Ambassador of Books ~ Book Club Madam ~ Blogger Gal

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Do you cry in books or movies?

Do you cry when watching movies or reading books? What about during songs or certain commercials? Go vote in my poll – in the right sidebar – then come back here. Inquiring minds (mine) want to know!

*** Me ***

Ever since being pregnant with kiddo (back in 2001) I’ve been extra-emotional about some things. Tears well up in my eyes whenever certain songs come on, or when there is an especially touching commercial on (thanks to DVR I can fast forward through most commercials now though), or when I’m really involved in a movie or tv show. (It is the exact opposite in everyday life; I hardly ever cry even when faced with tragedy.)

However, I have never in my life been brought to tears by a book. Why? Well, I have a few theories. First, I think I read too quickly to be emotional. It’s hard to get worked up over something when you already moving on to the next part of the story. And second, emotion for me is much for sense-oriented; I need sounds or sights to bring on an emotional response.

*** Hubby ***

Being a typical guy in many ways, Hubby is not a crier. Usually he just rolls his eyes at the movies I’m sobbing over, or gives me a hug when I tear up over a special song. He can get emotional when it comes to kiddo though (and I love that about him).

He's also not a big reader but I do know for a fact that there is one book that made him cry: Lone Survivor, by Marcus Luttrell and Patrick Robinson. This book really hit him hard (I talked about that here). I’ve not read it myself, but both of us have recommended it to several of the men in our lives and they have all been impacted by it.

*** Kiddo ***

As for kiddo, he is a very “feeling” child. He gets his feelings hurt easily but he also cares deeply about other people’s feelings. It has been interesting seeing how he reacts to movies and books that have emotional parts. Last week he and I watched the 3rd Lord of the Rings movie, THE RETURN OF THE KING. [We could have an entire conversation about whether this is appropriate for a 7 year old child or not, but that’s for another day.] I’m assuming everyone knows what happens at the end of the movie, but if you don’t want to know, then skip the following paragraph.

Anyway … at the end of the movie when Gandalf was leaving to go on the Elvish ship, kiddo teared up. We talked about it and he said that he’d miss Gandalf and that he felt sorry for the hobbits. Then Frodo announces that he is leaving too, and kiddo cried even harder. Of course, the other three hobbits were crying at this point as well. After the movie ended, kiddo cuddled up in my lap and cried for a while. We talked some more and he said that he really did like the movie, but that he was sad that they’d never see each other again. So I told him that since there wasn’t another book in the series, he could make up whatever new story he wanted – the characters could all get together again in *his* story, if that is what he wanted. Needless to say, he really like that idea and he felt much better at that point.

The same thing happened in a book I’m reading to him. We’re in the middle of THE ARK, THE REED, AND THE FIRE CLOUD by Jenny Cote. There have been hints that one particular character is going to die, and sure enough it finally happened. I can always tell when kiddo is going to cry because he starts smiling really strangely – it’s his way of fighting back the tears. I assured him that it is ok to be sad, and that the characters in the book were sad as well. This time he was able to keep back all but a few tears and didn’t need too much extra cuddling.

It was amazing to me to watch kiddo, in both the movie and the book situations, to see how he reacted to the stories being told.

Strange gal that I am, I cried in the battle scenes in Lord of the Rings (I’m a sucker for heroism) and not at the end (kiddo thought that was pretty funny by the way).

*** And So ... ***

Now I want to know … am I an odd duck? What do most other people do? What do YOU do? Are you a movie crier, a book crier, a non-crier? Go vote, and feel free to expound in the comments.


Anonymous said...

I'm not much of a cryer in general, but Mary Doria Russell's The Sparrow always brings me to tears, and the last couple chapters of John Grogan's memoir The Longest Trip Home had me bawling.

I tend to get teary during movies, but I haven't all-out cried during one in quite a while. It's funny that you mention Lord of the Rings because I know that's one movie that made my hubby tear up, especially in the scene (I think during Return of the King) that shows a flash of Aragorn and Arwen and what life would be like with their little boy in the future.

Crying at commercials, though? Can't say that's ever happened....but music makes me emotional all the time.

Suey said...

Interesting question here! In the past, I didn't cry much. Now, I cry all the time. Old age hormones maybe? Having kids maybe? I don't know, but the tears come MUCH MUCH more easily than they used to.

