Suzanne's Second Estate

A web log of my thoughts, activities, life....

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Odd Moments to Cry

Yesterday morning, I was watching Cheaper By the Dozen, starring Steve Martin as a college football coach and father of 12. There's a part in that movie that always makes me tear up. It's when he finds his son Mark on the train. Mark has run away because he feels like he doesn't belong in his large family. Steve Martin rushes on that train, spots his son, runs to him and kneels down and embraces him. That gets it started. Shortly after that the father makes a sacrifice for his family and you see his kids on the football field holding signs that read "We Love the Coach." They drop the signs and run to embrace their father. And I sniffle and wipe my eyes.

I used to never cry at movies — and it's still rare. Beaches broke me first (Who can withstand seeing a dying woman on the beach at sunset while Bette Midler belts "Wind Beneath My Wings"?) Then there's this part in Stepmom where late-stage cancer sufferer Susan Sarandon tells her children's stepmother, played by Julia Roberts, "I have their past, and you have their future." And for some reason, I always cry at the same spot in 13 Going on 30. A 13-turned-30 Jennifer Gardner returns to her childhood home and curls up in a closet. When her mom and dad come home, she jumps up, shouts "Daddy" and clings to her dad for dear life.

I think there is something to be discovered in the movie moments that call out emotion in us. When Steve Martin sees his son and runs to him and embraces him, I'm reminded of the Prodigal Son. Like Jennifer Gardner's character, I sometimes just long for Daddy to make everything better. And I identify with Susan Sarandon's painful acknowlegement that loss is inevitable and sometimes you have to let go of dreams and accept new ones.

What movies make you feel or think or cry? What spiritual themes do they reflect? Any of them surprise you?


At 9:56 PM, Blogger Stefanie said...

well, I would write too long if I were to tell you all the movies that make me cry. I will tell you the most surprising one of all, though-
The Nutty Professor. The one with Eddie Murphy, even! There is a part where he is at a comedy club and the comedian begins making fun of the audience members, and when he settles in on the Professor Klump for a little too long, I cry. I suppose I just really struggle with seeing someone get pleasure from someone else's hurt. Spiritual theme for that? Maybe also identifying with the need to be seen for more than what is on the outside...

But I can say it was quite embarrassing to cry at a movie intended to be nothing more than a comedy.
As far as sure-fire tear jerkers go, I am Sam, and a movie I saw recently, My Brother, and of course, The Notebook.

At 10:11 PM, Blogger Suzanne said...

And see, for whatever reason "The Notebook" didn't make me cry. Your example of "The Nutty Professor" is perfect! You have a tender heart, Stef. :)

At 8:29 AM, Blogger Becky said...

OK embarrassing confession: I cried in Free Willy. Yes, it's true. (I wasn't crying for the whale, however, but for the boy without a family. Does that make it better?) :)

Other movies that make me cry: A Walk to Remember, The Notebook, Stepmom.

And P.S. I Love You. I cried non-stop for an hour in that one.

At 9:48 AM, Blogger Suzanne said...

I think "Free Willy" got to me, too! It was filmed in Washington, you know. :)


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