Could You Cry on Cue?

Writer Amy Sohn remembers  The Tears Didn’t Come Until It Was Too Late  in her reminisce of being a child star whose “big break was spoiled when she couldn’t cry in a screen test.”

Tears come to me when I least expect it – watching an episode of House of Cards (?).  But when I want to have an excuse to cry, I know where to go.

Unknown-2The old movie channel has saved me when I needed a good full out cry but could not manage to cough it up.  When my first-born left for college, I kept up the strong facade, and unlike the President, I could speak of it without tears.  On the big day, after dropping her off at the dorm, I managed a smile for her, and even pleasant conversation with my husband on the way home.  But that evening, I found my relief, and cried out loud at every scene of Old Yeller.

I found a list of movies guaranteed to make you cry – among them some old favorites like Beaches and My Girl, but, as a new Netflix user, I thought I’d look for some laughter – movies to make you laugh – a much harder task.  I’ve returned to my DVD for missed episodes of TDS (The Daily Show) and Stephen Colbert’s monologues for The Late Show.  Colbert always makes me laugh – and sometimes cry.


Stacked By My Bed…

Reading myself to sleep with:

  • 9780812993868_p0_v1_s260x420Sophie Kinsella’s newest British escapade with Becky Brandon (this is the seventh) – Shopaholic to the Stars
  • The latest installment of the Maggie Hope mystery series by Susan Elia MacNeal – The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent9780345536747_p0_v4_s260x420

9780805095159_p0_v3_s260x420And when I feel serious, I thumb through Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal, as sobering as promised in his interview with Jon Stewart on the Daily Show – a book about the inevitability of death.  Despite modern medicine, we all die.   Just as Stewart balanced the interview with humor, I counter the heaviness by alternating with the escapades and adventures of Becky and Maggie.

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents Earth

If you are a fan of the Daily Show, you will like Earth: A Visitor’s Guide to the Human Race. Not a comic (or graphic) book, this textbook has real pictures, side notations, even quizzes.  You may not learn anything new, but you’ll appreciate Stewart’s usual satiric take on everything from fungi to Meg Ryan’s new lips.

The audience for the information is not you; this book is for E.T. (extraterrestrials) when they find the planet deserted of life form, presumably because we’ve finally blown ourselves up.  Just so they’ll know what they missed, Stewart and his staff explain humans and the world they lived in –  The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in reverse – with pictures.

Better than a coffee-table book, but with that same flavor.  Just open it now and then, especially on a day when you need to restore your sanity.