I cry at odd movies, at scenes most other people don’t find so traumatic. But anything having to do with fathers and sons or divorce or unexpected death . . . well, pass the kleenex, please.
5. Walk The Line. In this biopic of Johnny Cash there is a scene in which despite the level Johnny’s accomplishments and fame, his father responds with contempt and not approval. The ache in Joaquin Phoenix’s face turned on my tears, in large part because I never had to go through anything like that from my dad.
4. Lion King. Who with a heart didn’t cry when Mufasa died and Simba gets told to “run away and never come back”?
3. The Iron Lady. Hardly a tear jerker. Except when you see the influence of Margaret Thatcher’s father on her later life and then see the ravages of Alzheimer’s on her later, later life.
2. Field Of Dreams. I confess: when I first saw this movie in 1989, I thought it majored in baseball and minored in eternal life. Then I became a father — twice — and saw it again in 2006. All of sudden, I realized it was about fatherhood. The closing scene is hard to beat.
1. Hope Floats. My parents were married 69 years. Julie and I just celebrated out 35th. So divorce has never hit me intimately or personally. But I still can’t make it through this scene, complete with dad’s infinite capacity for self-justification and daughter’s infinite capacity for pain.