The scene you describe in Return of the King definately brought the tears. Recently, Marley and Me was awful for crying! Bookwise, I cry at the end of The Good Earth, The Book Thief, The Kite Runner, and so many more!

Songs don't usually make me cry, but I get chills a lot. And I do get teary at the Hallmark commercials, but that's about it. However, the TV shows themselves make me teary, especially Friday Night Lights (I think nearly every episode! Sheesh!) and sometimes Lost.

Whoa, long comment.

Anonymous said...

I'm emotional and all kinds of things make me cry- songs, commercials, movies, tv shows, and yes- books. But in a book, it's typically a scene dealing with a child or a parent/child situation that will get to me. I don't cry at scenes of tragedy- it's always the touching stuff. On tv it could be almost anything- last night it was American Idol, I'm not kidding! The pink haired girl's father was so proud and that brought tears to my eyes. My family thinks I'm totally nuts. Like suey said, it's 'old age hormones' or having kids, or both LOL.

Anna said...

A few books have made tears come to my eyes, but I bawled like a baby listening to the audio version of Marley & Me. I cry more with movies and tv shows.

Diary of an Eccentric

Jo said...

Books make me cry all the time. The last was the Time Travelers Wife. Ithink I get too personally involved and start imagining myself in situations and then there's no stopping me!

Its really only specific songs with an emotianal connection that make me cry, and I can't recall ever crying at a commercial, although th drink drive and child abuse ad campaigns have brought me close at times.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't take much to make me cry. Seeing someone sing the national anthem, reading someone's blog post about putting their dog down, etc. I'm a huge crybaby.

Alyce said...

You need an "All of the above" choice on your poll! :) I don't cry all of the time, but I have been known to cry in each of those situations.

Robin M said...

I didn't used to cry at movies or when reading books, but like you that changed when I had James and as I have gotten older. I get emotional when listening to the news and hear something neat.

I remember when I was a teenager and saw The Hiding Place about Corrie Ten Boom. It was sad, but I didn't cry. Now if I saw that movie, I would be bawling.

I cried when one of the main characters died in Dee Henderson's O'Malley series. I knew she was dying but the death scene was so beautiful I broke up.

My son will cry at the drop of a hat when reading books. He is very emotional.

My husband gets affected sometimes and get choked up.

So, no its not just you.

Anonymous said...

I almost never cry at books. I can probably count the number of books that have made me cry on one hand. I think, like you, I read too fast and I've moved on before the scene hits me. I do cry at movies, though. I never used to, but over the past couple of years it's escalated. I blame hormones.

My fiance never cries. He hasn't cried in more than 4 years, since his grandmother died. I'm not sure what I think about that.

Ti said...

I've never cried over a book. With a book, if the emotion is getting too intense I have a habit of putting it down for a bit. I usually do it because I want to relish the moment and with kids screaming and carrying on in the background I usually always have to put it down for later. Then when later comes I am not that emotional over it because I know what's coming.

In movies though, I am held hostage. I am the first one to sniffle during a sad moment and because I wear glasses, I am then completely obsessed with tears on the lenses, etc. I'm a freak that way!

Rebecca Reid said...

I cried last week listening to the *audio book* of Pride and Predjudice. Also last month when I watched the A&E movie of it. I love a good romance. *Sigh.* I've cried in other books too. And some cheesy romance movies or dramas. I'm not typically a movie person. I much prefer a good book.

Lenore Appelhans said...

Lucky you - I'm going to share a funny story now :)

My husband and I were watching The Green Mile with my parents and during the execution scene, my husband ran from the room crying. My dad just hit pause and told me to get him to come back. We still laugh about that.

Anonymous said...

I'm weird; terrible things can happen to me in the real world, and I'm like a rock, nothing moves me. Give me a sad book or movie or Hallmark commercial or the sight of a frail elderly person struggling to get across the street and I get all teary-eyed. The last time I teared up was last night while reading "Mr. Pip."

Oh, I LOVE Kiddo! He seems like such a beautiful, sensitive child, and I appreciate the way you portray him on this blog.

One last thing--in LOTR, when Eowyn falls on the field and Eomer is holding her and rocking back and forth screaming in grief...I cry big fat salty tears EVERY SINGLE TIME. Also, at the very end, when Frodo looks back and smiles that incredible smile as the ship is pulling away, well, let's just say I can't watch that part anymore.

Amy said...

