Category Archives: movie

Why I Like Sad Movies

My favorite type of movie is a sad movie. I am not normally a sad, Debbie Downer. I am actually quite the opposite. In college my roommates and I would watch sad movies and joke about popping in The Notebook, taking shots and crying. We even added eating fried chicken to the laundry list of things to do on a Saturday night to make it even more epic. Of course we were only joking… unless desperate times call for desperate measures. Then and only then would that be appropriate.

In all seriousness the thing I love most about sad movies is the way they make you feel so much. With action movies and comedies you get good a laugh and experience a grand adventure, but once you finish the movie it’s over. None of those feelings stick with you. It’s like waking up from a dream. You remember that it was exciting and wonderful, but don’t really recount what exactly happened if someone were to ask you about it later. Maybe it’s just me, but sad movies stick with you for hours, maybe even days. The characters are relatable and the situations and feelings the characters go through seem all too familiar.

It’s the sense of vulnerability when watching a sad movie that is so attractive. I was watching a movie with someone once. I wouldn’t say it’s a considerably sad movie, but he thought it was. I remember him jokingly saying that the movie was taking advantage of his emotions. I think that is the best part of a movie. A good movie makes for an easy watch, but a great movie takes you on an emotional roller coaster that drops you off at the end with emotional heaviness that seems to linger for hours.

I suppose I am into lists nowadays. Let me give you a list of my favorite sad movies I have watched thus far.

Schindler’s List
The Joy Luck Club
Atonement 
The Notebook (what girl doesn’t love this movie?) 
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Virgin Suicides 

All of these movies are hauntingly beautiful. It makes you realize that life is short. It pushes you to reevaluate and reflect. I experienced something at work that mirrored a tragic Grey’s Anatomy episode. At work there was a patient who suddenly died without warning after what they thought was a successful recovery. A death that was unforeseen, a surprise, is the worst. He wasn’t my patient, but  I saw the tragic story unfold within a couple of minutes. The family members teary eyed, cried out in grief. The wife had to wheeled away in a wheelchair too unstable from distress. That event left me shocked all day just as if I was watching a sad movie. It would be very unfair to compare it to a movie, because this situation it was very much real life.

Sad movies reflect the potential of what real life could be in the most tragic way. And that is exactly what I love about these kinds of movies.