News Corp film critic Leigh Paatsch.
News Corp film critic Leigh Paatsch.

See it and weep: Tear-jerkers you must watch

Last week we hit you with a suite of movies sure to turn frowns upside down.

This week, here's where to go when you feel it's time for a movie sure to have you misting up.

 

NOT KIDDING AROUND

 

 

THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

(To Rent Only)

 

Actor Will Smith and (real life son) Jaden Christopher Smith star in the 2006 film The Pursuit of Happyness. Picture: PicZade/Rosentha
Actor Will Smith and (real life son) Jaden Christopher Smith star in the 2006 film The Pursuit of Happyness. Picture: PicZade/Rosentha

 

A down-and-out dad (Will Smith) must provide for his young son while staking his livelihood on a six-month spell as an unpaid trainee stockbroker. Though misery is piled upon misery in this tension-riddled tearjerker, remembering this is a true story snatches respect from the jaws of ridicule.

 

MY SISTER'S KEEPER

(Amazon & To Rent)

 

Actor Cameron Diaz and Sofia Vassilieva in scene from 'My Sister's Keeper'.
Actor Cameron Diaz and Sofia Vassilieva in scene from 'My Sister's Keeper'.

 

A young girl supplying bone marrow to her gravely ill sister sues her parents to end the arrangement. An unapologetic sob-a-thon. If you dry up at the thought of any flick messing with the lock to the waterworks, you'd better avoid this feel-sad affair. Stars Cameron Diaz, Abigail Breslin.

 

WHAT MAISIE KNEW

(To Rent Only)

 

Alexander Skarsgaard (right) and Onata Aprile in a scene from film What Maisie Knew.
Alexander Skarsgaard (right) and Onata Aprile in a scene from film What Maisie Knew.

 

Maisie (Onata Aprile) is seven years old. She lives in New York City. Her mother (Julianne Moore) is a washed-up rock star. Her dad (Steve Coogan) is just a wash-out. All that Maisie ever hears is her parents fighting. A tough, rewarding study of emotional neglect that plays the emotions like a grand piano.

 

WONDER

(Netflix)

 

Jacob Tremblay and Julia Roberts in a scence from Wonder. Picture: Supplied
Jacob Tremblay and Julia Roberts in a scence from Wonder. Picture: Supplied

 

Beautiful adaptation of the 2012 bestseller by R.J. Palacio. Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson play protective parents to a little boy with a congenital disorder that has disfigured his appearance and played havoc with his health. Now they must let their child go to school and experience the real world on his own.

 

ROMANTICALLY DOOMED

 

 

DEAR JOHN

 

(Foxtel)

 

Actors Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried in a scene from the 2010 film 'Dear John'. Picture: Supplied
Actors Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried in a scene from the 2010 film 'Dear John'. Picture: Supplied

 

Another sob story from the world's winningest writer of weepies, Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook). Channing Tatum is a globe-trotting soldier who loses his heart to stay-at-home student Amanda Seyfried. The kind of blubby stuff that cuts through the defences of serial snifflers like butter.

 

TESTAMENT OF YOUTH

(SBS On Demand)

 

Alicia Vikander and Kit Harrington in a scene from the film Testament Of Youth. Picture: Supplied
Alicia Vikander and Kit Harrington in a scene from the film Testament Of Youth. Picture: Supplied

 

A World War 1 nurse's broken bond with her fiancé - and her valiant attempt to repair it by putting her own life in danger - charges this genuinely moving film with an emotional power transcending that of a mere love story. Stars Alicia Vikander, Kit Harington.

 

 

BLUE VALENTINE

 

(Stan & To Rent)

 

Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams in a scene from film Blue Valentine. Picture: Supplied
Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams in a scene from film Blue Valentine. Picture: Supplied

 

On the final day of a failing marriage, a couple take one last, long hard look at each other. In this devastatingly downbeat drama, there is nowhere for stars Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams to hide. The lead performances feel so real that you worry for the wellbeing of the actors.

 

A STAR IS BORN

(Foxtel, Netflix)

 

Bradley Cooper and Lada Gaga in special shoot for the movie A Star Is Born. Picture: Peter Lindbergh
Bradley Cooper and Lada Gaga in special shoot for the movie A Star Is Born. Picture: Peter Lindbergh

 

Jackson (Bradley Cooper) is a veteran roots rocker with fading hearing and a debilitating love of the demon drink. Ally (Lady Gaga) is a talented musician in her own right. When a super-smitten Jackson adds his profile to Ally's potential, her meteoric rise invites fate to do its cruellest to drive them apart.

