A couple years ago I was on a flight home from Panama and by great fortune, Space Jam was available on the seat-back entertainment thingy. I hadn’t seen it in the 20 years since it came out (yes, 20!), and thought to myself, hell yeah.
I spent basically all of 1996 and 1997 choreographing dance routines to basically the entirety of the soundtrack in my family’s computer room and trying to get the boys in my class to let me join in on their games of HORSE during recess.
Great way to keep my spirits up on this flight back to New York City in January after a great tropical vacation, I thought while selecting Space Jam.
Cut to me, an hour or so later (it’s a 90 minute movie), sobbing uncontrollably while watching Michael Jordan walked off the space ship in Birmingham, dressed in his full Barons gear, and ready to play baseball. I wasn’t crying because Jordan and the Looney Toons had defeated the Monstars; I was crying because in that Birmingham scene, the camera cuts to Jordan’s son, who knew his dad was going off to nobly defend the cartoon guys, and he gives his dad a thumbs-up.
At that thumbs-up, I just lost it. It was one of those face-crumpling cries that isn’t very subtle. Unfortunately, my boyfriend noticed, and I will probably never live it down.
In my defense, there is some alleged science-y stuff about why people cry on airplanes. I’m vindicated!
I asked some Deadspinners about the dumbest movies to make them cry.
Here’s what our blessed intern Lauren Theisen had to offer:
I cry a lot at movies—mostly sappy happy endings involving ragtag families. Most awkwardly and recently, I was re-watching Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 last weekend, prepared for what I already knew was an emotional wallop of an ending, but Cat Stevens songs are such tearjerkers I still couldn’t resist. Even though poor Chris Pratt can’t for his life make the line “It’s a Ravager funeral!” sound believable, I still shed a tear along with the CGI raccoon on screen.
Tom Ley bravely shared his truth:
I got watery eyes when I watched the final Logan trailer for the first time. I did not cry when I actually saw the movie.
And, finally, Albert Burneko cried while watching Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit:
Well okay, first of all, this is just a fucking spectacular sequence; I will defend it to the death as a feat of pure action filmmaking. But what makes me cry—every goddamn time, like a faucet, it’s embarrassing—is the dog Gromit, sneakily one of the great on-screen heroes, at every moment and without the least hesitation doing the next thing that must be done for his hapless and bumbling friend. He is not trying to cover all bases; he does not have some master plan. He just does the next thing; he will figure out what comes next after that, and do it, forever. All he wants is for dumbass undeserving Wallace to be okay. He wants it more than he wants to live to see it. That is what a dog is like. It’s the best depiction of a dog I’ve ever seen. Your dog probably can’t fly a toy airplane into the path of a speeding bullet to save you. But your dog would!
Because the story of me crying while watching Space Jam will probably be told at my funeral, I beg you to share your own stories of crying at dumb movies.