Mamakat's Prompt: What is it about that movie that makes you cry every time?
Ever since Old Yeller, when I cried for two and a half hours after the movie was over, I've been embarrassed to be seen crying in the theater. I've cried over Terms of Endearment and Steel Magnolias in the safety of my own house, a box of tissue handy. I tend to avoid chick-flicks like the plague. One day, my friend asked me to go and see The Bridges of Madison County with her. I love Clint Eastwood, but really only when he punches and shoots people on screen. This was one of my good friends, however. Sometimes you bite the bullet for your good friend, even when you aren't sure whether she will be okay with a blubbering idiot sitting next to her in a darkened theater.
The basic story--woman in a rut finds herself falling in love with some random stranger she meets at a covered bridge--was all right. Except that the woman in question was married with two children; her husband and children were out of town. Of course the random guy wants her to run off with him, and of course she can't do that to her children. As he walks out, Clint Eastwood's character Robert turns.
"This kind of certainty comes but once in a lifetime." he says. I started bawling, and did not stop until the movie ended.
It is very easy for me to put myself into the shoes of the characters on the screen or on the pages of a good book. I felt a great deal of empathy for Meryl Streep's character, Francesca. I understood the intensity of her feelings. She was up there on the big screen crying, so I was crying as well. I was also pretty angry at her. Robert is supposed to be the "love of a lifetime", and in a colossal display of utter selfishness, he demanded that she leave everything to run off with him. He claimed to love her, claimed to understand her, yet he expected her to leave her children behind without a second thought? A normal person would have become angered by this. Did his selfishness make Francesca turn her back on him? No, she almost jumped out of a moving vehicle to join him, and then she pined over him for the rest of her life. I cried out of frustration that Francesca was an idiot. I so wanted to like her.
Rumors to the contrary, I do have a girly side. I am a woman who likes to be swept off her feet on occasion. I love the idea of true love conquering all and the knight riding off into the sunset with the princess. Thus it was that the majority of my tears that day were of the "OMG! That is SO romantic!" nature. I still can't watch The Bridges of Madison County without getting weepy. Sometimes I find the movie on a cable channel, and I end up watching, and I end up crying. My husband sometimes finds me blubbering; he just sighs heavily and brings me the box of tissues.