Afraid you’ll cry at “War Horse?” Sad movie survival tips

If you can’t see the embedded video, click here to see another trailer for the film version of “War Horse.”

As I write this, after a year-long wait, the commercials for the soon-to-be-released film version of “War Horse” have shown up on TV. Glowing reviews from advance screenings of the film have peppered social media.

Joey won’t win the Kentucky Derby, but he might win an Oscar or two. People who’ve seen the movie seem to love it. Oscar buzz about “War Horse” has been humming for a couple of months.

After all, the Broadway production of “War Horse” won a Tony Award for Best Play. This live-action film with Stephen Spielberg at the helm has a good shot at more accolades.

Among all the glowing comments from the lucky ones who’ve seen the movie already are quiet little voices wondering, “Is it safe to see? Will I cry?”

First, you won’t be the only one crying in the theater. Count on it.

Second, maybe you need a good cry? I’m pretty sure I do. I’m pretty sure we all do. Some experts see sad movies as cathartic and therapeutic.

Please don’t run away and swear you won’t see the movie. I think it’s important to see, especially for those of us who love horses. But I believe tears aren’t bad, so I want to offer you some “Sad Movie Survival Tips.”

Heck, I can’t watch the trailer without crying, and I’ve seen the stage play. I know who lives to go home and who doesn’t – unless Mr. Spielberg and team changed the ending.

As I’ve watched the various film trailers, I recognize scenes that I saw on stage with the puppets.

As I listen to the words used in the film trailers – words like “miraculous,” “tested” and phrases like “look forward or you’ll never get home” and “hope survives” – I don’t think Spielberg and his team changed much about the plot.

Still …  with John Williams’s soaring orchestral score and us identifying with Albert and Joey. our emotional engagement in the story is pretty much a lock.

Maybe you could use a good cry?

We go through our days with our emotions activated but tamped down. We resist tears. From our playground and pre-school days, we didn’t want to be branded as “crybabies.”

Most of us can’t be seen crying.  Albert and the human characters in the movie would embrace the concept of Keeping a Stiff Upper Lip.

Even in these supposedly more enlightened times, we’re not supposed to Let Them See (Us) Sweat.

So, we all walk through our days behind a Game Face because There’s No Crying in Baseball.

I believe we’ve got a lot bottled up.

Sad Movie Survival Tips

Accept that you’re going to cry, but you won’t be alone. There’ll be sniffing and blubbering all over the theater. Even among the guys.

Take tissues. Or, less pleasant, grab napkins from the popcorn stand before you sit down. They’re scratchy and dissolve too fast, but they’ll do in a pinch.

Also, decide ahead of time what you’ll do with your discards. Littering the floor would be uncool.

Maybe even take some try paper towels from home to sponge off your face with cool water after the movie? Paper towels from the bathroom are scarce these days and, if available, dry and abrasive.

And maybe go with someone you don’t mind crying with?

Still uncertain?

If you absolutely must know who lives and who dies – at least from my knowledge of the stage play – especially if you need to know if Joey the horse and Albert his friend make it home, please email me at remlane at gmail dot com.

But listen carefully to the trailer. I believe the clues are there.

More Sad Movie Survival Tips

Knowledge is power, maybe even the power to keep you from coming unglued and bawling so hard you miss the movie? This behind-the-scenes blog post blabs enough to info to help you appreciate what a fine job done by the equine actors and Horse Master.

I also believe it’s important for horse lovers to see the movie as soon as they can after it comes out on Christmas Day 2011. Here’s why.

8 Comments
  • Susie Blackmon
    December 7, 2011

    Crying about animals comes much easier to me than about people because animals in many instances cannot help themselves, and are so dependent on ‘us.’ Guess I should go get more waterproof mascara.

  • Rhonda Lane
    December 7, 2011

    Definitely waterproof mascara, telenovela actress-strength.

    You also make a very good point, Susie, and I don’t think you’re alone in that situation.

    I also believe that, when people are involved, even and especially if the departed is a loved one, other expectations come into play.

    We may have duties expected of us, some of them very public, like speaking at a memorial service. We may not want to “upset” others, others for whom the expression of extreme emotions might be detrimental to their well-being. And we may be in a No Crying in Baseball situation, like a journalist covering a tragedy.

    With people, we often have to compartmentalize. As far as animals are concerned, that wall doesn’t exist. Life with animals feels simpler, less complicated.

  • steve
    December 14, 2011

    glad i dont need waterproof i am guy that will be blubbering like a baby

  • Andrea
    January 1, 2012

    This movie had me blubbering and sobbing throughout. Thank god I was with my husband who understands how emotional I get when it comes to the welfare of animals. I was at a new years eve movie party and in a nice theater and used 2 big cloth napkins and nearly drowned in my own tears and snot. It was horrible.

    It was truly an amazing movie from what I did see behind my tears though.

    After we were watching the ball drop and celebrating the new year, and I couldn’t stop crying then either.

    I still can’t seem to get this movie off my mind

    If you’re passionate about animals and their rights to a happy care free life then please do not see a movie about a horse in the first world war.

    And like the writer of this article says email him for the ending if you wish to know before watching.

    -Andrea

    • Rhonda Lane
      January 1, 2012

      Thank you, Andrea, for the reminder. Any of y’all out there, if you want to see “War Horse” but know you tend to get emotional during animal movies, please email me to find out what happens. remlane AT Gmail DOT com.

      Actually, cherishing animals is a relatively recent development of the past several decades. Our great-grand-parents would think we’re daft, just like the villagers and his family look at Albert. Actually, producers of movies set in the past have to walk a fine line between historical accuracy and what a modern audience can tolerate seeing.

      Anyway, thanks for stopping by. I hope you’re feeling better. I know this is small comfort, but I don’t think “War Horse” is supposed to be easy to watch.

  • Victoria Salter
    July 28, 2012

    I shed a few tears at this movie. However, I didn’t just it, enjoy and cry; when I got home, I went on the web and signed a few petitions about the use of animals in the military.

  • Rhonda Lane
    July 29, 2012

    Fortunately, modern cavalry means tanks instead of horses. Thank you, Victoria, for reading and commenting, as well as expressing your opinion on petitions.

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