I've come to learn in recent years that increased wussiness is an inevitable part of the aging process. Although this change has manifested itself in many ways, the most noticeable one has come in my movie watching. Films now affect me in ways I never thought imaginable (i.e., I'm more prone to cry like a little girl who's skinned her knee). Although I used to be stone-faced through even the most emotionally gut-wrenching scenes, I have now gone so far in the opposite direction that my eyes will tear up while watching seemingly event-less scenes from movies that I had already seen many times before and not reacted to. "No, I'm not crying. It's just...well, look I got something in my...look, he's stuck late at work. Don't you find that sad?" [Incidentally, I'm glad I was alone while re-watching the last few episodes of Season 4 of The Wire. I was such a pathetic mess that the crying Indian would have pimp-slapped me.]
Who knows why this is happening? Maybe I'm going through menopause. A female friend of mine recently told me that as men age, our bodies produce more estrogen—thus the increased movie crying. Seeing as I'm too lazy to research this, I'll take her word for it and claim it as being true.
All of this is not to say that I used to be a completely un-feeling robot. When I was younger, the occasional film still had the power to turn on the waterworks. The biggest culprit was It's a Wonderful Life, but it's Thanksgiving time right now and not Christmas time, so fuck that movie. I'll talk about it at some other more appropriate time. No, my teary-eyed Thanksgiving movie has always been Planes, Trains, & Automobiles. [I would recount the plot of this movie here, but I'm going to assume you've seen it. If you haven't seen it, of course, you're probably just some un-'Merican pinko and thus don't deserve to have me bring you up to speed on this movie.]
This movie has two scenes that still affect me. The first is the one in which John Candy stands up for himself after being berated to hilarious effect by Steve Martin. Candy gives such a heartfelt, convincing performance that it's hard not to get caught up in it.
The final scene is what really does it to me, however. On his way home, Martin remembers his adventures with Candy and realizes that the man has no family to go home to. He then goes back to the train station and invites Candy to his home for dinner. These sorts of musical montages are generally the worst, most pandering, sort of movie dreck imaginable, and this scene is no exception. I know this, and yet I can't help myself.