By Ethan Shea
In this New York Times article by Wesley Morris, the many implications of crying, from tears shed in courtrooms to movie theaters, are thoroughly analyzed. I figured this text would give me a solid opportunity to point out some books and movies at Falvey that, for better or worse, could encourage everyone to shed a few tears. Depending on how your Valentine’s Day went, that may or may not be easy to do.
The scope of the aforementioned article is far too broad to sum up in a sentence or two, but a couple particular points stuck with me. For one, the piece recognizes that crying is a uniquely human experience. Tears are what separate us from the rest of the animal kingdom, which makes crying all the more necessary. A good cry can help us learn things about ourselves that we never could have known otherwise because, in spite of the humanity of crying, it “arouses the animal in us” (Morris).
If you feel inclined to take part in the humanizing experience of shedding tears, here are a few books and movies you can find at Falvey that encourage a bit of crying.
This novel by Daniel Keyes is widely known as one of the most tear-inducing stories of any library’s stacks. The story follows a man who undergoes a science experiment with the goal of increasing his intelligence, but he soon realizes that the operation is not as glorious as he had imagined. The experiment had recently been performed on a lab mouse named Algernon, which the protagonist becomes attached to. In spite of the heavy topics the book covers, it is sure to be a powerful read that can definitely make you cry.
Both the book and the cinematic adaptation of this story by André Aciman are housed here at Falvey. The movie is even available to stream on our website whenever you please. This love story taking place by the beach in Italy has become incredibly popular over the past few years, and especially since Timothée Chalamet made waves with the big screen version of the book, almost everyone knows about this story and its ability to bring its viewers to tears.
This Academy Award winning film is extremely heavy, heart-wrenching and beautiful all at once. Moonlight actually beat my favorite film, La La Land, for Best Picture (in a very memorable announcement blunder), but I can’t even be mad about it. A story like Moonlight deserves all the praise it has received, and anyone with a heart would be moved by it. Not to mention that it is one of the most stunningly shot movies I’ve ever seen with cinematography that is simply unmatched.
On a lighter note, don’t ask me why this movie absolutely guts me, but it just does. Having grown up watching the Toy Story films and aging with Andy, seeing him mature and leave for college around the same time I did was more than I could handle. The ending is not even terribly sad, but that almost makes it harder to stomach. You just have to accept the changes maturity brings and continue living. This film doesn’t say growing up is bad, but realizing you’ll never be a kid again is painful. Toy Story 3 forced me to accept it.
Ethan Shea is a first-year English Graduate Student at Villanova University and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Memorial Library.