Bring the tissues and forget the man cards… here are 7 movies that made me cry.
Don’t judge me… well, okay, maybe judge me a little.
I’ve been writing a bit on the topic of movies lately. I dunno what it is, must just be a phase where I’m seeing more movies or thinking of more movies. Or maybe writing about movies isn’t as super involved as some of the other topics I’ve written about in the past. Either way, I think the cool thing about movies are they are an expression of a large group of people that appeal to many of the experiences we hold in common – making friends, finding our place, falling in love, losing our money, and even just the challenges of having a job.
And hey, this is a personal blog, right? Maybe I’m just enjoying sharing with my readers a bit more of who I am and what makes me tick. After all, I advertise this as a blog about a guy just like you, right? I always love getting to know the person behind the person who writes some of the stuff I love reading and following, so I guess it’s time to open up the dark secrets again.
Here’s the thing – I’m a grown man. I have a beard. I love fighting games, action movies, getting out into the mountains and lakes. All these things that are supposed to indicate testosterone is present. And yet there are movies that have shot through the harsh male exterior and hit the heart of a big softy. As one of my housemates puts it, “You’re an emotional man, Matt Clark”.
I dunno which is worse – the fact that I’m listing 7 of these movies, or the fact that there would be more than 7. You won’t find Mufasa’s death or Bambi losing his mother on here. To be honest, I didn’t actually register those moments as much as most people, and those two seem to be on every single person’s list who’s ever written on this topic before. Either way, here are 7 movies that made me cry.
And hopefully you get to know me a bit better than you did before.
And… spoilers 🙂.
Ah, The Holiday. You know, I never used to be a huge fan of this movie. My mum and brother absolutely loved it. Many a rewatch of this movie occurred in our house growing up… sometimes even on the same day.
As I got older, I started to appreciate this one. For one thing, the soundtrack is hot dang. Zimmer is just a boss of a composer, and the melodies for this movie are unreal. The film features so many moments that make you feel something, from the mistreatment of love strung along, to the moment where all excuses for not being together are removed.
But for me, the scene that gets me is when Amanda comes to visit Graham at his house. Suspecting he might have a few women going at the same time, Amanda is surprised to find out the women Graham has been talking to are actually his two daughters, and that he is actually a widower. Amanda had previously shared with Graham about her troubled upbringing, and about how her parents divorce ruined “The Three Musketeers” – the bond that their family had shared. And in this scene where Amanda comes in to see the tent Graham and his girls have put together, Amanda finds out that the same closeness exists between Graham and his girls, and Graham opens up his weakness to her by gently holding her hand. Beautiful moment.
I gotta say, this movie really took me by surprise. If you’ve never heard of this movie, it’s because it’s a very recently released Australian film. Starring comedian Carl Barron, it follows the life of a comedian named Manny who is well loved and known for his contributions to others, but often finds himself alone and disconnected when he’s by himself. The tagline of the movie is “He connects to thousands but can’t connect to one”.
All of us feel at different points that sometimes we are known and seen for what we do, but that sometimes we aren’t always known or seen for who we are. Sometimes a lot of effort is made to discover someone’s function or talent, but sometimes the person behind the gift is not seen. This is a movie that just really gets it right, and it does so with a great soundtrack, and very real and touching themes of family, friends, regret, and love.
I’m gonna call it now – this is my new favourite Australia film. Yes, it beats out The Castle and Muriel’s Wedding. Yes, it is that good… or at least I thought so anyway.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
You knew I loved this movie, but I bet you didn’t know it actually got some tears out of me. It all happens in the ending scene. After Scott has battled the 7 evil exes (and himself) to win Ramona’s love, she leaves because she’s tired of people getting hurt because of her. She’s always been on the move to avoid her past, frustrated that she just seems to hurt people, and that it’s happened again with “the nicest guy she ever dated”. Scott runs after her anyway and asks where she’s going, and suggests that “maybe we could try again”. She finally opens up and stops running.
