Look, I’m a sensitive guy. I probably cry more than most men, and I am not (a little) ashamed to put that in writing. But those are usually warranted and expected moments, ya know its coming and you just sort of let it happen-it’s the healthy shit.
But the worst cry is one you didn’t know you needed or one brought out by something unexpected. That shit smacks ya in the face you’re not even sure what part of your brain it triggered but it goes 0-to-Noahs Ark real quick.
Today, I’m shining a light on a few of these unexpected tearjerkers, and that’s movies that didn’t need to be that sad but they were.
We talked about this on the Pod) a while back, but I wanted to compile a more robust list of these flicks below in case you hadn’t seen them OR to help you see why I was a 24-year-old dude crying at Endgame in a theatre alone (haha I’m kidding…)
Without further ado, here is my list of “Top 5 Movies That Didn’t Need To Be That Sad But They Were”
PS THERE ARE OBVIOUSLY GOING TO BE SPOILERS
5.) Avengers: Endgame
Listen, I get it. This is a pretty niche movie to start the list off with given that you need 23 (i think) movies worth of context to have it hit as hard as it does, but it doesn’t mean I’m wrong. The whole MCU started so darn long ago with the redemption of Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, and it was right around that highschool age where you can start to grasp some adult-ish concepts, and then for the next 11 years I got to watch a story get told in total with so many cool characters and actors. Yeah, its based on comics-but- its about as close to a fleshed out story can get that isn’t written on paper. It was one of the first series that actually got me interested in film and character development even if it is really just a money grabbing steamroller for Disney.
Let’s get into why it’s so unexpectedly sad.
After 11 years, you know these characters and you honestly feel like you know the actors too. You’ve seen so much, and its probably because we as humans love to draw parallels to our own lives or project ourselves, but still 11 years breeds a fondness and so the fact that this is the end(game, boo) brings a bit of nostalgic sadness.
It just felt like this was the moment of me at 24 saying goodbye to my youth for real. No more movie nights with the boys in college, it was becoming slightly more offputting each year i’d attend a premiere alone, and also some of my favorite characters were just…done.
This is all coupled with the fact that Game of Thr*nes (I refuse to give them any credit for what they did to that show) absolutely massacred their ending, so we were desperate to feel some sort of legitimate closure on stories that didn’t involve “subverting expectations”.
Revisiting old locations, Scar-Jo dying, Cap getting his dance, Iron Man finally getting to rest, it just really brought out my overall inability to cope with finality in any sense right out of me.
Look, the more I read my own excerpt on this I realize it says alot more about me than it does the movies, but if someone told me I could only watch one set of movies/stories for the rest of eternity i’d pick Marvel. Fuck you DC.
4.) A Star is Born
I saw this movie for the first time with my mom, God damn that’s soft. Doesn’t matter, this sad, music-themed love flick is all glitz and glamor until it’s not. I’m not gay but if Bradley Cooper did that nose thing to me I’d probably swing for the other team just once.
The movie is so fuckin captivating. Bradley Cooper plays a dying-out star that decides to give his career’s last juice to a talent he can’t even fathom. He sees Ally (Lady Gaga) as such a transcendent talent and person that it gives his career (and life) new meaning.
You get straight goosebumps the first time shes on stage and the pride he shows when she’s hitting milestones, the first half of the movie are just *chefs kiss*.
But addiction (a constant theme in this movie) rears its ugly head halfway through the movie, and that’s really where the sadness starts. You watch alcohol and drugs turn this proud dude into a bitter, jealous, mess. You’re sad for him because you know its addiction, you’re sad for her because you know she feels loyal to him and wants to save him, and you feel sad in general because you get a general sense this isn’t going to end well.
Though some of the fame and arguments create some sad moments, the real gut punch comes just when you think everything is coming back together. Cooper’s character is out of rehab, things feel like we might get a happily ever.
The last 20 minutes hurt, and I mean HURT. Cooper’s character realizes he’s still an addict, and Gaga’s character is so stubbornly sure she can save him through music and that he’s better. But when he takes those pills and gets up on that stool in the garage and the doors closes-you know it’s about to be tearsville. Also-Bonus points to them for putting the dog crying outside the garage for real.
