20 Sad Movies To Watch When You Need A Good Cry
Now a days there is a lot to be sad about, but what about when you want to cry on purpose. We got you girl, the sad movies on this list are heart warming, inspiring, and moving, but they are also impossible to watch with out your mascara running. So grab your water proof mascara, and a box of tissues because here are 20 sad movies to watch when you need a good cry. Oh yeah and wine! Lots and lots of wine, on other hand, wine may enhance the tears, and lead to drunkenly calling ex-boyfriends…
1. A Walk To Remember
Based on the Nicholas Sparks novel by the same name, A Walk To Remember is a romantic coming of age film that tells the unlikely love story between two high school seniors. Landon is a popular rebellious bad boy played by Shane West, while Jamie played by Mandy Moore is the sweet, but shy daughter of the local minister. After Landon pulls a prank that goes horribly wrong, the school principal offers him the choice to either do service projects for the school, or deal with law enforcement. Landon choses the service projects which includes helping out with the school play, which Jamie is also starring in. Landon ends up befriending Jamie after she agrees to help him practice his lines for the play. Landon has known Jamie his whole life, but has stayed away from her due to the high school status quo, so when she tells Landon she’ll only help him if he promises not to fall in love with her, he agrees laughing off the idea as foolish. But because this is a teen romance movie the two do eventually fall for each other, and despite what Landon’s “cool” friends would think, he asks Jamie on a date. This leads to more dates, which leads to the couple falling in love, and all is well, until Jamie confesses to Landon that she isn’t making any plans for her future because she is dying from leukemia.
A Walk To Remember is the classic boy meets girl, boy likes girl, but girl is dying of cancer plotline, and even though you might know what you’re signing up for when you watch this movie, you still won’t be able to control the water works as the couple realizes they won’t be able to stay together forever. Yet Landon is determined to help Jamie complete her bucket list. If you aren’t crying yet, you will be a puddle by the end of the film when the two ultimately get married right before Jamie dies from her disease.
2. My girl
Another coming of age film, My Girl named after the The Temptations song which plays as the credits roll at the end of the film, is about a young 11-year old girl named Vada played by Anna Chlumsky. Set in the summer of 1972, Vada blames herself for her mother’s death, and feels largely ignored by her father, who is also the town’s funeral director. Therefore, hypochondriac Vada spends most of her time with her best friend Thomas J. Sennett played by Macaulay Culkin of Home Alone fame, and current member of the band Pizza Underground. Thomas is an unpopular boy of the same age who suffers from various allergies, and the other girls tease the two about being more than just friends. By the end of the film the friends do share a sweet innocent first kiss under a tree, which makes the ending of the film even more heartbreaking. My girl has more emotional strain, angst, and confusion than the average preteen movie, the friendship between Vada and Thomas is as uplifting as it is devastating making it impossible to hold back your tears when their friendship is met with unexpected tragedy. The film also stars Hollywood legends Dan Aykroyd, and Jamie Lee Curtis.
3. Old Yeller
Nothing can make people cry their eyes out like animals, especially dogs. Old Yeller is one of Disney’s best remembered live action pictures with an important life lesson, but why does it have to be made in the most gut wrenching of ways? Old Yeller follows the Coates family, specifically oldest son Travis. The Coates are a frontier family in the 1860s, when one day an adorable lab mix, Old Yeller, wanders onto their property. Travis tries to drive the dog away, but youngest son Arills likes the dog and convinces Travis to let him keep him. Initially Travis has a great disdain for the dog, thinking he will just cause trouble around the farm, but once Old Yeller saves Travis’ younger brother from an angry bear, Travis grows to love and respect Old Yeller. Old Yeller ends up touching the family’s hearts, and having a profound effect on Travis’ life, which makes Old Yeller’s untimely end that much harder to watch, and will most definitely leave you weeping in your seat, not kidding I’m crying just writing this.
Titanic is ultimately a love story between Rose (Kate Winslet) and Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio), Rose is an upper class passenger, while Jack is a poor artist. Rose is engaged to a rich man named Cal, Rose does not want to marry Cal but their marriage will save Rose’s family from losing their upper class status. Feeling like she has no choice in the matter, Rose contemplates suicide by jumping off the ship. Rose climbs over the sternum of the boat when Jack sees her, intervenes, and saves her life. Cal stumbles across the two moments later, and invites Jack to dinner on the first deck. Despite Rose’s mother and Cal’s disapproval of Jack, Rose agrees to go to a party in the third deck after dinner, soon the two start spending all their time together, and the two make plans to be together when the ship lands un be knowst to them that the “ship of dreams” is heading toward calamity.
James Cameron is such a hack- there I said it, and Leonardo DiCaprio needs to stop dating fetuses, but despite all that Titanic is still one of the best go to films for a good cry. The historical drama was a huge cinematic production, equal parts expensive and emotional. There are so many moments in the movie that might send tears streaming down your face, but of course the ill fated lovers Jack and Rose is the storyline that tugs at our heartstrings the most. Still it’s the snippets of other characters that really bring this disaster home, and while watching the film we’re still acutely aware that the film is based on real events which is why we cry.
