Men never cry at movies or at least that is what I have been told my entire life. I want to believe that even the hardest of hearts gets a little teary eyed every once in awhile. Well, that is unless they are completely dead inside. A formula exists that if followed correctly creates a man approved movie which will have guys reaching for their hankies and leaving their lower lip trembling. On a side note, other than my stepdad, do any guys under the age of 70 actually carry hankies in their pocket anymore?
The movie must possess certain elements: guys living out their passions, facing adversity and a hint of redemption. Sprinkle in some brotherhood where a group of men come together through a shared experience. It never hurts to toss in some violence and bloody gore. Another angle commonly used is what I like to call “The Cats In The Cradle” effect where a son deals with their absent dad issues. If all else fails, my suggestion is to just make a sports movie where the underdog triumphs as the credits roll. According to this formula, I’d like to unveil the 30 man-tested movies where the even the manliest of men can TEAR WITH NO FEAR:
(1) Braveheart –Every man wants to be William Wallace. Go to any bar and begin quoting Wallace’s speech at the end of the movie. Instantly, at least 10 guys will stand up saying, “Aye, you may die, run, and you’ll live…at least a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take…our freedom.”
(2) Rain Man – Yeah, I defiantly cried….yeah, I cried 15 minutes before Wapner.
(3) ROCKY III – I like to think Mick is looking down on us all.
(3) ROCKY IV – Taking down that socialist regime one punch at a time.
(4) The Natural – Our heart breaks the moment Wonderboy shatters into a million pieces.
(5 & 6) The Notebook & Brokeback Mountain – It’s alright no one is looking. You can shake your head ‘yes’ on this one and keep your man card. I won’t tell anyone.
(7-10) The Rookie, Invincible, Miracle, Remember The Titans – Every man still thinks they have what it takes so we love any underdog story. Mix it in with sports and you have us hooked; add in the team factor and we are balling like a baby.
(11) Field of Dreams – The reason why every guy keeps their little league baseball glove in the closet. After watching Ray reconcile with his dead father on the field he was inspired to build, men rush to the phone to call good old dad and ask if he has time to play catch.
(12) Frequency – The Field of Dreams except for sci-fi nerds. Substitute the baseball glove for a radio.
(13) One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest – I blame this one on the drugs.
(14) The Pursuit of Happyness – The Fresh Prince at his best. I bet even Jazzy Jeff shed a tear.
(15) Saving Private Ryan - “Am I a good man? Tell me that I have been a good man.”
(16) Top Gun – When Maverick tosses Goose’s tags into the ocean, our internal need for a “wing man” sinks to the bottom of the sea as well.
(17) Dead Poet’s Society – Oh Captain, My Captain. Carpe Diem. For all those in cubicle land, stand on your desk and seize the day my brotha.
(18 & 19) Old Yeller & My Dog Skip – Just something about a boy and his dog.
(20) Mr. Holland’s Opus – Speaks to a man’s need to leave a legacy that last well beyond his years.
(21) Simon Birch – Mr. Holland’s Opus for the kiddos.
(22) Good Will Hunting – Remember, when Ben Affleck, not Matt Damon was suppose to become the breakout star of the two Boston buddies? Little did we know at the time that Affleck’s finest moment would be as Chuckie Sullivan and the speech he gives to his life long friend Will about wasting his gifts: “No, no, no, no. **** you, you don’t owe it to yourself, you owe it to me, cause tomorrow I’m gonna wake up and I’ll be 50, and I’ll still be doin’ this ****. And that’s all right. That’s fine. I mean, you’re sittin’ on a winnin’ lottery ticket. You’re too much of a ***** to cash it in, and that’s ********. Cause I’d do ******* anything to have what you got. So would any of these ****** guys. It’d be an insult to us if you’re still here in 20 years. Hangin’ around here is a ****** waste of your time.”
(23) Armageddon – With the amount of bombs he’s made, count me impressed that Ben Affleck makes two appearances on this list.
(24 & 25) Say Anything (twice) – For all the socially awkward guys in high school. We cry when Lloyd Dobber gets dumped and then again when he ultimately ends up with Skye in the end.
(26) The Shawshank Redemption – A sense of freedom is felt when Red & Andy embrace.
(27) The Perfect Storm – I’ve never looked at fish sticks the same way since.
(28) Slingblade – Same thing with French-fried potatoers.
(29) Boyz In The Hood – Shows even Doughboys can be a softie.
(30) Rudy – The world could be coming to an end, but if a man notices Rudy is playing on WGN or TBS their afternoon suddenly changes. You cannot pass up watching for the 34,125 time a tiny little hobbit overcome the odds to play for the Fighting Irish and get carried off the field.