Last night, something occurred to me as I was trying to decide on a movie to watch. In the interest of not losing two hours browsing the On Demand listings and debating with the husband, I chose a favorite from our selection of DVDs, all of which we’ve seen. I found myself doing a little sort in the following categories: favorites to watch anytime, great movies that I wouldn’t mind watching again, great movies that I never want to watch again, and sucky movies that I’m not sure why we own.
I want to focus on the third category. Why would I never want to rewatch a movie I thought was great?
The best way to describe my answer is this: these movies rip my heart through my guts and stomp all over it. Or it least it feels that way.
One of these movies is Dead Poets Society. I love, love, love this movie. Everything about it is art. The first and only time I saw it, I was completely enraptured. If you’ve seen the movie, you know what happens at the end that has the heart-ripping effect on me and makes me want to never see it again.
Another example is Seabiscuit. There were a few heart-ripping moments in this movie, but it’s the one near the beginning with the boy and the car that makes me leave the room.
Taken is also in this category, in spite of Liam Neeson’s kickassedness – which is totally a word, by the way. A case can be made for Gran Torino as well.
The common thread in these movies for me is the element of children dying or getting hurt. I’m sure you have a similar list of great stories that you’ll never see again, and probably for a different reason than mine, but even if our reasons vary, I’m willing to bet they all have one overarching theme.
These stories make us feel something. Deeply. They make us face our fears and question what we would do if the situation was ours and not the character’s. This can be uncomfortable, to say the least. It’s also what makes a story unforgettable.
Which stories are on your list?