I've always been really emotional, both when faced with real life situations and when reading or watching movies. The news can make me cry. Unfortunately it's my go-to response...if I'm angry, I cry. Hurt, I cry. Upset, I cry. Touched, I cry. It's kind of annoying, but D think it's sweet.

Constellation Books said...

I cry more often at movies but I DO absolutely cry during books. I remember reading "The Black Cauldron"
by Lloyd Alexander as a kid and it was the first time one of my characters (one I really identified with) DIED. Oh boy. "David Copperfield" was also a tear jerker. There's some of Kim Harrison's scenes in her Rachel Morgan series that have me going too.

Mind if I link to this from the Bookstore blog?
Lauretta @ Constellation Books

Susan Elliott said...

Doesn't this stink? I did a poll today and the thing's been down for most of the day! Bottom line, I'm just a crier...but, like you, I tend not to cry too much at books. Except for The Lottery Rose when I was in 7th grade. I put my head down and wept for about 25 minutes. It's a beautiful story -- I had Jack read it and I think you and your son might enjoy it together. I'll check back in again to see if the poll is up again later...

Stephanie said...

Oh, I tear up constantly during books and movies, it's embarrassing!

Amy said...

Yes, Yes I do. I cry during just about anything. I definitely cry during books. I definitely cry during movies. I sob through some movies. It's all very healthy, I think.

Anonymous said...

I cry at books all the time. And last night I saw Gran Torino for the second time and I still cried at the end. Last week I watched Extreme Home Makeover and I was sobbing along with the family when they saw their new house. I have no desire to get married and yet I cry at weddings. I even cry when sports teams when the Superbowl or the NBA finals or whatever.

I can't blame it on kids or hormones, since I've always been like this. Thing is, I'm otherwise a very unsentimental and unemotional person.

Nicole (Linus's Blanket) said...

I used to cry and get all choked up over the weirdest things. Long distance telephone commercials, songs, tear-jerker movies where I saw the contrived ending coming from a mile away but then cried anyway. Then I went to an acupuncturist who told me my hormones weren't balanced and after a few sessions that pretty much stopped.

I did cry at the end of The Heretic's Daughter. That surprised me.

Anonymous said...

Your kid is so cute. I think being able to cry over books or movies is a really good thing.

I cry a lot. More so if I am watching a movie or reading alone. I remember I cried buckets when I read 'My girl'. I read it twice and cried both times.
I and my boyfriend went to watch a very emotional and romantic Indian movie in the theatre and although all the women in the theatre were crying, I didn't cry much. But I could see tears in his eyes. I asked him why? And he said he just imagined something like that happen to me :) (I get a sadistic pleasure thinking about it)

kellyrae said...

I'm with Jo - the last book that I can really remember crying about was The Time Travelers Wife. This was when we still lived in MD - I remember just BAWLING on the couch in the basement. I'm sure I've teared up a few times since then, but that was a serious cry.

I picked all of the above on your poll. I cry pretty easily. Surprisingly enough, though, I've never cried at work (well not about work anyway). And I didn't cry at any of the births I've attended, even though that's crazy emotional!

Dreamybee said...

OMG, I cry at everything-books, movies, commercials, songs, you name it. If getting older and having kids makes it worse, then I absolutely cannot do either! I will tear up during books, but the only two that have ever made me CRY cry are Where the Red Fern Grows (I had to read this in the 4th grade, and the summer before 4th grade, we had to put both of our dogs to sleep) and Life of Pi (a couple years ago).

As a kid I didn't cry much, but one year The Wizard of Oz sent me into a crying fit. I always watched it every year when it was on TV, but for some reason one year I got all upset when Dorothy was in the Emerald City because I knew she just wanted to go home and she didn't think she was ever going to get back home and I was SO SAD for her because I wouldn't ever want to be somewhere where I couldn't get back home. I think that's a good sign. The other option is a complete lack of sympathy for others which tends to be indicative of sociopaths or psychopaths...some kind of paths, and that's not good! So, it sounds like we're all in good company!

trish said...

I cry at pretty much everything. Books, movies, commercials, songs, touching stories...and I don't suppose it will get easier when I have a kid.

Jeane said...

I rarely cry over movies, and even rarer when I read books. But every time I watch Dances with Wolves, I cry when the horse and the wolf get shot. Even after seeing it four or five times, those scenes make me bawl. I guess because I'm an animal-lover.

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