April 4, 2014

movies that destroy your makeup

We all have them. A handful (or maybe even a truck-load) of movies that no matter how many times you watch them, will totally rip you apart and make you cry. 

Now, I'm a crier by nature. I get a little misty of there's a particularly emotional commercial on the TV or if I read a story that touches me. But then there's the movies that bring out the big tears. You know what I'm talking about -- the ugly ones that send you running to the mirror to check the damage.

I've been sitting on this list since winter break when I binge-watched a bunch of movies -- old favorites and new. I was... inspired to blog about it, I suppose, to see if I'm alone in this insanity. I figured it was about time I got around to sharing it. So here you go. My top contenders for movies that destroy my makeup:

(WARNING: There are spoilers ahead! Proceed with caution.)

Love Actually

I don't know why, but this movie makes me cry. Not always the big, ugly cry, but tears all the same. It starts about 15 to 20 minutes before the ending. Something about Liam Neeson's and Colin Firth's story just gets me. I can't explain exactly what it is about each story, but they're beautiful to me. And then you get everyone hugging and kissing at the airport with the Beach Boys playing in the background.

This movie has affected me so deeply that now every time I hear "God Only Knows" -- a song I'd known and loved my whole life -- my eyes well up. Talk about Pavlovian conditioning.

Steel Magnolias

This movie gets me. Every. Single. Time. I know it's coming. But still, the moment I see Sally Field's face as she purposefully walks through the empty hospital corridor, I let out my first sob. And it only gets worse from there. I mean, this was a movie made to make us cry. Even one of my brothers says he was almost induced to tears with Julia Roberts' baby comes toddling down the steps into Sally's arms. Then there's Sally losing it at the grave site... oh my goodness, that part ruins me. It actually makes my chest hurt.

Out of every movie on this list, this is the one that makes me the ugliest crier. Trust me, I've gone and looked at myself in the mirror after watching this movie (don't judge me). I'm a heaving, hiccuping, near-hyperventilating mess until the Easter bunny hops on the back of a motorcycle and rides off-screen.

The Land Before Time

I don't even feel like I have to explain this one. If you've seen the movie, then you know how -- like Bambi -- it's sad from the moment Littlefoot's mama dies. Only... unlike Bambi, Littlefoot's mama mom makes a cameo later in the film to inspire him when he most needs it. I'm not saying you cry the whole time with this movie, but your heart is made of stone if you don't join me in getting verklempt.


The end of this movie is so sad. Based on the life of the Queen of Tejano, the finale of the movie is devastating to watch. The filmmakers did a good job of showing how horrifying and emotional Selena's death was without being too graphic and by paying tribute to the late singer's life.

This movie came out when I was in elementary school and brought to life actual events I had been too young to be aware of at the time. It's actually how I came to know Selena's music and appreciate her talent, which was so cruelly and unfairly cut short at such a young age. What a waste. I tear up whenever one of her songs pops up on the radio or on a playlist -- because they still do 20 years later -- or whenever I see her name mentioned in an article or on TV. It's a sad reminder of how one person's actions can ruin lives.


Four words: "You Must Love Me." I saw this movie for the first time at 11, and as soon as this song started playing, I was gutted. There's something about the desperation in Madonna's voice as she's reminding/pleading/hoping for her husband to love her through this dark and final chapter of her life that just... I can't even.

The Little Mermaid

OK. I'll admit, this one is a bit ridiculous. This has been one of my favorite movies since I saw it back in '89 at the impressionable age of three, and I think that's part of why it gets me now. There's something so bittersweet about Ariel's father deciding to let her go to be with the man she loves, followed by the totally adorable wedding, which is capped off by a hug from her father who sends her off with a rainbow.

Now, I'm not saying I weep, but I definitely get choked up during that hug, when Ariel whispers, "I love you Daddy." And there's something about the finale music. Something about the oboe and trumpet combo that forces tears into my eyes (or at least tugs at my gut). Whenever it pops up in my playlist -- and yes, the final song "Happy Ending" is in my playlist -- my eyes either well up or I let out a dry sob once we make it to the climax.

Now that I've gone and ruined my makeup by reflecting on these movies, it's your turn to weigh-in: What movie brings you to tears?

Have the latest posts from Change the Word delivered to your Inbox by entering your contact information under "Follow by Email." Stay connected with Laura Chapman on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads. Receive updates from Change the Word between posts on Facebook.

1 comment:

  1. I just watched "Steel Magnolias" again this past weekend - it was so good to watch again!

    The scene at the end of "The Color Purple" when Celie is reunited with her children - oh my God, get the Kleenex. Love those reunion scenes.​