Cry, Baby
  • images
  • 8:29 pm
  • images
  • 5 Comments.

Cry, Baby

or: Why I Cry at Terrible Movies

The number one sign that I may be a bit emotionally withheld is that I cry at movies. Not just at legitimate movies that merit crying at, like The Lion King or Beasts of the Southern Wild. No, I cry at those movies AND terrible movies which have no redeeming qualities whatsoever, including their poorly staged cathartic moments towards the end which are meant to elicit an emotional reaction despite having been poorly executed. But damned if it doesn’t work. I don’t mean it works in that it redeems the movie or that it is well executed. I mean it works in that it makes a moronic lump well up in my throat even as I curse the stupidity of the entire affair.

Here’s a recent embarrassing example: I almost cried at the end of The Internship, a terrible Google propaganda comedy film, where a plucky underdog team stages an unlikely win over a “meanie team” through the power of teamwork and dumb luck. It was an offensive movie and an offensive ending to any thinking person including myself… but damned if I didn’t have to take a few deep breaths to hold the tears back during their idiotic undeserved victory scene, hating myself the whole time.

In addition to obvious tearjerkers like Steel Magnolias and the like, I’ve cried at action space porn movies like Armageddon, crappy mindless action movies like White House Down, and hideous comedy movies like Grown Ups 2 (why was I even watching that!?!?). Seriously, I have a real problem. You cue the sappy, heroic, or triumphant music and I’m pretty much done.

sandler

(Not even Adam Sandler watched Grown Ups 2)

The thing is, I very rarely cry outside of watching movies. I mean, as an adult I’ve had a few moments when dealing with close family or friends, but even those are few and far between. With movies though, it’s all the damn time. I do tend to be fairly stoic in my daily life (this is probably a combination of my personal upbringing and the stories that we as a culture tell about masculinity which have a nonconsensual influence on my actions), but not so much as to merit this kind of psychological and physiological backlash. What I mean is that I don’t feel that I’m overly emotionally stifled… but all the evidence is pointing in another direction.

But the more I think about it, among the films and scenes that elicit this annoying reaction, a common thread appears. It’s sincerity. Even the characters in terrible movies feign (poorly) sincerity, and I guess the intention means as much as the action to my primitive brain. And now that I think about it, even my own sincerity causes me to lose it! Thinking back over the last few times I’ve cried (aside from movie watching), it was because I was being unusually open and honest. How weirdly self-centered is that!?

So yeah, sincerity seriously cranks up the old waterworks. Maybe that’s because I feel it’s encountered so infrequently in daily life. Very rarely do people feel comfortable enough to say the things that really matter – to really communicate instead of just talking. Even among friends, it is rare to have the conversations that really mean something: The “I love you” conversations; the “I’m terrified” conversations; the “you complete me” conversations.

So maybe seeing those things in movies is what gets me; maybe they’re things I want for my own life, or even things I just desperately want to believe in. You know like love, and happy endings and such.

nothing-ends

I think what it really comes down to is simple. Tyler Durden’s alter ego put it best in Fight Club: “Strangers with that kind of honesty make me go a big rubbery one.” And let’s just leave it at that.

bitch tits

5 Comments

movematt
movematt

October 31, 2013 8:32 am Reply

Ugh, I wish this wasn’t true. At the end of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, when the super stoic father finally opened up to his crackpot son about how proud he was…no man has proper defenses for that. I’ve never really thought about it against the backdrop of how often I have one of those conversations for real, but you are absolutely right. Sincerity is powerful stuff.

AinB

November 8, 2013 5:41 pm Reply

Please do not ever get the Hallmark channel. Awful, awful movies and tears every time. AND THEN just for fun, they show extra long, extra sappy commercials in between. Tear central. If you ever get tired of holding it in and need some prompting to get it all out —> Hallmark 🙂

MythosBK
MythosBK

November 14, 2013 6:36 am Reply

Haha! Great post! I think you hit the target with your insight. “Earnestness” and genuine unabashed outpouring of honest emotion are what get me too. My particular vice has always been animated movies, since they are usually drawn to most pitiful perfection creating the perfect faucet foundation – cue music, cue waterworks.

MythosBK
MythosBK

November 14, 2013 6:37 am Reply

…also.. great Spidey 3 pic…. incidentally a movie I felt no emotion watching. #stonecold.

Joan john

February 28, 2015 11:14 am Reply

Bess, karma & I were absolutely intoxicated by your impressions. It’s a great way for me to get to know u better. Thank you, my son , Continue!!!!!!!!

Leave a Comment