I’ve always done my best to not cry during movies. I don’t really have a heart, it’s more of a cold chest cavity where my heart once was. Though there are times when a film’s soundtrack can hit you right in the feel-goods (get your mind out of the gutter) and you are swept up in the emotion of it all. This happened to me as I was watching The Impossible. I got so caught up in the story of a family trying to find each other after the Tsunami, that I had to intentionally hold back my man tears.
I took a poll of FB friends and came up with several great honorable mentions. This list is comprised of Old Yeller, Marley and Me, Warrior, Saving Private Ryan, Les Miserables and strangely Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Please feel free to add any movies that were missed in the comments below.
Here are the top 5 movies where it’s okay for a man to cry.
5 – Big Fish
It seems that men sob more freely in stories about fathers and sons. Big Fish is a fun and vibrant movie, but there is always sadness underneath. Will Bloom (Billy Crudup) has been exposed to his father’s outrageous stories throughout his life and wants nothing to do with him anymore. At the end, Will sits by his father’s bedside, after he suffered a stroke, and has to finish his dad’s story. At his dad’s funeral, he meets the people behind the legends and realizes the truth behind his dad’s stories. Sappy, yet effective.
4 – Field of Dreams
Though this movie hardly centers a team or particular player, it is one of the most memorable sports movies out there. Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) forgoes common sense and plows his crops to build a baseball diamond. He encounters several legends, but no moment hits you in the heart like when he sees his dad as a young man. They chat about the field and talk about heaven, but the music and emotions really come to a head when Ray asks his father, “Hey Dad…you wanna have a catch?” No man should be blamed for losing control of their eye ducts at this point. I’m pretty sure that crying at this moment is a rite of passage for every guy.
3 – The Patriot
By putting The Patriot at number 3, I’m really including Braveheart and Gladiator as well. Both of those movies gut-punch you right at the end with overwhelmingly emotional moments, but neither were as tragic as The Patriot. Even as Benjamin Martin tries to avoid the inevitable Revolutionary War, his entire family is affected. Let’s just put it this way, if you like a character, they’ll probably die. But it wasn’t even the barrage of death that made me sob like a baby. It was the moment when Martin was going back to war and was saying goodbye to his family. His young daughter, who hasn’t spoken to her father since her mother’s death, runs to him crying and telling him not to go. I am a pansy because I lost it.
2 – Life is Beautiful
I often hear, “You didn’t cry in this movie? You don’t have a heart.” Life is Beautiful is one of those movies that if you didn’t feel anything, then you don’t have a soul. It’s almost a given for every Holocaust movie to be on a sad movie list, but I had to pick one. This one affects me because it was very funny, inspiring and then heart breaking. This entire movie tugs at your heart strings, especially as Guido (Roberto Benigni) puts on a brave face and tries to convince his young son that the horrific concentration camp is anything but. Even though Benigni has gone nowhere in Hollywood, he deserved the Oscar for his role here.
1 – The Neverending Story
How could I not include this one? This is the first movie to make me cry. I was probably 7 years old when I first saw Atreyu lead his horse, Artax, through the Swamps of Sadness. Their long journey was too much for Artax and he started sinking. I still get chills when I see Atreyu try to convince Artax to keep moving and then start to panic as the horse sinks lower and lower. Oh man, even writing this, I’m getting sad. Sure it’s a giant plot-hole that Atreyu didn’t sink in the Swamps of SADNESS right after his horse drowned, but I love that movie so much that I’m willing to forgive it.
Now if you’ll excuse me I have something manly in my eye….