You’re just gutted at this point for the guy. Fought his way back just to give up, and you’re even more gutted for Gaga’s character because that guy changed her life.
I’m summarizing a bit, I know, but the scene between Jackson’s Brother and Ally, discussing how much music/art connected those two, and the absolute sadness in his brother’s eyes knowing he raised him and would have died for him, you’re tearing up.
The real one that had a lady 2 rows behind us sobbing comes in the final 3 minutes. Gaga’s character Ally is giving a tribute to her late husband and does so by singing a song that he wrote for her when he got back from rehab. It’s sad enough to hear her singing “I’ll never love again” (knowing this time he’s actually gone), but the asshole directors cut from Gaga to Cooper right as the final chorus hits, to see him singing it to her from his piano as she cries. I mean, gratuitous as hell, but shit it got me.
Anyways, maybe that movie was supposed to be sad, I didn’t know that going in and man did I pay the price. 10/10 sad as shit.
3.) Toy Story 3
Look Ma, you made it. A back-to-back appearance of movies I was in the theatre with my mom to see this. Toy Story 3, the long-awaited (and at the time) finale of the Toy Story Story released in 2013, the year I was graduating high school.
Toy Story 3 really revolves around the concept of growing up and growing out of things. The story focuses on Andy preparing for college and giving up the toys (minus a few) to be used at a day care. So right off the bat you’re sad that the little shit gave away the toys and you’re dealing with that loss, but then you start to realize where this movie is headed.
It’s the end of your youth, the end of a season of life. Andy’s mom has to come around to it, and even by the end Andy had to come around to it.
I mean, the scene with all the toys about to die in a blaze of glory had me choked up (also could you imagine if that’s how Pixar ended it? With the cremation of Buzz and Woody?). I think part of what made this movie so sad was that feeling that nothing was ever going to be the same after, but on top of that it was the time in our lives. Multiple family members about to be leaving for college, leaving behind the toys, parents, the goofyness. Shit was about to get real in the real world ya know?
Didn’t help that my Mom just sat by me crying about leaving for college. Nothing makes you consider community college more than realizing your parents are actually going to miss you.
Anyways, that final scene where Andy is giving away the toys to the little girl (look-I dont care what her name is I’m team Andy ride or die), and they play with the toys one last time-WOOF.
You know it’s what’s best but to just feel that separation and finality, it’ll make any 90’s kid shed a tear. (honorable mention was rugrats the movie in this spot-I mean how could they let that damn dog go through so fucking much with no appreciation. The damn thing had to sleep in the rain because of the baby and STILL fought a wolf to save the all those little shits. Unbelievable. I digress).
Toy Story 3 will hit in every nostalgic bone in your body. Are these happy tears? Are they sad? Is there such thing as both?
2.) Forrest Gump
“Is he…like me?” God. What a damn movie. I mean, sure, I see the criticism that its a two hour 60s-70s music video/shitty history lesson, but the core romance and pure character of Tom Hanks going spectrum for 2 hours is at LEAST going to make you tear up.
It’s supposed to be heart-warming and charming, and it is. But it also packs so much sadness about loss, expectations, addiction, character, its heavy dude.
Let’s just even look at some of the shit that makes you sad:
Forrest’s dad just straight up bails, Jenny’s dad is a pedo, and noone would let poor Forrest sit next to them on the bus, and that’s just the first 10 minutes!
You can tell from the jump Forrest is such a good kid/person, and that his Ameilia-Bedilia style literalness will cause some laughter-but there are equal parts sadness.
Take Bubba for example. I mean talk about kindred spirits, those two were ACTUALLY like peas and carrots (TEAM FUCK YOU JENNAY). Watching him have someone to go through Vietnam with was honestly comforting, because you know the rest of those cocksuckers-looking at you Tex-didn’t have his back.
But when Bubba dies and he’s so scared to go and Forrest can’t really comfort him and you hear the overtone “Bubba was my best good friend”. Fuck. I’m crying right now.
