I don’t know about you, but I LOVE books and movies that make me cry.
Smiles come easy, and I’ll chuckle at a well-placed pop-culture reference any day. Scares aren’t that hard either. Cue up the minor-key music, throw in some creepy camera work, and bingo. Add a jump scare, cheap as they are, and you’ve got me for sure.
But for a work of fiction to make you cry…that’s something else all together. That, I would argue, takes art. To make you cry, a work of fiction has to woo you first. It has to make you love the characters, or at least imagine yourself in their skins. You need to care about what happens to them and their world. Then it has to deliver its punch — the blow, the twist, the loss — in a way that makes you believe. It doesn’t need to be epic…in fact, attempts at epic often result in cheesiness galore. What it needs is to feel real, possible, and honest. On screen, that’s a magic combination of good script, good direction, and REALLY good acting. On the page, it’s everything…good pacing, good character building, believable dialog, and beautiful language. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does…WOW.
Here, for your reading and viewing pleasure, is a list of the books and movies that have made me cry.
- The Little Princess (1995 Alfonso Cuaron version)
- The Beach (2000 Russell Mulcahy version)
- Dead Like Me – Pilot Episode
- The Impossible (2012)
- Gladiator (2000)
- The Sixth Sense (1999)
- Odd Thomas (2014)
- Schindler’s List (1993)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II (2011)
- Up (2009)
- My Girl (1991)
- Beaches (1988)
- The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
- Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz
- The Unfortunates by Kim Liggett
- The Crow (Graphic Novel) James O’Barr
- Maus (Graphic Novel) by Art Spiegelman
- The Things they Left Behind (Short Story) by Stephen King
- The Bridge to Terebithia by Katherine Paterson
I’m sure I’ve missed some, and I’m sure there are many more to see and read, so I look forward to tearful times to come.