real life. And sometimes both call for tears.

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