It’s no secret that The Fault in Our Stars by John Green is one of my favorite books. Like, of all time. And that’s saying something because I read a lot of books.
To put it simply, The Fault in Our Stars” is a work that defies its genre in all the best ways possible. The silly boycrushes and superficial gossip that most writers think makes up 99% of high school steps aside for a beautiful, honest, heartrending story of life, death, and love. Hazel and Augustus are two of the most fleshed-out characters, particularly teenagers, that I have ever read. Their story is a joy and a privilege to read. Furthermore, their love is more real than anything else you will ever find on the Young Adult, or any shelf really.
*Note- Read it alone if you can. People give you weird looks when you aren’t sure if you’re laughing or crying.
You can imagine my excitement/apprehension then when I found out that they were making it into a feature film. Movies almost NEVER do any book justice; I mean, how can they? There is just something about the way you picture the characters and plot in your head, using your own imagination and creativity based upon the words, phrases, and dialogue you pull from a book. It’s a feat that not even Hollywood can replicate on the big screen– special effects, 3-D and digital surround sound and all.
That being said however, I am SOOOOO flipping excited to go see this movie when it opens on Friday!!!!
Excited, and at the same time a little bit scared.
Not scared of the movie, but what the movie will do to me.
You see, I cried, blubbered, broke down in complete sobs multiple occasions while reading the book. In fact, I had to stop in some parts just to get up and get more Kleenex. I would also like to take this opportunity to apologize the Cartersville Public Library for any apparent water damage to your book (something must have been wrong with my plumbing because my eyes were leaking something fierce!) If reading the book did that to me, I don’t even want to know what watching it play out on the big screen will do. And the music! They always play up the saddest parts of the story with songs that break your heart.
I’m in trouble.
In order to prepare myself for The Fault on Friday (aka Tear-Fest 2014), I am planning to fully exercise my tear ducts. You know, kind of like how professional eaters gorge themselves on a bajillion hot dogs and extra-large pizzas before an eating competition? I’m physically preparing my body for Niagra Falls by watching ten of the saddest movies in the history of ever.
I had a hard time choosing just ten because let’s face it, I am a crier. Happy movies, sad movies, romantic movies. I am an equal-opportunity weeper. I know I am leaving off a large chunk of cinematic history here (Bambi, Steel Magnolias, Titanic, My Girl, Meet Joe Black. Forrest Gump and The Notebook, I’m talking to you), so please feel free to let me know in the comments which movies made you cry like a baby into your bowl of Rocky Road.
“Armageddon” has me in tears every single damn time. It’s really not hard to understand. Spoiler alert: Harry (Bruce Willis) sacrifices himself to save mankind by detonating a bomb on the asteroid that is spiraling toward Earth. Mostly, though, he does it so his daughter, Grace (Liv Tyler), can have shot at a life with A.J. (Ben Affleck). I repeat, he sacrifices himself so his daughter can be with the man she loves. There’s a whole backstory about how he initially disapproves of the relationship, which makes everything even more emotional. Just try not to cry during the goodbye scene, when Harry tells Grace he won’t be coming home. HEART. BREAKING.
Rudy’s” effect on me is Pavlovian. (The score alone can bring forth the waterworks.) The ultimate underdog story of the last 25 years, “Rudy” stars Sean Astin (“Goonies” really do never say die) as Rudy, a diminutive good guy whose told by everyone, including his own family, to forget his lifelong dream: playing football for Notre Dame. (He’s five-foot-nothing, a hundred-and-nothing, after all.) Long story short (pun), everyone is wrong, and thanks to a bunch of twists of fate, Rudy finally reaches his goal during the final game of his senior year. Just typing this is making me tear up. HIS DAD IS SO PROUD LOOK AT HIS BROTHER “WHO’S THE WILD MAN NOW?”
To be honest, I haven’t watched the movie in years because I’m afraid of the waterworks that will flow when Jena Malone rejects cool-photographer-stepmom (Julia Roberts) in favor of dying-of-cancer-real-mom (Susan Sarandon). Released in 1998, this movie was prime Julia and Susan years, when sentimentality ruled and Ed Harris was hunky. But when the kids have to say goodbye to Susan’s character, and when she finally accepts/ forgives Julia’s character? I just can’t.