Universally recognized as one of Hollywood’s most important movies in recent years, the story of Andrew Beckett is impossible to sit through without a box of tissues nearby. Philadelphia details the life of Andrew Beckett, played by Tom Hanks, a partner at the biggest law firm in Philadelphia during the early 90s. Beckett hides his homosexuality from his co-workers until it becomes impossible after Beckett contracts aids. Which leads to Beckett developing visible lesions on his face. The firm lets Beckett go under false pretenses, but the real reason they fired Beckett is because he is a gay man with aids. Beckett decides to sue his old law firm for discrimination, but no lawyer will take his case. Finally African-American lawyer Joe Miller played by the always sexy Denzel Washington agrees to take Beckett’s case after initially declining because of his own prejudices around the disease. Miller later takes the case when he sees the parallels in how he himself has faced discrimination due to his race. Philadelphia tackles issues on homosexuality, homophobia, and HIV/aids with an honest lens, and demands the audience opens their eyes to the issues. Parts of this film makes for uncomfortable or difficult viewing, but this just adds to the emotional intensity of the film, which won Tom Hanks his first Oscar.
6. The Notebook
The Notebook begins modern day at a nursing home with an elderly man reading a romantic story from his notebook to a fellow woman patient. The story then flashes back to Noah played by Ryan Gosling, and Allie played by Rachel McAdams. The two meet as young adults at a carnival one summer, which leads to a relationship, which leads to the two falling in love. Except Noah works at a lumber mill, and Allie is a heiress, so her parents disapprove of Noah. This leads to the couple breaking up, but when they both realize they made a huge mistake, it is too late. Because summer has ended, and Allie has already returned home. So Noah writes her a letter everyday for a year, before ultimately giving up, not knowing Allie never received the letters because her mother was intercepting them. Years go by until the two are finally reunited, but Allie is already engaged to someone else, in the end Allie chooses to follow her heart, and be with Noah. It is then revealed at the end of the movie, the elderly man and women at the nursing home are Noah and Allie.
A good chick flick can force a flood of tears down even the most hardened of film goers, and this movie isn’t just easy on the eyes, but easy on the cries. The Notebook is a story that spans a lifetime, and it will stick in your memory just as long.
7. Hachi: A Dog’s Tale
Another sad dog movie, thb I should have a list devoted solely to sad dog movies, is Hachi: A Dog’s Tale. This movie will not just make you cry, but uncontrollably sob. Hachi is a 2009 American remake of a 1987 Japanese film which is based on a true story. Richard Gere plays a professor who finds an abandoned Akita puppy at the train station named Hachi. Gere takes Hachi home, and the two soon become inseparable as Hachi grows from puppy to dog. One day when Gere is walking to the train station to go to work he notices Hachi has got out, and accompanies Gere to the train station. After Gere boards the train Hachi runs home to Gere’s wife, but then goes back to the train station when Gere gets off work to walk home with him. Hachi begins to walks with Gere to the train station every morning, and then comes back to the train station in the afternoon to walk with Gere home. This continues till one day Gere has a fatal stroke at work never returning home, Hachi then waits ten years at the train station for his owner to return. This is a story of love and loyalty like no other, and if you aren’t moved by it you are truly a demon.
Bambi is an animated film from Disney, about the life of a young deer named Bambi. How can you not root for this adorable character, and not sob at his story. Bambi is curious, acquisical, and sweet, he is the romantic underdog who needs a break, but the world is cruel to Bambi making for an emotional watch.
9. Schindler’s List
According to imdb.com, “In German-occupied Poland during World War II, industrialist Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazis.” Schindler’s List is undeniably a very sad movie, but it is also a movie about bravery. As the second world war is giving a hauntingly human retelling, Schindler transforms into a man determined to do what’s right. This movie is all about hope in the face of incredible despair, but make sure you have multiple boxes of tissues on hands.
10. Forrest Gump
Forrest Gump has marginal intelligence which leads to him being bullied in his youth, but thanks to his childhood friend Jenny, and the unconditional love Forrest receives from his mother, he never viewed himself as someone at a disadvantage. In fact quite the opposite, throughout Forrest’s life he possessed an unbreakable optimism which not only led to him living an impactful life filled with many different experiences, but he was also able to inspire the people around him no matter where he went.
Forrest Gump is sentimental filmmaking at its best, so no doubt you will smile, but be prepared to shed a few tears when Forrest is unable to save the one person he loves most.
11. Pursuit Of Happiness
Pursuit Of Happiness is a biopic that stars Will Smith as Chris Gardner, Smith real life son plays his son in the film. Chris Gardner is a failed salesman in San Francisco during the early 80s, and financial instability leads to his wife leaving him to care for their young son as a single father. Soon after Gardner and his son are evicted from their apartment since Gardner has been struggling with rent, despite all of this Gardner is able to land a position as one of twenty unpaid interns, competing for a single paid position as a stockbroker. The odds are stacked against Gardner, but no matter what hardships he goes through in the film, he never gives up. Which makes it even more moving when Gardner breaks down when he is finally offered the stockbroker position.
