Funny and Overwhelmingly Sad

I saw this on my Facebook newsfeed today: 

Funny how Netflix can make it seem like a charming, cutesie, and heart-warming childhood movie...

Then completely destroy you without warning.

It happened to me too. It was 1998 when my parents started bringing me to Video City or ACA Video to rent out movies we can watch over the weekend. I remember dawdling from one aisle to another, scanning the shelves with movies I've never heard of, paying attention particularly to the covers and interesting tag lines. I lingered a lot more around the horror/thriller, adventure, and comedy sections. And then one time, there, on the comedy shelf, My Girl caught my eye.

On the front cover it read: "A funny and moving family film". I picked the empty VHS tape case up, flipped it over, and read the plot summary. It seemed cute and charming. You know, first love, first kisses and all. Maybe a little bittersweet. But hey, it's a comedy. What could go wrong? There's nothing like picking out a feel-good movie to take home on a Friday night, right? Damn, I miss those times.

It was funny, alright. But I suppose they have placed it on the wrong shelf. The shocking plot twist caught me off guard and it hit me hard. Emotionally damaging kind of hard. It was like Artax sinking in the swamp all over again.

It did nothing to my tear ducts though, if that's what you're thinking. No movie has ever made me cry—not even Old Yeller, Where the Red Fern Grows, or Marley & Me (I also have the books of the last two). And it's not like I'm holding back my tears nor I am that soulless. I do cry. But my tears are reserved only for serious matters like finding out I forgot to push the "cook" button on the rice cooker an hour after I left it and everybody is already starving. 😂

Anyway, these video rental shops stopped existing ages ago but the internet made it possible to watch the classics once more. However, I could not bring myself to watch My Girl again. Especially now that I'm an adult. Such emotional scenes don't get me anymore. I would most likely just notice inconsistencies and illogical movie scenes, and ruin the whole experience like what I did with most movies. Hachi: A Dog's Tale, for example.

If I may digress slightly.

Hachiko, sure is deemed one of the saddest movies. Watching it did make me sad. But probably not for the same reason you have. What bothers me is that he was "set free" or more likely abandoned to his grief by his family shortly after the "main" master dies and they let him live ten monotonous years. No loving, responsible pet owner, especially one that was owned by an important family member would do that. I was sad, and only because I don't think Mr. Wilson will be happy to see how his dog lived terribly right after his death, enduring harsh weather conditions and living off scraps from strangers. I can make a whole blog post about this. LOL. 

While most of us romanticized the dog's devotion and loyalty, I think the filmmakers could have done better than inadvertently portray the family as dog-abandoning jerks. I had to read up on what really happened because I was disappointed with the movie-logic. At least, the reality is less merciless. There was a more sensible reason why he can't be kept by the surviving wife. The real Hachi who waited daily at the station, although bullied and mistreated by some passers-by, actually had a place to come home to. He lived a short distance from the station with his previous owner's former gardener. 

And that is why I'd rather not watch these sad, emotional movies as an adult, I easily spot things that don't make sense.

Outside Shibuya train station in Japan. 

Anyway, let's get back to the topic.

Needless to say, My Girl has left a lasting impact on me that I could say it's still one of my favorite movies. As a matter of fact, more than a year ago, I created a small part of my island in Animal Crossing dedicated to this movie.

There was the tree, the dock, and the lake.
And now there is booze. 
So whether you are a tough guy who always has a ready excuse that there is just something in your eye when an emotional scene comes, or you are bold about your feelings that you can bawl like a child with no shame, or you are just like me who needs to slice onions just to conjure up some tears, it's always nice to watch some movies that will make you feel all the feels.

I know you don't need another reason to cry. But in case you are a glutton for sadness, I would definitely recommend My Girl (1991), then add the Bridge to Terabithia (2007) in the mix for an extra dose of heartbreak. 

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