Last week, Entertainment Weekly‘s Owen Gleiberman wrote an interesting piece about his weepy reaction to Toy Story 3. He encouraged other men not to be ashamed if they, too, had shed a tear at the trilogy’s moving finale, and urged them to share their own stories of cinematic sorrow-letting. As a result, the comments section of that post turned into something of a Criers Anonymous group therapy session.
Today, the Telegraph‘s Tom Leonard tried to figure out exactly what it was about the Pixar film that made grown men start to sniffle. Now, I could perhaps say something here about how unfortunate it is that dudes still need to feel somewhat embarrassed — or otherwise try to make excuses — for the rare occasions on which a film might move them to tears. Clearly it’s still just not that accepted for guys to start bawling their eyes out in public, or else two high-profile journalists wouldn’t have dedicated articles to it. But I don’t want to cover that same territory. Instead, I want to ask all of you whether or not you even think twice about crying, laughing loudly, jumping out of your seat, cowering low in fear, or having any other sort of visible/audible reactions to something that’s on the big screen.
So yes, I’m talking only about when you’re out at the cineplex — not lounging on your couch in your pajamas and slippers with a big bowl of ice cream, sobbing like a big baby when Frodo cries out “Noooooo!!!!!” in slow motion after Gandalf is swept down into the depths of Mordor with the Balrog. Not that I would know anything about getting weepy at that part.
I’m curious for your thoughts on public reactions you’ve either had or witnessed others having that made you feel a bit sheepish… or made you extremely annoyed with someone by you. This is a topic close to my heart, because there aren’t a ton of other female critics at Chicago press screenings, and I’m always extremely self-conscious of blasting out a huge honk of laughter at something no one else found funny, or starting to whimper uncontrollably at a particularly intense drama, or kicking the poor fellow in front of me if I am forced to watch a scary thriller I might not have seen if I didn’t have this job (guy who I nailed in the head during Nightmare on Elm Street: I apologize!).
I have much more patience for those around me than I do for myself, however. I can deal with people crying or freaking out or even the rare (and I do mean rare) kinda loud whisper in order to explain/understand something that might be going on in an exceptionally twisty storyline. But what I just can’t stand is That Guy or Gal who laughs at everything. Obnoxiously. Ridiculously loudly. As if they’re just trying to get people to shush them. There was a chick like that behind Locke and I at Toy Story 3, as it were, and I was about to throw something at her. But perhaps I should thank her, because I was so distracted by all of her noise-making that I probably didn’t cry as much as I would’ve if I’d been totally absorbed in the show. That saved me from having to ask Locke if I could use his shirt sleeve as a hankie. So he definitely needs to be grateful for Loud-Laugh Chick, huh?