Cry Baby, CRY!!
I have a wide variety of movies that I like to watch over and over. I call them my “feel bad” movies. Not because they make me feel bad, but because I like to watch them when I feel bad. Invariably after watching them, I feel better. So I’ve watched these DVDs dozens and dozens of times over, never tiring of their stories.
But I realized the other night, while putting one in, that they have something in common. They all make me cry. Funny about that, since I watch them to make me feel better. And yet, that is the one element they all share. I suppose there is an aspect of catharsis to it. When I feel bad, I have a good movie-induced cry and all is well.
However, I think part of it is also that I like to be emotionally touched by a story, especially one that ends well. I like for things to be so bad that when I get to the happy ending, that I can’t help but well up with tears of joy. Or during the struggle, cry with frustration and sadness for my main characters.
I hope that I put some of that same idea into my own stories. I write dark, historical and erotic historical romances. I like dialogue and emotion. There was never any better compliment for me than when I got emails after SCANDALOUS (October 2005) came out, telling me that it had made readers cry. I’ve been obsessed with doing the same ever since. I think I might accomplish it in my next book, LESSONS FROM A COURTESAN (July 2008), which returns to my darker roots after the slightly lighter stories in the Lady Spies series.
So which movies are my “feel bad” movies? The ones that make me cry and I watch them over and over?
Sense and Sensibility (1995) – The end when Elinor realizes that Edward is not married is one of the funniest and sweetest movie moments ever. I cry EVERY time. And every time I wonder if Marianne will be okay and if Elinor will be happy and Edward will escape the clutches of Miss Lucy Steele.
Return to Me (2000) – In this wonderful movie, David Duchovny’s wife dies in the first fifteen minutes of the movie. Fifteen minutes to show what a lovely person she was and how much he loved her. And by the time her heart stops (and is given to Minnie Driver, who later meets and falls in love with Duchovny without either of them knowing the truth), I was bawling like a little girl. The rest of the movie is sweet, light and utterly romantic. If you haven’t seen it, you must!
Finding Nemo (2003) – Seems funny that a woman over 30 would cry over a Disney movie and watch it regularly, but I think this is the last real Disney masterpiece. I love how Marlin grows as he looks for his boy and that Nemo starts to understand his abilities once he’s on his own. The parts where I cry? When Marlin thinks Nemo is dead and when Dorie says that he is home to her. It’s actually kind of… romantic in a fishy sort of way.
While You Were Sleeping (1995) – Okay, who doesn’t love this one. When Sandra Bullock saves her secret crush and he goes into a coma, it really isn’t her fault that there’s a misunderstanding about the fact that she’s his fiancé. And when his family all but adopts her lonely character, she just can’t find a way to tell the truth. Besides, she’s falling in love with his brother, Bill Pullman. I cry at the end starting from the point where she finally tells the truth until the credits roll. I love the idea of a woman who got caught up in a lie that wasn’t one she told on purpose and ends up having it all. I actually based my short story “A Woman Scorned” that is available for free at my website, on that same premise.
So those are my top four “Feel Bad” movies. What are yours? Do you have any movies or books you read to comfort yourself? Do you like ones that make you cry or laugh?
*Don’t forget to check Sunday’s post for details on how to win this week.