 

INCURABLY SAD

 

LOVE STORY

(Netflix)

 

Ali MacGraw and Ryan O'Neal in Love Story. Picture: Supplied
Ali MacGraw and Ryan O'Neal in Love Story. Picture: Supplied

 

Rich kid Oliver (Ryan O'Neal) gets hastily married to poor-ish babe Jennifer (Ali MacGraw). So his antsy old man hastily cuts off the pocket money. Then Jennifer contracts a terminal disease. Her slow and dignified demise - telegraphed by Oliver's poignant opening narration - is 10-tissue weepie stuff.

 

FINDING NEVERLAND

(Amazon & To Rent)

 

Actors Kate Winslet and Johnny Depp in the 2004 film Finding Neverland. Picture: Supplied
Actors Kate Winslet and Johnny Depp in the 2004 film Finding Neverland. Picture: Supplied

 

Charismatic widow Sylvia (Kate Winslet) is raising four young boys alone after the death of her husband. An unlikely soulmate emerges to share the heavy load: Scottish playwright J.M. Barrie (Johnny Depp). Then on the eve of the unveiling of Barrie's classic work Peter Pan, Sylvia suddenly takes ill. Uh-oh.

 

THE FAULT IN OUR STARS

(To Rent Only)

 

Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort star in The Fault In Our Stars. Picture: Supplied
Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort star in The Fault In Our Stars. Picture: Supplied

 

This teen romance explodes the tear ducts of its target audience like a weep-seeking missile. Shailene Woodley plays Hazel, a sharp and sensible 17-year-old diagnosed with lung cancer. With all hope fading, should the cautious Hazel really be dropping her guard and allowing herself a boyfriend?

 

ME BEFORE YOU

(Stan & To Rent)

 

Emilia Clarke, as Lou Clark and Sam Claflin, as Will Traynor, star in Me Before You. Picture: Supplied
Emilia Clarke, as Lou Clark and Sam Claflin, as Will Traynor, star in Me Before You. Picture: Supplied

 

Boy (Sam Claflin) is permanently paralysed. Girl (Emilia Clarke) is temporarily penniless. Girl gets hired as daily carer for boy. Boy gets huffy on a daily basis with girl. They fall in love. End of movie? Err, not quite. One of the pair has a literal death wish, the other may not be able to stop it being granted.

 

 

DOG-GONE DEPRESSING

 

 

 

MARLEY AND ME

(Amazon & To Rent)

 

Owen Wilson, Jennifer Aniston and 'Marley' in a scene from 2008 film 'Marley & Me'. Picture: Supplied
Owen Wilson, Jennifer Aniston and 'Marley' in a scene from 2008 film 'Marley & Me'. Picture: Supplied

 

Marley is a high-maintenance Labrador with a low IQ, always ready to chew up couches, chase around cats and pee on priceless rugs. You can't help but love the pooch. Then he gets his ticket clipped for a one-way trip to the big kennel in the sky. And you can't help but to be inconsolably wailing.

 

 

HACHI: A DOG'S TALE

 

(To Rent Only)

We all know Marley & Me is the Citizen Kane of doomed-dog movies. However, this one (based on a true story) runs an honest, heartbreaking second. It all starts when Richard Gere finds a lost Akita puppy near a local railway station. It all ends when ... sorry, I can't tell you any more. It's just ... too ... SAD.

 

A DOG'S PURPOSE

(Netflix & To Rent)

 

There is not just one pooch passing away here. There are at least four of them. It's actually the same 'dog spirit' (voiced by Josh Gad) being reincarnated from hound to hound over 40 years.

 

THE CALL OF THE WILD

(To Rent Only)

 

Harrison Ford in a scene from the movie The Call of the Wild. Picture: Twentieth Century Fox.
Harrison Ford in a scene from the movie The Call of the Wild. Picture: Twentieth Century Fox.

 

A family-friendly affair playing a pleasing game of go-fetch with your emotions. On the Yukon frontier, a clever, clumsy and loyal St Bernard and Scotch Shepherd mix is destined to become best-buds with a grouchy, but kind old prospector (Harrison Ford).

Originally published as See it and weep: Tear-jerkers you must watch



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