I guess this movie came at a season in my life where this situation looked pretty familiar to me. Even the most unlikely movies still contains moments that can really get you, especially if you watch them during a certain season of your life. This would be one of them for me. And that just got really real really fast, didn’t it?
We Bought A Zoo
You knew I loved this movie, too. This movie has two moments that really get me. The movie is all about a family coping with the loss of a wife and mother. In coming to terms with the challenges in their life and the emotional turmoil in their hearts, the father, Benjamin, shuts people and places out, and his eldest son, Dylan, lives in a very dark place emotionally.
I guess throughout my life I’ve known people close to me who have had similar struggles – not because of the death of a family member necessarily, but because of their own challenges and the darkness in their life. As a result, the moments that made me cry during this movie are when the light comes back in. First for Dylan – in dealing with his problems, he is constantly drawing dark imagery of the underworld, featuring decapitations and people who can’t speak. He doesn’t know how else to express his inner torment. And yet as the light slowly enters back into his life, his father goes through some of his drawings to find a happy drawing of one of the animals. The light has come back into his life.
And then the light comes back for Benjamin, when zoo-hand Kelly opens up about her feeling to him, and instead of shutting her out, he offers a sign that he’s found the freedom he’s needed to. “I look forward to New Year’s”.
And then that last scene, where the family goes back to the moment where Benjamin and his late wife met. In jovially recreating the scene, the whole family has a moment where they are actually able to physically interact with their mother again.
I freaking love We Bought A Zoo.
The Amazing Spiderman 2
Here’s maybe another surprise one. I was actually quite surprised with how moving this movie was for me. And no, not because of the ending – if you knew the cartoon or the comics, you knew what was going to happen.
The scene that got me as when Peter and Gwen finally catch up after they’ve been broken up for a while. Peter accidentally lets slip that he knows one of Gwen’s new favourite cafes, and because it’s a new venue, Gwen gets suspicious of how he knows. Peter reveals he just can’t stop caring for her.
The whole scene reminds me of a few conversations I’ve had in my life. I won’t say much more than that (sorry, maybe one day). But I guess I will add that it’s really amazing how well thought out a lot of the writing is for a lot of these movies. Reviewers slam them for being too teeny or nitpick certain words used, but I think that a lot of these movies are pretty spot on with how things often go.
I couldn’t believe how much I loved this movie. Hugh Jackman plays a down-on-his-luck father who’s had a history of bad decisions around his love life and his family life, and has also felt like a failure in his personal boxing career. Throughout the movie, he gets re-acquainted with an old friend/ex-lover (it’s not made entirely clear, just that there’s history there), and especially re-acquainted with his estranged son.
While the rebuilding of the father/son relationship is particularly memorable, the moment that absolutely blew me away at the movies is a moment where Hugh is using his real-life boxing skillset to help one of the robots win the final round. There’s an amazing moment where his close friend and his son see the fire and passion return to his eyes after years of hating himself, and they both share a profound moment where they see his joy restored. They look at each other, both fully aware of what’s gone on in his heart, and return to enjoying the fight. The broken dream was healed.
If you’ve seen the movie, you’ll know the scene I’m talking about. If you haven’t, I’d highly recommend it. You’ll know the moment when it happens.
Return of the King (Extended)
I’ve been pretty open with some of these, huh? It’s amazing when you actually think of the reasons why movies or anything else evoke an emotional response in your life.
But for this one, I tried writing it out, but I guess this one is just a bit too personal for me to put on the Internet. Sorry, boys and girls. But I will say that Return of the King (Extended) is probably my favourite movie with lots of profound moments, but one scene in particular involving a main character absolutely knocks me out every single time.
So… there you go. Some of you may be thinking that I’m an emotional wreck. Maybe so. Who can say? All I can say is that there are some moments in cinema that have really taken me back and touched a deeper issue in my life, and I thought it was time for another frank and honest post about what goes through my head and heart.
How about you? What are the movie moments that bring tears to your eyes?