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September 29, 2009

Real men know when to cry

There are those who would have you believe that real men don’t cry. But the truth is, real men do cry – but only for the right reasons (and at the right moment). I’ll give you a couple examples of when and why one of the manliest men cries (that’s me).

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First, is the movie What Dreams May Come.

Robin Williams and Annabella Sciorra star in this visually stunning metaphysical tale of life after death. Neurologist Chris and artist Annie had the perfect life until they lost their children in an auto accident; they’re just starting to recover when Chris meets an untimely death himself. He’s met by a messenger named Albert (Cuba Gooding Jr.) and taken to his own personal afterlife–a freshly drawn world reminiscent of Annie’s own artwork, still dripping and wet with paint. Meanwhile a depressed Annie takes her own life, compelling Chris to traverse heaven and hell to save Annie from an eternity of despair.

What makes this movie so heart-wrenching is how well it depicts the depth that love (and loss) affects us. Even in heaven, Robin Williams can’t be satisfied without those he loves most by his side. Like any good man, he gave of himself to his wife and kids and they became part of who he is/was. This is not just some love-conquers-all story but a deeply felt examination of the heart and the spirit of a man who truly loves his family and would make the ultimate sacrifice for them.

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Second, is the movie Red Dawn. Yes, I said Red Dawn. Not the whole movie , which is a low-brow, big name, celebration of the Second Amendment action flick, but there is a subtle message about innocence lost. Midway through the movie we see Jed (Patrick Swayze) and Matt (Charlie Sheen) talking to their imprisoned father.

Tom Eckert: [at the Calumet Drive-in, which is now a Communist “re-education camp”] Remember when you used to go in the park and play… and I used to put you on the swings… and both of you were… so damn little?
Jed Eckert: I remember. I remember all of it.
Tom Eckert: [to Jed and Matt] I ain’t gonna be around to pick you up when you fall now. Both of you gotta take care of each other now.

At the end of the movie we see a dying Jed carry his lifeless brother to the aforementioned park gently reassuring Matt (and himself)

Jed Eckert: [having killed Colonel Strelnikov, who has mortally wounded Jed and Matt] You can rest now. Just hang on, Mattie. It’s okay… Daddy’ll be here soon. Come on, Mattie. I’ll hold you as long as I can… You can lean on me, Mattie… I’m so tired…
[He and Matt die in each other’s arms]

Jed and Matt didn’t [appear to] have a good father/son relationship and we see in this scene the heartache of knowing how they long for something they will never have.

Finally, we have this tribute video about Jim Henson featuring the Tom Smith song A Boy and His Frog. For people like me, this is just a sad reminder of a time that was a lot more innocent and trusting. Click here for lyrics.



I’ll give you a moment to have a good cry and then come on back and share your most tearjerker moments.

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