This week, I invited a group of friends out for the evening. And everyone left in tears.
Sound like a disaster? Far from it.
We all went to the cinema to see Thea Sharrock’s Me Before You. Most of us had brought packs of tissues because we had either read the best-selling source novel by Jojo Moyes (who also wrote the film’s screenplay) or had heard that this film was pretty darn emotional.
Why did we go to the movies knowing that we would get upset? Well, because a good old fashioned tear-jerker can be surprisingly cathartic.
Just as a horror film allows us to feel scared in a safe environment, a weepy movie allows us to get sad, take a deep breath and move on - often, thanks to the emotional release, feeling surprisingly uplifted.
Watching Me Before You made me think about the more emotional films that I have watched since starting my 500 Days Of Film challenge. As as result, I have made a list of my top ten tear-jerkers.
My Top 10 Favourite Weepies
10. Dear Zachary
Documentary, Dear Zachary, moved me to tears within minutes. The film starts out as one man’s tribute to his murdered best friend. It then, tragically, becomes so much more.
9. A Simple Life
I just love this moving story. Set in Hong Kong, A Simple Life is about an elderly maid and her relationship with the grown up son of the family that she has served for years. When she suffers a stroke, it becomes his turn to take care of her. It is a beautiful tale.
8. The Notebook
Nicholas Sparks certainly has a penchant for emotionally charged stories. While the adaption of his novel, A Walk To Remember, is surprisingly moving, The Notebook wins hands down in the weepy stakes. Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams tell an epic and moving love story, but it's the scenes with James Garner and Gena Rowlands that get me every time.
I didn’t realise how far this true story (about a London-based lesbian and gay group who decided to raise money to support a mining community in Wales) had reeled me in until the end… when I was in floods of tears. Honestly, if you haven’t seen this film do watch it because it is just brilliant.
6. Toy Story 3
I am no fan of 3D, but boy was I glad of those glasses when I saw Toy Story 3 at the cinema. This film completely wrecked me and I still well up when I think of that moment when Andy hands his toys over to Bonnie. Sniff…
The first of two entries from 2015, Room is one emotional ride. While this film (about a kidnapped mother and her son) is undeniably tough and always makes me cry, I feel genuinely uplifted by the end.
4. Inside Out
My favourite film of 2015, this is yet another devastatingly emotional film from Pixar. Take her to the moon for me… oh my goodness people, what are you trying to do to us?
A list of cinematic tear-jerkers just wouldn’t be complete without Beaches now would it? I love this film (starring Bette Middler and Barbara Hershey) about the story of two lifelong friends and, while it makes me sob, I always feel better afterwards.
2. Steel Magnolias
Steel Magnolias is a film that I absolutely love. Not a month goes by when I don’t pop this film on and enjoy those wonderful Southern women. The first half of this movie makes me laugh all the way through. The script is just wonderful. However, the second half leaves me in floods – particularly Sally Field’s speech at the end. Oh no, here I go again…
I remember seeing Steven Spielberg's 1982 sci fi classic at the cinema and loving it - despite being pretty scared of ET himself. However, over the intervening years, my reaction to this film has changed. I still love it but I now start crying about five minutes in and, well, then I can't seem to stop. This does make watching ET a rather painful process. Frustrating because I love this movie so much and yet, unless I am on my own and have a pair of dark glasses to hand, I don’t dare watch it. Personally, I blame John Williams.
Well That Was Emotional...
Oh my goodness, just writing that list was emotional!
There were, of course, so many more films that could easily have made this list. For example, who can keep a dry eye when watching Tom Hanks in Philadelphia or Michael Haneke’s devastating Amour?
I also cry (of course) when watching It’s A Wonderful Life and at the end of one of my all time favourite films, When Harry Met Sally.
Meanwhile, I recently watched Bridge To Terabithia and The Bridges Of Madison County and completely fell apart at both.
Now it is over to you - are any of your favourite tear-jerkers on my list?
If not, what weepy movies do you love?
Do let me know in the box below!