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.