Bros don’t emote. Not our thing. No surprise there. Sure, we express things like joy (“Whoo, breasts!”), excitement (“Whoo, breasts!”), hunger (“Whoo, breasts would go great with this sandwich!”), and even anger (“Where the hell are the breasts?!”) with ease and gusto. But anything more complex than that stays crammed way down, deep inside our bodies where all the digestive enzymes and cancer polyps live.
At least, that’s how it works most of the time. There are certain occasions when our crusty outer shells of loathing with facial hair frosting can crack and our feelings slip out. Now, the circumstances when man-tears are allowed and acceptable are frequently debated. Is it okay when a pet dies? Even if it’s a small, yippy dog? If you shatter your femur? If someone else shatters their femur but you wanted to do it to them first? If someone is mean to you about sports because it’s the only thing he feels justified in being a total butthole about since he’s from a region known for its horrible fans, and he does it with great gusto because he’s Mr. Nice Guy the rest of the time which is slowly driving him insane? When “Nothing Compares 2 U” comes on the radio?
These topics as well as countless others have been debated in many a hallowed drinking establishment and man cave since time immemorial. To cover even a fraction of the tiniest tip of this phil-bro-sophical iceberg would take me all goddamn day and I have shit to do. At least until they start paying me to do this. Whoever they are. The Whig Party, maybe?
So today I will simply give my opinions on a very specific set of circumstances where, let’s face it, all of us have shed tears. What follows will be my comprehensive list of movies that it’s always okay for a bro to cry during. I understand that some of you may have differences in opinion and that’s fine. We live in America, so you have the freedom to disagree with me and be wrong. So fucking wrong it hurts your grandma. But that’s fine with me. It’s not my grandma.
Six Man-Tear Movies (In No Specific Order)
Saving Private Ryan – We’ll start out the gate with an easy one. So many crushing moments in this film and all so brilliantly done. Did you ever think you could be sad watching Vin Diesel bleed to death? Not even Vin Diesel would be sad about that. If you don’t feel a little trickle out of your eyes by the time Tom Hanks breathes “Earn this,” then you have no heart. Or you side with the Germans, which is way worse. All bros cry for this one, even uber-bro Nathan Fillion.
Field of Dreams – A true bro is typically the spawn of an old bro. Or, in the terms of their generation, a “real hip swinging daddy-o groovy George McGovern cat.” So any good bro can understand the strength of father-son relationships, even ones like mine where I’m just riding out that inheritance clock on the crazy old fucker (You can’t take it with you, Tommy Moon!) and letting my mom do all the hard stuff like taking him for walks, emptying his drool cup, and resisting the urge to poison his applesauce. This film cuts to the quick for any and all dudes and their dad’s, even with an uplifting ending (with spoooooky baseball ghosts). It’s also further proof that Kevin Costner sucks in anything that isn’t about cowboys and baseball.
Forrest Gump – He wisely didn’t go full retard, but Tom Hanks once again succeeds in getting all up in our tear ducts. Sure, we all remember the lighthearted, goofy moments that make up so much of this great film. Boxes of chocolates and Lt. Dan ends up marrying a plump Asian woman and such. But this flick has as bad a body count as Saving Private Ryan, and none of them are Vin Diesel or Nazis. So it’s double sad. And the “happy” ending? He’s living in Alabama with Haley Joel Osment. That sounds pretty goddamn awful to me.
Up – The first five minutes of this otherwise uplifting and fantastic film put it solidly on the list of tear-jerkers. What? Didn’t expect an animated Pixar film to make it onto a brotastic blog list of mine? How dare you judge me over the internet, you ninny-headed poltroon! I may be a douchebag, but even douchebags have hearts. Even douchebags, bro. Hearts, bro. Ed Asner, bro.
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King – All right, this one might raise a few guffaws from the less nerdy portion of our limited readership (so nobody). The fact that it’s a fantasy film already puts people off the “give a shit” track, which is crap. At its bare bones it is a saga about friendship and sacrifice, which all bros respect deep down in our douchey souls (behind the third polyp from the left in the photo). The sorrow at the end when you throw in the relief from well-earned victory with the heartbreak of loved ones parting forever is palpable. If you’re too busy focusing on the fake feet and pointy ears to appreciate the real tears on those actors’ faces, then your emotions are no doubt as scorched and drowned as the once beautiful forests of Isengard.
Schindler’s List – If I really have to explain this one to you, kill yourself. Immediately. With a hammer.
There may be others out there, ones that tug at your individual heartstrings for whatever personal reason. Maybe you’re a dog lover and Old Yeller really puts a lump in your throat like a Thai hooker’s Adam’s apple. The ending of Glory makes you want to attack South Carolina. Star Wars Episode I makes you weep at seeing a great actor like Liam Neeson have to say that fucking awful dialogue. I won’t argue. I’m too lazy and sober right now. And after all this, I could use a sandwich and some breasts to cheer me up.
Oh and a final note, if you even THINK of crying at any movie with Nicholas Sparks anywhere in the credits, shred your fucking Man Card. You’re done. Better yet, go find one of those Schindler haters and borrow their hammer.