Sometimes a film just moves us in profound, revelatory ways. Example: the monumental classic, Bride Wars.
Here are eight embarrassing movies we’re kind of ashamed to admit made us cry.
The movie: Before Anne Hathaway cried her way to an Oscar, before Kate Hudson tap danced onto Glee, before Chris Pratt became the Internet’s next JLaw, 2009 brought us Bride Wars. A story of two childhood besties fighting over a wedding venue, this instant classic earned a coveted 10% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. As “Top Critic” Peter Rainer from the Christian Science Monitor put it, “Bride Wars makes Sex and the City seem like Jane Austen.”
The scene: After doing every horrid thing imaginable to ruin each other’s Big Day, the two life-long friends each wait outside their respective chapel as they prepare to walk down the aisle. And in one silent, shared glance, one teary, regretful smile, we know that they’ve finally realized that even though they’ve spent the past few months fighting and biting, when it comes down to it, they each only want the absolute best for their best friend.
How it went down: As I sat there in the darkened theater, I realized that it must be raining, because my face was wet, and I couldn’t possibly be crying during a Kate Hudson movie. It was like How to Lose Your Dignity in 10 Minutes. I blame Anne Hathaway’s baby-doe eyes.
But I think that what struck a chord in my obviously iron-deprived mental state was how true to life that one moment felt: that sense of longing for the connection you share with someone as children. Loving so easily in that unabashed, uninhibited way that children can love.
Because the thing about childhood friendships is that (like in Bride Wars) there kind of always is an alpha and a beta friend. There’s the one who always got to be the Pink Power Ranger, and the one who always ended up playing someone’s dog. And that’s why these friendships don’t usually last into adulthood. We grow up, and we grow apart, and we want to be our own self-actualized people. And this movie somehow, in that one loving look that is exchanged between the two women, perfectly encapsulated the beauty and organic evolution of female friendships.
‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’
The following excerpt comes from a Hypable staffer who wishes to remain anonymous due to her humiliation. So for the sake of this article, we’ll just call her “Karen Rought.”
The movie: This is that film where anyone who has ever won a groundbreaking Oscar, been bestowed a knighthood, and/or hosted the Tony’s more than three times is forced to put on black spandex in order to rectify the disaster that was The Last Stand.
The scene: When we realize that The Last Stand at last no longer stands.
How it went down (in “Karen Rought’s” own words): “Most people cry during sappy romance movies. I cry during action films. There’s just something about those intense explosions and those unstoppable fight sequences that takes me higher and higher, right until the point that the world is saved, the girl gets the guy, and everyone goes home happy. I didn’t cry during The Fault in Our Stars, but I spent the last half hour of X-Men: Days of Future Past in tears. And the thing is, I knew it was coming, deep in my bones. I knew that the end of the film would reveal exactly what we all wanted it to show: a happy ending. But when Wolverine turns the corner and sees a bright future in front of him, I knew I was a goner. And when he looked up and saw Jean, I lost it. There were tears. There was shaking. There was even some hyperventilating, just for good measure. And there were definitely glances exchanged between my friends, as if to say, ‘Who brought her here?’ and ‘Doesn’t she know you’re not supposed to cry during action movies?’ Well, no one told me that.”
‘Alice in Wonderland’
The scene: After defeating the Jabberwocky, Anne Hathaway gives Alice a potion so she can click her heels and go home again, and just as she is about to take it… Johnny Depp, with his big, beautifully demonic eyes asks her to stay. BUT SHE CAN’T, she says with a smile. She’s got things to do. Questions to answer. So she goes home, kicks her fiance to the curb and boldly begins her trading empire.
How it went down: I was a sophomore in college when I dragged my friend (who for the purposes of this narrative we’ll call “Celery Jones”) to go see Alice in Wonderland LIVE IN 3D AND IMAX. Earlier that day, I had read an interview where Gene Simmons was asked what he wanted in life for his daughter, Sophie. He said that his goal for her was simple: that she would never need to define herself by a man. He said that society had conditioned women to believe that they couldn’t be fulfilled in life until they found that perfect prince that would complete them. He wanted his daughter to never live her life by what the hypothetical “he” wanted, but instead, by what she wanted.
So later that day, Celery Jones and I went to to the epic LIVE IN 3D AND IMAX screening. And when Alice turned down the Mad Hatter and instead sailed off into the great unknown like she was mofo-ing Indiana Jones and the world appreciated her brains and her beauty and her enterprising spirit, I was grateful for those absurdly large, fogged up 3D glasses that hid my silent, streaming tears. Because I realized that for a minute there, I actually thought that in the absence of a more suitable alternative, this movie was going to hook up this teenage girl with a middle-aged lunatic clown, because I had been conditioned to believe that a heroine can’t succeed in the story until she finds love with a man. GENE SIMMONS WAS RIGHT. The titular character found fulfillment within herself and I was surprised. America, what are we doing to our girls?
“These glasses are giving me a headache,” Celery said when the movie ended. I could only nod, as I was still recovering from my very real state of lost and regained muchness. “Ummm… are you okay?” she asked. No Celery Jones, I am not okay. Did we not just watch the same movie? I have had a very personal come-to-Jesus revelation and all of my Disney Princess fantasies have just been shattered. We should go out and embrace the world and our part in it. WE ARE ALL BEAUTIFUL BUTTERFLIES. Go achieve your dreams, dammit.
‘A.I. Artificial Intelligence’
The movie: Back when Haley Joel Osment was relevant, he was a robot with a soul and had an animatronic teddy bear.
The scene: Humanity has died out so aliens dig Haley Joel Osment out of the ocean and stick him in a room to play with his teddy bear so they can study human nature.
How it went down: Flashback to 2002, and my family’s having a movie-night watching A.I. Artificial Intelligence on a warm summer evening. Those aliens dig that robot kid out of the water, and we’re forced to realize that everyone he has ever loved is like, totally dead forever, and the credits roll and everyone’s just sitting there in the living room in silence. Tears are flowing down my face. My mother leaves the room to find some tissues. My dad coughs.
And then my nine-year-old brother (who for the sake of his anonymity we’ll refer to as “Taco,”) lets out a loud gasp and starts SOBBING. I mean this kid is choking on his tears. He’s hyperventilating on the floor and it’s like HE CAN’T BREATHE. The teddy bear and robot-Haley: IT’S ALL TOO MUCH.
For a minute, we all sit there flabbergasted. Like, what we supposed to say? Hey Taco, I’m sorry this kid who is approximately your age now has to live as an alien experiment until eventually, after a few more millenia, his batteries give out? By now my brother has crawled into a fetal position on the living room floor, letting out occasional Shakespearean gasps of, “But why?! BUT WHYYYYYY??!!!!!!” My mother finally goes over to try and calm him down, but her soothing words of, “IT’S JUST A MOVIE, TACO” make little difference as Taco spreads his arms out to the sky in anguish.
My dad starts laughing. By now, my five year-old sister, who wasn’t even watching the movie, is also sobbing. As an indignant 11-year-old I cry out, “You just want attention, Taco! I think it’s sad too! Look at me! I’m crying! This is just like that time you burned your hand on the furnace!”