In the San Francisco Chronicle, Mick LaSalle observed, “The great surprise of the picture is that it’s not corny … The beauty of the film is its honesty. In its outlines, it’s nothing like the usual success story depicted on-screen, in which, after a reasonable interval of disappointment, success arrives wrapped in a ribbon and a bow. Instead, this success story follows the pattern most common in life—it chronicles a series of soul-sickening failures and defeats, missed opportunities, sure things that didn’t quite happen, all of which are accompanied by a concomitant accretion of barely perceptible victories that gradually amount to something. In other words, it all feels real.”
12. Slumdog Millionaire
According to imdb.com, “As 18-year-old Jamal Malik (Dev Patel) answers questions on the Indian version of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” flashbacks show how he got there. Part of a stable of young thieves after their mother dies, Jamal and his brother, Salim, survive on the streets of Mumbai. Salim finds the life of crime agreeable, but Jamal scrapes by with small jobs until landing a spot on the game show.” Not going to lie some parts of Slumdog Millionaire are hard to watch since they show the horrific but realistic scenes that go on growing up in an Indian slum, but that’s what makes the uplifting end of this film that much more rewarding. Just make sure to watch with a tissue box near by.
13. The Green Mile
The Green Mile is a drama fantasy that is bound to make you cry. Not just for John Coffey the mentally ill gentle giant who is falsely accused of murder, and sentenced to die, but for correction officer Paul Edgecomb as well. Staring Tom Hanks as Paul and Michael Clarke Duncan as John Coffey, who delivers a hear breaking performance, Green Mile is bound to make you shed a tear or two. Especially the scene when John is about to be executed and he only asks that the customary hood not be placed over his head, as he is afraid of the dark. Tears.
14. Steal Magnolias
According to imdb.com “A young beautician, newly arrived in a small Louisiana town, finds work at the local salon, where a small group of women share a close bond of friendship, and welcome her into the fold.” The premise is simple- yes, but with a side of heavy crying because trust me when I say these friends experience tragedy.
15. Love Story
Love Story is the original romantic movie, and maybe one of the greatest love stories ever shown on the big screen, which means you will most likely cry because love hurts man. According to Rotten Tomatoes, Love Story is an “Earnest and determined to make audiences swoon, Love Story is an unabashed tearjerker that will capture hearts.”
16. Terms Of Endearment
There is nothing on this planet quite as strong as the bond between a mother and a daughter, which makes Terms Of Endearment so gut wrenching to watch. Terms of Endearment details the story of Aurora and her daughter Emma, the two are extremely close so when Emma gets terminally ill cancer, and Aurora has to help her daughter make peace with her children and estranged husband before she dies, we can’t help but weep.
17. La La Land
According to Rotten Tomatoes, “Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) and Mia (Emma Stone) are drawn together by their common desire to do what they love. But as success mounts they are faced with decisions that begin to fray the fragile fabric of their love affair, and the dreams they worked so hard to maintain in each other threaten to rip them apart.” Without giving anything away lets just say love doesn’t always conquer all, which leads to many of tears especially since this message rings true in La La Land. Oops I think I gave it all away.
Another animated Disney movie that is bound to make you shed a tear or two, because despite being a movie targeted for kids, according to Rotten Tomatoes, Coco has “a thoughtful narrative that takes a family-friendly — and deeply affecting — approach to questions of culture, family, life, and death.” I’ve seen Coco it is true, you will weep.
19. P.S I Love You
Holly Kennedy (Hilary Swank) loses the love of her life when he dies from an illness, but because her husband Gerry (Gerard Butler) knows how hard this will be for her, he arranges for a series of letters he has written to be delivered to her starting on her 30th birthday as away to cope with her grief and move forward with her life. If you can’t see what’s sad about that plot line, I don’t know what to tell you.
According to Rotten Tomatoes, Moonlight is “A look at three defining chapters in the life of Chiron, a young black man growing up in Miami. His epic journey to manhood is guided by the kindness, support and love of the community that helps raise him.” That doesn’t sound too sad, but trust me when I say Chiron’s life isn’t all rainbows and unicorns, but that’s what makes us cry happy tears during the triumphant moments.
Even though my whole day is ruined because writing this list has made me feel some type away, I’m happy to do it if it means helping a fellow sad girl. Movies have been around since the beginning of time- okay since the 1900s, my point being I only suggested 20 sad movies on this list,but I’m sure there are a million more sad movies out there to have a good cry to. So please let me know what your favorites are. And if your roommate catches you watching one of these flicks crying uncontrollably on the couch, just say “I’m not crying, you’re crying.”
writer, filmmaker, and hipster overlord