Writer's Room: Scenes that turned us into blubbering wiener kids

Remember these kids? They saw The Odd Life of Timothy Green the other day, and it brought to the fore their youthful inability to comprehend the inevitability of mortality. It was HILARIOUS! (See also: The girl who cried at Star Wars). Generally speaking, we here at FilmDrunk almost never condone crying – there’s far too much of it these days. Are you a Chopped judge touched by a contestant’s story? Are you on a reality show and haven’t seen your kids in a whole three days? Are you John Boehner? Please, get a hold of yourself. If a hard (but fair) slap across the face doesn’t sober you up, we may have to have you committed like old mom. Nonetheless, it happens to everyone from time to time, and it got us to thinking: everyone has that one movie that turns them into the proverbial blubbering wiener kid. So I did a poll of Uproxx friends and family asking them, “Is there a movie that always kicks you right in the wang, or a movie from childhood that you can specifically remember being more than you could handle?”

Most people hate and ignore me, but I did get responses from Spencer Hall of EveryDayShouldBeSaturday, Justin Halpern of Sh*t My Dad Says/I Suck At Girls, Laremy Legel, and Uproxx’s own Cajun Boy, Burnsy, Josh Kurp, Mike “Christmas Ape” Tunison, and Danger Guerrero. As well as my own response, of course. Hopefully it’s good toilet reading. Just try not to cry on the toilet, co-workers hate that. Don’t ask me how I know. Oh God, my fissures!

Justin Halpern: The Land Before Time

The only time I’ve ever cried in a movie was when I was eight and saw The Land Before Time.  The first ten minutes of the movie are just a mom dinosaur and a son dinosaur hanging out and doing mother-son sh*t and I was ALL IN on that relationship. Then all of a sudden the f*cking earth opens up and the mom plummets to her death, then the earth closes up like it ate her. I burst in to one of those super hard little kid cries where my face was equal parts snot and tears, and all my breaths were super labored. Then when I thought sh*t couldn’t get any worse, my older brother grabbed my hand and stuck it under his ass and farted on it. Then I cried more.

Laremy Legel: Glory

When I was a kid my parents told me there was a federal law that mandated films had to have a happy ending. Even at six, I was skeptical, but they continued with the lie over the course of many weeks before I finally relented. They also told me Santa was a scam about four minutes after I became aware of him and that giant spiders roamed the forest, a mistruth I didn’t uncover until I lectured my science teacher about her appalling lack of giant-spider knowledge. I guess I had a screwed up childhood.

Anyway, when I was a wee lad, I managed to catch Glory in theaters. With my “nothing bad ever happens” framework firmly in place, I felt my team (Matt Broderick, Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington) was doing great. They were working the South like a speedbag, and hopefully learning a bit about racial tolerance as well. Fast forward to those goons charging up a hill, looking startled, flash cut to A CANNON RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM, cut to a white frame, a cannon noise, and there I am in the theater with only my tears. Then, the most galling part, the postscript that indicated the North never even bothered to take that fort to this day, and that it was all for nothing, and my team lost in a big way. It was SUCH bullcrap. I was hysterical and inconsolable about the whole situation.

In fact, because of Glory, to this day I hate slavery, no matter what good arguments people have for it.

The Cajun Boy: Titanic

I wish I could say that the film that never fails to reduce me to a puddle was something more testosterone-laced, like Rudy or Brian’s Song or Shawshank Redemption or something. But the film I’ve never been able to watch without getting wispy is Titanic. Yes, as soon as Celine Dion starts singing my balls magically transform into ovaries, and by the time Kate Winslet delivers the “I’ll never let go, Jack” line I might as well be named Sally.

Go ahead — judge me. SEE IF I CARE!!!

[Editor’s Note: The writer of this segment has since been wedgied.]

Mike “Christmas Ape” Tunison: Oliver & Company

I was mostly a well-behaved little kid, probably because I’m just naturally a pussy, I guess. But apparently the one time I got really unruly was when my mom took me to go see Oliver & Company. I wouldn’t sit still and this eventually led to crying. It got bad enough that we had to leave the theater before the movie was over. Given that the run time is a paltry 72 minutes, that’s quite an achievement.

This wasn’t one of those situations where an infant starts bawling for any of the hundreds of reasons babies have to act sh*tty. No, I was six years old when Oliver & Company came out. I was already in my second year of elementary school. So there’s no real excuse for me to be crying at this movie. I would like to believe it was the beginning of my body’s natural rejection of sh*tty Billy Joel songs and cheesy modern-day Dickens adaptations, but it was probably something far less justifiable, like being afraid of street-wise chihuahuas that wear bandannas. I hadn’t been introduced to Mexicans yet and wasn’t quite ready.

