Monday, January 17, 2011

One lump or two?

I am thinking that films need some new rating classifications - something to forewarn the viewer that they may be mortally embarrased by emotion.

Let me explain.  Last night my lovely husband and I set about watching a film called "The Notebook".  I knew nothing of this film, other than it was a bit of a chick-flick.  If you have seen this film then you will fully understand my following comments - and if you have not seen it, then use my own ratings system as fair warning!

It's a beautifully filmed love story which opens in 1940 and you are swept along by emotive and engaging characters and a fab cast that are easy on the eye.  It is a mostly up-beat movie which allows you to reminisce or dream of young love - those first enthralling days when you think you have met "The One". 

So definite chick-flick territory really.  My hubby, bless him, (kinda willingly) sits through these kinds of films with me, and in return I agree to hold his hand and support him through action-packed shootin', stabbin' and chokin' movies - and if Matt Damon is on my screen, all the better.  Fair's fair.

However, by the end of this particular movie I am an inconsolable, red-faced, snot-ridden heap.  Literally sobbing, like, out loud.  I look and feel like an absolute wreck - all in the name of entertainment.  

How on earth would I, or indeed my dear hubby, have coped if this wanton display of angst had been in a real movie theatre  - you know, in public?  It doesn't bare thinking about.  Do they have padded rooms with soothing musak for the cinematically disturbed?

So I have no idea how to go about introducing my new ratings, but that's beside the point.  I feel though, after last night's display, that prominent warnings of the risk of turning into an emotional wreck should be mandatory.

Different stories, whether presented on the page, on film or on stage, will affect everyone very uniquely - it will perhaps depend upon their own experiences and what stage they are at in their life - how much they can or cannot identify with the characters before them.

Me - I became a heart-on-the-sleeve kind of person after my dad died when I was 26.  And I have no shame - if I get upset, I let it out and then feel sooooo much better.  Everyone else around me is probably fidgeting terribly at this point, looking for the nearest exit.  I am a sensitive soul, but shhhhhh, don't tell anyone.

I was trying to think of a few other films that have previously reduced me to a weeping mess:

#1 - the end of Brokeback Mountain when Ennis is in that sparse trailer, hanging up the checked shirt;
#2 - the end of Series 2 of Grey's Anatomy when Izzie climbs into bed beside her dying patient-cum-would-be-new-love-of-her-life-if-he-wasn't-about-to-croak-it.
#3 - City of Angels when a certain Meg Ryan goes out on her bicycle to get breakfast.

Blub blub blub.

So I hereby propose that film classifications should be changed to something along the lines of:

Messy Mascara ratings - waterproof required; or

Best Wait 'Till It Comes Out On DVD And You Can Watch In The Privacy of Your Own Home 
(although I hesitate here as some films are already understandably in this category - usually found in the "Adult Entertainment" aisle with a big X or R on the box, so I might have to work on the wording a bit).

Sniffles and Snot warnings - you could work up to a five out of five Box-of-Tissues rating perhaps (although my Tissue rating could be misunderstood by a certain (teenage boys?) audience, so again, I might need to work on that too!).

And for the menfolk, emotive drama could carry a warning of:

Brings a Proper Lump to Your Throat, fella - You Have Been Warned.


  1. This is hilarious! I guess if I want to see The Notebook, I'd better do it while my husband's away then!

  2. That old expression -- "a three hanky weeper" -- would be perfect in your new rating system!

  3. You're so funny. I do the same thing. I cry "at the drop of a hat" as my mother used to say. We so seldom go to movie theaters any more that I don't worry about it. But we haven't seen The Notebook, so thanks for the warning.
    -- K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  4. Knitwit - it IS a great movie - but yes, you have been warned!

    Deb - three hanky weeper - definitely - but that sounds so genteel - it doesn't quite convey the sob and snot factor!

    Kay - thanks - watch with caution!

  5. There are certain books I will not take to work anymore to read in the many breaks I have (and there are really many of those, or sometimes only one, but a very long one), because when the passengers come back I am crying my eyes out and my eyes are red and blotchy.

    I am the only blubber in my family and they used to say I could cry over the Smurfs!

  6. I don't get out to movies often, I'm with Mara, I need a rating for books. Anna Quinlin's latest had me sobbing.

  7. LMAO at your ratings, brilliant!

    But I was the same at the end of The Notebook, it's a particularly bad one. My own personal worst is The Sound of Music, I am tearful most of the way through. Just too many memories watching it throughout my life!

    But tonight I even ended up teary eyed over last nights American Idol last auditionee, so I am a really hopeless case!

  8. LOL! What an excellent post, Ann.

    (I'm behind and catching up!)

    Oh, I agree about Brokeback Mountain - I'm so glad I saw that at home, alone.

    I'll look for the Notebook, I could use a good sob!

  9. I sob hugely like this - Have you seen Pay It Forward? My sobs were loud snorts at the end of that, and "Marley and Me" - everytime I watch that movie I am a wreck at the end.
    I am going to stick to "High School Musical" now, I can handle that!
    PS - love your blog, I am catching up
    Natasha (Howefamily on BE)

  10. Hi Natasha - a warm welcome and thank you for your comments! If you can watch High School Musical OK, then you can progress to Despicable Me or Kung Fu Panda, but definitely not Toy Story 3 !! LOL