This afternoon, Gawker's Rich Juzwiak and Caity Weaver asked whether it is or is not insane to cry at The Best Man Holiday, the romantic comedy/ostensible weepie opening wide this weekend. There are certainly better and worse ways for a film to coax its audience into tears. We're ranking them from most to least embarrassing. These may or may not all be culled from this writer's personal experience. (...They are.)
My Sister's Keeper: Things got critical in a certain Brooklyn living room one Sunday morning during an HBO viewing of Nick Cassavetes's film, wherein Cameron Diaz and Jason Patric raise a donor baby (Abigail Breslin) in order to help save their other daughter (Sofia Vassilieva). Cancer tears are a dirty trick; kids with cancer even dirtier; and kids with cancer who have a special bond with their siblings are dirtiest still. You may have yanked those tears, Cameron Diaz movie, but you did not earn them the right way.
The Rose: Bette Midler as a thin gloss on Janis Joplin is a complete mess of a character, and honestly, the tragically addled junkie musician is not normally a trope that should earn proud tears. But man, when she sings through her broken heart on that stage? And then "The Rose" plays over the credits? So, okay, not proud, but effective.