What’s the significance of a sad movie top 10 moments’ list? Why do I even bother making one when there are plenty out there? This one is not focused on telling you about the movies you must watch but the movies that have managed to move our hearts really well. I am not an easy one to shed tears, not that I don’t cry because I am a narcissistic maniac, but because I have trained myself to balance my emotions.
Like all of us, life has thrown many bad shades at me, so learning to stop myself from crying in emotionally draining situations feels like a feat of strength. I know, learning to avoid tears in order to become stronger in the emotional struggles of real-life and then crying during a movie feels like a totally opposite effect. Well, that is because growing up with ‘tears are for the weak’ mindset was wrong, and I learned this along the way.
There is nothing balancing about it; in fact, you develop the opposite extreme where you become apathetic if you do it. It is hard for many people to relate to emotional moments in a film because the characters are fictional. This is the reason your friends might poke fun at you when they see you tearing up on that last scene from Titanic or the final episode of Friends.
But it is not the characters that make you cry; it is the relatable situations that really engage us in an emotional scene. Having empathy is the key to understand this. In a way, crying during movies is a great sign you are empathetic. Even though the characters are fictional, an empathetic individual can put themselves in their shoes based on the realization that these characters are going through a situation that is very much bounded in reality. It doesn’t mean you are weak; it means you have the ability to feel what others go through and treat them accordingly. It is a beautiful quality to have, and it will benefit you greatly in your life.
With all that said, here is the sad movie top 10 moments that brought tears to my eyes. Mind you, I have been training myself to find the emotional balance, so there is really something special about these scenes that they broke me. Beware of the spoilers ahead!
When I started watching Onward, I never suspected that its modern world of elf wizards, magic, and manticore would make me cry. But the moment towards the end when Ian (voiced by Tom Holland) cannot meet his father as he gets stuck behind the rubble hits you hard. Because at that moment, he finds his resolve in just looking at the father from a distance when he has been chasing him throughout the journey.
Jojo Rabbit (Tie your shoelaces)
Jojo Rabbit was a pleasant surprise as it pulled out a range of emotions from the audience, which was clearly not obvious from the trailers. The first half of the movie relies on the great chemistry between mother Rozie (played by Scarlett Johansson) and son Jojo (played by Roman Griffin Davis). Jojo is an ambitious kid who wants to prove his worth as the man of the house despite being so young that he doesn’t even know how to tie his shoelaces.
There are instances in the first half where we see this young kid acting all tough and yet relying on his mother to tie his shoes. As the plot moves forward, we find out that Rozie is a member of the German Resistance against the Nazi regime and gets hanged for it. Poor Jojo only finds out when he sees her body hanging in the middle of the block. Her shoelaces are open, and he desperately tries to tie them together as he is crying.
Hachi: A Dog’s Tale (A never-ending wait)
What’s sadder than a sad movie? A sad film that is based on real-life events. Hachi is Hachiko’s story, a dog in Japan who waited for his dead owner for nine years outside a train station. The owner died in a heart attack, but the dog had such an immense love for him that he never moved on. He would get to the station exactly at the time his owner would arrive when he was alive and wait for him until he eventually died. Every scene Hachiko went to the station can be counted under the sad movie top 10 moments.
The fault in our stars (The Sad News)
Though the entire movie is a bittersweet ride of finding life in death, there is one moment that still broke me hard. Kudos to Shailene Woodly’s acting as Hazel when she hears the news of Augustus’s death and cries in her bed. It was one tough scene to watch.
How to train your dragon 3 (Look how they have grown up!)
If you started watching this animated movie series with me in 2010, you know how special the bond between Hiccup and Toothless is. We have been there in the beginning, and we have grown up with these two characters. So, it was extremely hard to see the two parting ways in the third installment. But filmmakers were hell-bent on making me cry when they showed both characters having a reunion along with their kids as they lead their own tribes. It reflected how far we have all come since the first film, and it can only be felt by fans that were there in the beginning.
Harold & Maude (Happy 80th Birthday)
This movie is wonderfully weird. The themes of love, life, and death are discussed in such poignant ways in Harold & Maude that I would recommend it to everyone. It sticks out, leaving behind all the stigmas of our society. The ending of the movie breaks our hearts as much as it broke Harold’s. On her 80th birthday, Maude takes her life as she had previously decided not to live beyond 80 years, just a week after they got together in a relationship. It leaves Harold devastated but with a fresh perspective on the beauty of life.
Toy Story 3 (Goodbye)
Toy Story 3 franchise has that same impact on us, like How to Train Your Dragon. We have grown up with the franchise, so when Andy gave his toys away, we all felt that sadness as we have all been through that phase in our lives.
Marriage Story (Letter)
Netflix’s Marriage Story was a brilliantly written and acted sad movie on Netflix. The fight scene is going to be taught in acting classes for how perfect it was. But I managed to hold myself through those four minutes; I just couldn’t in the final act when Charlie reads Nichole’s thoughts about him in a letter they wrote as requested by their therapist.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Death in Birth)
This movie was special in so many ways, from its writing to the soulful moments between lead actors. As Benjamin grows younger with time, it hits the audience hard to see Daisy taking care of him in her old age as a mother would take care of her new born baby. It is a time when Benjamin doesn’t even remember her anymore. It was the human connectivity that matters the most, and movies like this one and Harold & Maude express the concept so brilliantly.
A Walk to Remember (Like the wind)
Forget The Notebook; this is one of the best emotional love stories ever. No matter how many times I watch this movie, the last part always makes me helpless, shedding a tear as credits roll on Landon’s epilogue. The “Our love is like the wind, I can’t see it, but I can feel it” is among the most emotional piece of dialogues and sad movie quotes I have heard in Cinema. It is certainly worth being on the list for sad movie top 10 moments.