4. The Land Before Time
As a child, my cinematic intake revolved almost entirely around “The Land Before Time” series. While all 12 sequels are beautiful and necessary chapters of the history of dinosaurs, nothing strums my heartstrings quite like the original. The movie tees you up with the birth of Littlefoot — the sole offspring of a diminishing herd of “Longnecks” — a scene that will have you squirming with all the cute feelings. Then the “Sharptooth” comes in and ruins everything. As Littlefoot’s mom lies on the ground in the pouring rain, and tells her son with her dying breath, “I’ll be with you, even if you can’t see me,” all happiness in life ceases to exist. Between the five young protagonists’ ability to bridge the castes of their ancestors, Diana Ross’ “If We Hold on Together” and the magical BFF hilltop embrace at the end, this movie will always be on my crying marathon to watch list.
5. P.S. I Love You
“P.S I Love You” has another movie summary that may make you tear up without you even seeing the film. Holly Kennedy is beautiful, smart and married to the love of her life – a passionate, funny, and impetuous Irishman named Gerry. So when Gerry dies from a tragic illness, Holly is devastated. However, before he died, Gerry wrote Holly a series of letters that will help guide her, not only through her grief, but in rediscovering herself. What could possibly be more tear-jerking than having the handsome Gerard Butler die in the beginning of a movie and then being loving enough to want his wife to be happy and find love again? I’m tearing up already just remembering it!
You sit down to watch an uplifting animated little Pixar gem, and no later than the opening credits you’re bawling. The introductory montage of bright-eyed Carl and his adventurous wife, Ellie, as they go from painting their first mailbox to wrinkled, grey and saying goodbye to each other in a hospital room — with their dreams of adventure never being realized — is simply devastating. If you don’t shed a tear for the pair who never got to put their penny jar to good use with a visit to Paradise Falls, you’re not human.
7. Marley and Me
Anyone who has ever gone through their lives with a pet they truly love and then lost would find this incredibly sad. It’s amazing how our lives outside of our pets are brought into our pets lives. They see sadness in us (especially dogs), happiness, and everything in between and they are stays there until the end. It’s truly unbelievable. I have a yellow lab named Thunder who I love more than anything and watching this movie made me appreciate even more the time I get to spend with him. The first time I read the book which was the movie was based on, I called my mom, crying uncontrollably. She thought something serious had happened and when I told her it what it was, she laughed. That is until she saw the movie. All of the tears.
8. Field of Dreams
For me, the waterworks usually start during Terence Man’s speech; there’s something perfect about the combination of the gentle words and the lovely way James Earl Jones says them. But I really lose it at the very end, when Ray meets that young man who he would know all those difficult years later. There’s a reason why so many men have such a soft spot for Field of Dreams; the non-demonstrative father/son relationship is a near-universal truth, and the idea of that one last catch is as corny as it is true. Plus, that little catch in Kevin Costner’s voice when he poses the idea– “Hey dad, wanna have a catch?”
9. The Green Mile
I first saw this movie when I was 17, and I completely fell in love with it. In addition to its valuable message about the death penalty, it really got the emotions going. I cried when Del bonded with his mouse Mr. Jingles, I sobbed when I found out John Coffey was innocent and every electric chair scene slayed me. Unfortunately, I cried so much that I’ll absolutely never see “The Green Mile” again.
10. The Lion King
“Dad? Dad, come on, you gotta get up!” This one had me almost choking up as I watched the two minute clip in order to take that still frame. I’m pretty sure I cried for a week when I was eight and saw this originally, but it doesn’t really get any less tragic as you get older.
Like I said, I know I am leaving a ton off of my list…but girl can only go through so many boxes of tissues in a couple of days!
Wish me luck, my friends! And if you want, feel free to call me after you get done reading/watching The Fault in Our Stars this weekend. We can sob uncontrollably together.