Vince Mancini: Finding Neverland

I’m an only child, and people have a lot of stereotypes about only children, but one of the few that’s actually true is that we basically grow up in the world of adults. Beside enjoying constant attention from parents and no competition to our crappy gift-giving skills come holiday and birthday time, we only children also don’t watch many kids’ movies, or the Disney channel, or many things aimed specifically at kids. My girlfriend constantly tells me that I didn’t have a childhood, and hardly a day goes by that someone doesn’t bring up some nursery rhyme or Disney trivia nugget that everyone else seems to know by heart but elicits from me dead-eyed, Mongoloid stare. When everyone else in my generation talks about The Goonies, I have to back away slowly to avoid getting lynched for not understanding their (arguably-misplaced) nostalgia. As such, I don’t remember movies that made me cry when I was a little kid (I’m sure it happened, but nothing sticks out in my mind). I remember relentlessly quoting the Lethal Weapon movies and A Fish Called Wanda, and having nightmares about both the arm wrestling scene in The Fly and Private Pyle blowing his brains out the back of his skull in Full Metal Jacket. (You may have deduced that our household didn’t have many rules about R-rated movies). Once, I watched Where the Red Fern Grows at a friend’s house and he and his brother falsely accused me of crying, an accusation they clung to for so long and so strongly as a joke that I think they eventually came to believe it, and probably still do to this day – but I assure you, I did not. Screw you, Sonny, I know you’re reading this. Another time I definitely did cry was when I was staying home sick from school and I’d meant to rent either Marked for Death or Out for Justice, but ended up accidentally renting the one I’d already seen, because even to a non-jaded 9-year-old, all of Steven Seagal’s f*cking movies look and sound exactly the same.

Therefore, I have to go contemporary, and I’m not talking about Pixar, because I spitefully refuse to get emotional when I can tell the filmmakers want that so desperately. I’m mostly unfeeling and dead inside, but I have essentially two emotional triggers, old people and dogs. Babies and love do nothing for me, but give me a wistful old man or a dog reunited with its owner and I’m a blubbering mess. It could be because I grew up with dogs instead of siblings, I don’t know. But for my big, gets-me-every-time, wang-you-in-the-ding-dong cry scene, I have to go with Finding Neverland. Yes, yes, I am a mega-huge pussy, I’m already pre-conceding my man card while I spread paté on a baguette and prepare for my move to France. For whatever reason, Finding Neverland is the rare sappy movie that didn’t leave me dismissively wanking through the whole thing like almost everything Cate Blanchett has ever been in. No, it wasn’t the big teary-eyed scene with the little kid or Ol’ Cancerous Kate Winslet that did it. (F*cking incredible actor that kid, though, wasn’t he?). It was that damned, wistful old woman! This one, on the right:

Yes, an old woman in a tiara makes me cry. Jeez, this isn’t getting any better in the telling, is it? Anyway, she and Johnny Depp have a moment, right after the premiere of his masterpiece, Peter Pan, when she comes up afterwards to tell him how much she liked it.

MRS. SNOW: Thank you. That was quite the nicest evening I’ve ever spent in the theater.

JM BARRIE: Very kind of you to say. Thank you. Where’s Mr Snow this evening?


MRS. SNOW: I’m afraid he’s left us. And he would so have loved this evening. The pirates and the lndians. He was really just a boy himself, you know. To the very end.

JM BARRIE: I’m terribly sorry. How are you doing?

MRS. SNOW: I’m doing well enough now, thank you.

MRS. SNOW: I suppose it’s all the work of the ticking crocodile, isn’t it? Time is chasing after all of us. Isn’t that right?

JM BARRIE: That’s right, Mrs Snow.

Mix one dash perpetually-adolescent old man with one dash wistful old lady, sprinkle with mortality and a melancholy writer with a dog, and voilá! I’m f*cking inconsolable. I hate you, Finding Neverland! Neither I, nor Marc Forster was ever the same. Just watch Quantum of Solace if you want to know the emotional carnage this scene hath wrought.

Ashley Burns: Jetsons: The Movie

I don’t necessarily remember a time from my early childhood years when I saw a movie and cried because of the ending. I’m sure that Bambi did a number on me, and I vaguely remember being devastated by Dumbo, but when Vince asked, I wanted this to be genuine. I was 10 when I saw Jetsons: The Movie in a theater, and I can’t remember if I was with family or my summer camp, but that damn movie’s ending really f*cked me up.

In the animated film, Elroy Jetson and his dick robot friend discover that the asteroid that Spacely Sprockets has been mining on is actually the home planet of a species known as the Grungees, which also would have been the name of an awesome early 90s grunge comedy group *air guitars* but I digress. The Grungees, led by the adorable Squeep, explain that Spacely is going to destroy their planet, and George Jetson has been ignorantly aiding in that destruction. Eventually, they work everything out and give control of the operation to the Grungees, who in turn make Spacely Sprockets, and that’s awesome.

