A Weepy Afternoon at the Movies
I went to see the new Ashton Kutcher/Kevin Costner in the Coast Guard movie The Guardian this weekend, and it was a very fine, noble, serviceable piece of entertainment. It had the requisite plot devices - watery heroics, crusty mentor, brash but troubled protege, new love, old love, power struggle - that this particular genre requires, with not too many clunky lines. But what I really wanted to post about was how many times I cried. THREE times people. And not a single tear was shed during the movie I went to see.
The waterworks began with a preview for the new Will Smith movie The Pursuit of Happyness. Yeah, I know. I haven't teared up at a Will Smith movie since Six Degrees of Separation. But in the movie Smith plays this guy with greying hair trying to keep it all together in front of his very young son as they're trodden down further and further into homelessness and desperation as Will pursues his dream of becoming a stockbroker. Ok, that sounds kind of stupid, but the preview is seriously sappy y'all. And I wasn't sobbing, just had a tear or two in my eye . . .
But then, oh but then they followed the sappy tearjerker with a MONDO sappy tearjerker with a preview for We Are Marshall. Have any of you seen this preview yet? Oh my god it is heart rending. The movie is based on a true story. In 1970 a plane carrying most of Marshall University's football team and coaches crashed into the side of a mountain killing all 75 people on board. And then somehow Matthew McConnaghey shows up and I went from slightly misty-eyed to sobbing in two minutes flat.
Thankfully the previews of tragedy were interrupted by a preview for some fantasy movie about dragons and I was able to pull myself together before The Guardian started. And I'll have you know that I managed to sit through the whole damn thing without shedding a single tear until the bastards got me with the credits. THE CREDITS! They started a slide show of these old Coast Guard photos. After sitting through this entire movie about a service whose motto is "So that others may live" I started tearing up at these photos of real people who had risked their lives over the years to save others and then, and THEN they transitioned into photos of the Coast Guard rescuing people during the floods after Hurricane Katrina and it was over. To top it all off I noticed just how many REAL Coast Guard employees had played parts in the movie. Sopping puddle of mess.
I'm so ashamed.