I stumbled across an article that made me giggle. I thought, yep — I bawled like a fool at that movie. And it got me to thinking…you know, I bawl at some point at just about every movie I’ve ever seen. Empathy Overdrive.
Why do I do this to myself? It’s like I can’t help it. I spent most of Water for Elephants in boo-hoo mode. And you should have seen me during the cloying, sappy The Notebook. I couldn’t breathe through my nose for an hour. And Sophie’s Choice — I don’t even want to talk about it. Cripes — you name the movie and I cried at it. (Well, except maybe The Hangover.)
Even the old classics — The Wizard of Oz, It’s a Wonderful Life — are weepworthy for me. Why do I do this?
I once asked the Thriller (who never cries at anything) how he and I can be watching the same film, and I’ve got the box of Kleenex on my lap while he sits there munching on popcorn, totally oblivious to all the harrowing emotion onscreen. His response was, “It’s not that it doesn’t make me sad, but it’s all just a made-up story.” I realized then that some of us internalize a story, and some of us watch it as a disinterested (not to be confused with uninterested) bystander.
This was brought to bear in a conversation I recently had with the students in my vocal jazz ensemble. One of the boys made the comment, “I get so involved in the [in this case, horror] story, I can’t take it.” I totally agreed. The slash-and-gore isn’t happening to the girl on the screen; it’s happening to me. I guess that’s why I can’t watch most horror films. I totally flip my poop. Same with a sad movie: I’m right there with the people going through it. I remember seeing Ghost in the theater…oh dear, what a mistake.
And it doesn’t stop at movies. I can’t read this without dissolving into weeping foolery. I cry at commercials (remember the Folger’s Coffee ones about soldiers coming home at Christmas? And I can’t even get through the opening frame of this, Lawd). But movies get me the most, because I crawl so far into the story, it’s impossible to extricate myself when things get hairy. I can’t watch Cars with my grandsons without losing it during the scene where James Taylor sings “Our Town,” and I’ve seen that movie a hundred times. I’m bawling right now, having researched and played the link. No one seems to need us like they did before…Oy…
OK, so what’s your take on this? Where do you sit on the Weep Scale? I’m off the charts, ferdangsure. What are the saddest movies you’ve ever seen? I’ll bet I could say “Oh yeah!” to more than one of them.
Off to get ready for…sniffy…school.