But when the Jetsons say goodbye to Squeep, and the Grungees light up the rock with “Thank you, George”… damn you, Hanna-Barbera. That sh*t got me good.

Spencer Hall, Amelie

Amelie‘s already suspect. it’s French, and does that French movie thing where it pretends it lacks all emotion until the last twenty minutes when suddenly life’s tragic grandeur starts to seep from every baguette and bigass-nosed Frenchmen in the frame. Amelie‘s way more honest about it that most French movies, but the mode of attack is the same.

But that’s not what absolutely kicks me in the dick about Amelie. What kicks me in the dick is the scene where Mr. Bretodeau, after years of estrangement from his daughter, reunites with her. The standard French ploy is that they should reconcile, hold hands or pat each other with Gallic stoicism, and share a quiet moment driving a Citroen in the rain back from a Carrefour. Maybe Grandpa would unload about being a Vichy Holocaust survivor. There’s always that chance in a French film, because they still feel pretty bad about that whole thing, especially after they’ve just gone to French Wal-Mart and bought non-artisanal baguettes and discount jug wine.

Amelie‘s curveball: Amelie takes you that dickpunching step further not by showing two people living with the regret of the past, but instead showing what Mr. Bretodeau could have missed. He cuts a piece of chicken for his grandson–the best part, right off the breast of a freshly baked whole roaster–and gives it to his grandson. Weeping at tragedy is one thing, but kindness? Especially from the cold, bitter heart of a Frenchman, sharing the thing he enjoys most of all, a freshly slaughtered animal? The cockpunch of all film cockpunches. CA C’EST LE BEST PART OF LE POULET, Y’ALL.

Danger Guerrero, Finding Nemo

One time between semesters of college, through a series of very annoying circumstances, I ended up spending a Friday night babysitting a 5-year-old. I like kids, don’t get me wrong, but there were lots of other, more exciting things I would have rather been doing with a weekend night during my break. I was grumpy and tired, so I figured I’d just put on a movie to keep the kid entertained while I zoned out on the couch. At his request, we put on Finding Nemo.

Here are some things that happen in the first 20 minutes of Finding Nemo: Nemo’s mom is killed by a barracuda and he is kidnapped by a scuba diver and taken thousands of miles away from his father. JESUS CHRIST, PIXAR. That is traumatizing. As you can imagine, the rest of the movie deals with Nemo’s father’s search for his son, with them eventually reuniting in an extremely emotional scene at the end.

OK, so here’s the thing: As the credits started rolling, this 5-year-old is jumping up and down, all excited, yelling “YAY NEMO” over and over, because he’s seen the movie a million times and knew what was coming. Me, on the other hand? A wreck. I was sitting there on the couch sniffling like an idiot, trying to hide — from some jackass 5-year-old, mind you — the fact that I was about to start dropping snot over a movie about a cartoon fish. It was pathetic, and yet, there I was. RAW.

I called my dad later that night and blubbered even more “The fish … his dad … they found each other … the mean barracuda etc etc etc.” We had, like, a moment. It was weird. By the time we hung up we were both a mess.

Anyway, the moral of the story is this: Pixar is full of evil bastards who want people to look like huge pussies in front of children, and you should tell your parents you love them more often.

Josh Kurp, Miracle on 34th Street

I rarely, if ever, cry during movies. It’s not that I’m ashamed of
doing so or would think less of a 25-year-old man if he bawled during
Eternal Sunshine of Spotless Mind; it’s just that a certain film
ruined my ability to shed cinematic tears. When I was a kid, my dad
would take me to the theaters every weekend, as divorced dads tend to
do. If we were lucky, we’d see Aladdin or Rock-a-Doodle. If we were
unlucky, we’d see Freddie the Frog or Baby’s Day Out. If we were
cursed and marked for a fate worse than death. we’d see Miracle on
34th Street, which this little Jew boy did in the winter of 1994. No,
not the original, either, but the one with Mara Wilson and the
babe-like Elizabeth Perkins. After about 20 minutes, seven-year-old me
was DONE with the film. I wanted to cry out in pain, in boredom, in
frustration, in sadness at how something I loved (going to the movies)
could be so bad, but the tears wouldn’t come, so I held back my
emotions. That moment, right there, began a life-long obsession with
repression (how is that not a Prince album title?), and I’m now the
monster who didn’t cry during Grave of the Fireflies. And yet I sob
every time “Lisa’s Substitute” is on TV. F*ck you, Miracle on 34th

Editor’s Note: I would’ve cried simply from having to watch an entire movie with that girl’s preposterous lisp. Do you remember in the mid nineties when everyone was casting child actors with speech impediments that they had them play up for extra cuteness value? That was my nightmare.

Oh, and Mara Wilson is 25 now. She graduated NYU a few years ago and is apparently a stage actress now. She no longer has a lisp. YAY!