Beware! Some of these films will cause even the robot-est of hearts to ooze the warm goo of emotion.
I tried, I really tried, but the keys got all slippery from my tears, whether they be from joy or sadness, and my heart beat so fast that the words just could not be heard overtop of its pounding tattoo. Was 2007 the year we embraced our emotions? Or did we just create these moving pieces in order to cause our dates to cuddle close? Can you handle your soul ripped open and laid out to be examined before your very eyes? Now is the time to pop in a DVD, look around with wet lashes, and accept the fact that you will feel a pang every time you think of this film — now…and forever!
I’m just going to go ahead and risk credibility right at the outset. Enchanted is a Disney film that is meant for kids and their parents to enjoy together, but, besides being Pixar-quality funny, stars Amy Adams and James Marsden invoke the feel-good fever of our Disney childhoods set against a 2007 Manhattan backdrop.
- Your emotion: unfettered glee.
- Caution: You might also feel a little ashamed of yourself as Disney exposes you for the cynical brat that you are.
It’s possible that Juno might not call up emotion in every filmgoer, but if by chance you have the good fortune to have been a teenage girl and/or an ardent fan of early 1990s Seattle rock, you will not be able to escape it. Those adolescent female memories that you’ve been trying to repress are no match for this fantastic film, which sets a young girl’s confusion and insecurity in comparison with a woman’s overwhelming desire to nurture. I can’t even talk about it anymore. Jason Bateman sings a Hole song.
- Your emotion: nostalgia for your teenage years or the 90s, or if you’re one of the lucky Gen Y’ers, both!
- Caution: Might induce attacks of baby fever on the prone.
Unicorns and princes and witches. I saw this twice in the theaters and couldn’t once bring myself to tarnish its sterling memory by picking it apart.
- Your emotion: utter joy and a yearning for more funny, smart fantasy films.
- Caution: Coming back to reality after Stardust is a bitter, bitter pill to take.
2. The Namesake
Technically a 2006 release but unavailable until 2007 in the United States, I almost boycotted this film because of its heavy promotion, which depicted it as a movie in which parents just don’t understand. Wrong! They understand a ton! And you know why? They’ve been through a whole hell of a lot! And guess what? Maybe it doesn’t get any better. Maybe things continue to fall apart! But that’s just the way life is, for them, for you, and for the rest of us.
- Your emotion: Grief, familial love, and paranoia.
- Caution: You might become a tad clingy after all of this. And you might dump your well-meaning girlfriend for not understanding your culture.
1. Away from Her
Scarier than any horror movie I have ever seen, this fantastic maiden voyage for actress-turned-director Sarah Polley shows us the effects of Alzheimers on a successful, loving, and aging couple. I honestly started crying about five minutes into this film and didn’t stop until well after it was over. I even cried during a sandwich break.
- Your emotion: Stark terror as you realize the likelihood of one of these fates eventually happening to you.
- Caution: Immediate Enchanted chaser required.
Here’s hoping 2008 wreaks a little less havoc on my feelings, because I, for one, feel like I deserve a break. Happy New Year!