Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I am getting soft in my old age

During my lunch break yesterday, I was scouting around the AV Club for something to read while I drank my protein shake. I came upon this. I skimmed the story and went straight to the comments because I knew what was coming: Jurassic Bark.

When you ask a geek like me, or my husband, the vast majority of my friends, (and consequently most of AV Club’s readers) what makes them cry, this is the answer. Yes, other things are sad: the montage at the beginning of Up, virtually all of Toy Story 2 and 3, The Last Samurai. And yes, other moments are full of triumph over adversity: Rudy finally gets to play football, Mr. Darcy proposes, E.T. and Elliot are silhouetted against the moon. Not to even get into those emotionally manipulative ASPCA commercials.

But for me, nothing is more likely to break my defenses than those 22 torturous minutes of Futurama. I can't even read about Jurassic Bark without getting misty.

The thing that the comment thread on AV Club got me thinking about was how, for me at least, animals are the key to a really great tearjerker. Shane is a sad movie, but turn Shane into a dog movie—i.e., Old Yeller—and I become a blubbering puddle of emotion. So here are my top cry-inducing TV and movie moments, Horse Edition:

Cisco's murder, Dances With Wolves 
As a youngster, I wasn't much of a crier. In fact, I was a complete tomboy. I was only 9 years old when Dances with Wolves came out, so the angst of adolescence was still a few years away. For me, this scene completely changed my understanding of "it's not fair" from playground tiffs to systematic genocide—all because of the senseless death of a single horse. 
I can’t embed this video, but why would you want to watch a horse die, anyway? 

Reunited with Joe Green, Black Beauty 
If you noticed me crying in my truck the other day, this is all you need to know: I own an audiobook version of Black Beauty. The moment I’m talking about is both heartbreaking and triumphant: All of Beauty’s suffering is about to end, but first his old friend has to recognize him. Here’s the scene in the 1994 movie version, which was pretty faithful to the spirit of the book, if not to the actual story (start at 7:00 or 7:30):

"He fixed us," Seabiscuit 
I have said before that Seabiscuit is one of the finest pieces of nonfiction I’ve read. The movie is almost as excellent, and the ending gets me every time.

Artax in the Swamp of Sadness, The Neverending Story
I'm sorry, I have to stop typing because I can't see through the tears.

Non-Horse-Movie Honorable Mention: 
The Fox and the Hound: "We'll always be friends forever, won't we?" "Yeah, forever."

So, what movie gets you every time?

1 comment:

  1. The Green Mile. That stupid movie made every single person in the room look like they just watched their puppy get hit by a car.