That alone makes you sad, but then let’s get to Lt. Dan, that dude’s a real jag-off until New Years. He goes from asshole Lt. to a good man in a matter of 2 minutes. Losing his legs made him into more of a man than anything, and seeing life from Forrest’s perspective of disability changed the game. When he defends Forrest to the two ladies in NYC, you feel just how sad Lt. Dan is, and it’s pretty sobering.
Side note: at the same time you are watching addiction tear Jenny apart and it’s pretty brutal (free bird during that scene was wild though).
Forrest’s mom passing was painful for sure, but we’re not gonna spend time there.
Instead, I want to digest the ultimate simp relationship that was Forrest for Jenny. Look, she’s a piece of shit, but it’s really not her fault given her upbringing, and she allows Forrest to be dragged on as her ultimate safety net and it really sucks (that’s for another blog when I get hammered sometime-can you tell I’m fun at parties?)
But when Jenny leaves Forrest after he declares his love for her, not to be seen again for years, you are heartbroken for Forrest. Not even the running cheered me up. Now the saddest last 2 parts.
“Is he….like me?” the conversation where you finally hear Forrest outwardly acknowledge his disability and hopes better for his son? Man. Tough.
Then they become a happy family together, but it’s ripped away as Jenny is sick, and you hear Forrest talking about how much he misses her and he’s talking to her from beyond the grave *big gulp to hold back tears*, that shit HURTED.
Poor Forrest. Dude just never had it easy but Tom Hanks gets a 10/10 underrated sad movie in my book.
Firmly in number one is Click. Now let me start with this, part of what makes this movie so sad is that Adam Sandler is NOT known for smacking you in the feels. He’s a bit of a fart-joke, 90’s stoner’s movie vibe. But he came out SWINGING in this mid-2000’s cry fest.
Full disclosure-I was in 6th grade at a drive-in movie with my family and my GIRLFRIEND (who was totally real)- when I saw this movie.
It starts off so innocently, dude’s just a little irritated with his lot in life and wants to get past the bullshit and hang on to the fun, and he meets Christopher Walken who endows him with a time-traveling remote-hilarity ensues. Slow-Mo Boobies, punching his boss in the face, lots of sexy time with his wife, and hey-even fast-forwarding through arguments with the ole’ ball and chain.
I mean, it was actually pretty damn funny. But the remote has a dark side, it begins to try to understand Sandler’s character and patterns. Fast-forwarding through stuff he thought he hated, avoiding the proverbial “journey” as some would say, and suddenly we’re on a crash course to a problem.
Time may be different for Sandler, but not his family. His nonpresence/avoidance lands him divorced, his sweet kids becoming monsters, and sure he’s the big boss but things don’t feel right.
When things start getting desperate and he’s trying to talk to his wife, things start to get intense and the remote senses an argument, sending him even further into his depressing future. You just start to feel so helpless for the guy. He’s fat, out of shape, and alone when the remote finally starts to cool it, and that to me was sad enough.
But then came the saddest moment I’d argue to say in any movie I’ve seen. I’m doing a terrible job of giving him backstory but his dad was a goof, loved magic, wanted nothing more than for his son to be happy.
At one point in this fucked up future thanks to the remote (Sandler is looking back at this), the dad visits Sandler in his office to try to speak some sense into him/spend some time with his son. He attempts to do a magic trick for him and Sandler all but cusses him out, breaking his dad’s heart as you see the “real” Sandler watching from the sidelines begging for it to stop.
“I’ll show you the quarter trick”. Fuck me up.
Want sadness? Watch the saddest fucking scene ever here.
I mean, as a kid who had a pretty tumultuous relationship with his dad, this scene all but crushed me and still could today.
Overall the movie is a great message about family and knowing what’s important and enjoying the journey and not complaining about it, but man, watching a dude’s life helplessly skip over the “hard” parts. Woof. I think if I rewatched it today I’d quit my job.
Let’s Wrap it up:
Give me some other suggestions in the comments below, berate my choices, I don’t care. These movies will make you sad I guarantee it so if you need a good cry-look no further.
Alright, off to watch the fuckin’ minions or something and cheer myself up…why did I do this.