By Janice Craft
To cap off Well-Being Week and usher in Fall Break, we asked faculty members to share their favorite guaranteed-to-make-you-cry movies. Why tearjerkers? Because, as it turns out, crying can greatly benefit your emotional health and well-being. If you find yourself with a few free hours over Fall Break – and we certainly hope you do! – feel free to check out the following recommendations. Remember that the University of Richmond provides access to Kanopy, where you may be able to watch some of these films without need of a streaming platform subscription.
Not a movie but a book recommendation to kick things off! Prof. Casey recommends The Year of Magical Thinking, by Joan Didion. “It is not that long of a read,” Prof. Casey says, and it’s one that can help you “truly connect with [your] core on all the emotions.”
Prof. Craft recommends Moonlight and In Her Shoes for a good cry. “These films are very different, but both depict complex and at times heartbreaking relationships. Plus, In Her Shoes delivers bonus e.e. cummings content.”
Prof. Crootof recommends Coco, “[b]ecause obviously. The scene where Miguel sings to Mama Coco gets me every time.”
Prof. Dobbs offers The Pianist for anyone brave enough to turn into a sobbing mess. “It is biographical, it is during the Holocaust, [and] it is brutal.” She recommends checking out Michael Wilmington’s review in the Chicago Tribune and Richard Schickel’s piece in Time for more information about the film.
Prof. Holderness recommends The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, a movie he happened upon by chance one day at a small theatre. He says it’s nothing short of “an emotional rollercoaster to experience Jean-Do come to terms with his condition and his relationships.”
Alex Clay Hutchings
Prof. Hutchings offers a variety of tearful options. First, the Disney movie The Fox and the Hound. Says Prof. Hutchings, “it is one of the saddest endings of all time.” Next, Schindler’s List, “a tragic classic.” Third, The Notebook; anyone who’s seen this film will agree it is “really sad at the end.” Finally, for a “happy” tearjerker, check out Homeward Bound.
In the mood for a tragic teen romance movie? Prof. Lentz-Meyer assures us that Now Is Good is “heartbreaking and brilliant,” and a “never fail” option for a heartrending cry. Set in London, with a cast that includes Dakota Fanning, Paddy Considine, and Olivia Williams, it’s “one of the saddest movies I’ve ever watched (so many times).”
Last but not least on our list, Prof. Spalding recommends Peanut Butter Falcon as a movie “that evokes strong emotions.” Sheri Linden of The Hollywood Reporter confirms that “this tale of an unlikely trio’s journey through the intracoastal Southeast stirs up billows of emotion.” If you’re still not convinced, maybe the movie’s 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes will pique your interest.
Happy(?) watching, all!