Okay,so I know the stereotype is that "guys can't cry" especially when it comes to a movie. Guys aren't even supposed to watch sappy movies. We're supposed to watch manly movies with guns, explosions, nudity and gratuitous sexual situations... and we're supposed to love them.
Don't get me wrong, I do love a good action-packed movie that makes no sense, and is filled with all the above thematic elements; yet the dramatic movies that have filled our cinemas over the years are the movies that I do enjoy thoroughly even though they have often taken the back burner to the explosion-laced thrillers.
Films like The Shawshank Redemption, Boyhood, Schindler's List, A Beautiful Mind, Forrest Gump, Dead Poets Society and Casablanca usually rate incredibly high on most people's dramatic films that capture them and take them on an emotional roller coaster. As much as I love all of these movies, they didn't bring out the tears like this 1995 film staring Richard Dreyfuss, William H. Macy, Glenne Headly & Terrence Howard.
Mr. Holland's Opus
Without question, this is the movie I will answer every time as one of my favorite films of my lifetime. The movie revolves around Glenn Holland, a musician and composer (Dreyfuss) who, to pay the rent, takes a teaching job as a high school music teacher. All the while trying to spend his 'spare time' accomplishing his life goal of composing one memorable piece of music to leave his mark on the world. Mr Holland soon discovers that
life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.
As he teaches music to his students over the years, his contagious passion for music floods into the hearts of many of those students and that joy becomes his new definition of success.
This movies pulls at my heart strings for several reasons. The first being that I share that joy of musical composition as Mr. Holland does. I've been an acoustic guitarist for about 10 years now, and sitting down with my guitar and just creating a random melody is something that soothes any tension I may have. Music in general has always been able to sway my emotional balance; whether its Eye of the Tiger or Bohemian Rhapsody - music can sway my emotions, so a movie about music is definitely tops in my list.
The second aspect of this film that, in recent years especially, can pull at my heart strings is the fact that Mr. Holland is a loyal husband and father who wants to provide for his family and give them all the life that they desire. I'm a father of a 3 year old boy (his little brother should arrive any day now) and watching Mr. Holland sacrifice his dreams of being a famous composer all in the hopes of supporting his family and being the man that they need him to be: that gets me every time.
All in all, this movie brings out a great deal of emotion whenever I watch it, and the final few minutes of the film are where my tears come out. I won't ruin the ending, because if you love music you definitely need to see the movie, and the end is one of the most moving moments I've experienced in film in the last 20 years.