Five unexpected movies I'm not ashamed to say "made me cry."
I think we forget the importance of how a movie makes us feel during the process of analysis.
The caliber of a film is initiated not only by visual intrigue, technical talents, acting believability, twists, wit, inspiring story or the director's ability to communicate with the audience, but also the understated gut reaction. We say a movie is amazing and a must-see, but after a couple of weeks and everyone... everyone is talking about how much they loved or hated it, the personal experience you feel with a movie is cheapened. In order to keep your passion for the film, you must come up with reasons why you initially loved it. If you can't come to a conclusion, the emotions the movie made you feel get lost. Despite this, we each have our own personal reasons for why we relate to a film. There is usually an intimate pattern that can be traced apart from technical gifts in a movie. Sometimes they are on a surface level, such as loving anything that comes out of your home state. Other times its on a deeper level, like a fear or past experience.
There are only five movies/TV shows where I've cried.
#1 I Am Sam: the story of a mentally challenged man fighting for custody of his intelligent 8 year old daughter.
#2 Lilo and Stitch: a Disney cartoon about a destructive alien created in a lab who crashes on earth and is incidentally adopted by a young girl as her pet.
#3 Pieces of April: a rebellious daughter trying to make amends with her faithless family by making them Thanksgiving dinner in her run down apartment.
#4 Waiting for Superman: a documentary about children in poor education systems depending on lotteries to get into esteemed Jr. High and High Schools.
#5 The X Factor: a reality singing competition TV show with no age limit for the contestants.
Sound like an odd collection of movies/tv shows to cry at? The thing those moments all have in common is futility.
#1 I Am Sam
#2 Lilo and Stitch
#3 Pieces of April
#4 Waiting For Superman
#5 X Factor
The part I teared up happened at the end of "boot camp." Yes, he made it through the initial audition process, but now the judges filter the contestants in the "Over 30s age" group again slimming the number from the hundreds to only fifteen. If he got through, this would be his chance to be mentored by one of the four industry judges in their personal homes. We're reminded of his trials. As they announce the last few names of the people who made it in the 30 year old or older group, their eyes are a mix of futility, last hope, and acceptance. They try to keep cool and as the camera zooms into each, only their eyes read. The judges take their time to say the last name. Dexter's eyes are furrowed, trying to look tough and indifferent. They announce it... "Dexter Haygood!" His legs collapse and he falls onto someone else's shoulder. His face breaks down with uncontrollable crying. Paula Abdul walks right up to him. The moment she wraps her arms around him they start bawling together. He made it.
Anyone can tell me that these movies or tv shows are dumb, okay, or simply disappointing, but no matter what I have to give the directors and producers some credit: For at least one solid moment, they got me.