There’s crying, and then there’s movie crying. For whatever reason, there’s truly no environment better situated for blubbering than being seated in front of a screen. Whether it’s a dark theater, your own living room or, best of all, on a brightly-lit plane as you are squeezed in like a sausage among 200 strangers.
There’s no cry like the movie cry. Nothing is more therapeutic, nothing is more freeing, nothing does more to make you question every life decision you’ve ever made. It’s those times you think to yourself, here I am, watching Fifty Shades of Grey in 27E, bawling like a baby because Christian will never love Ana the way she needs to be loved, that really prompt self-evaluation.
But that doesn’t mean that all movie cries are created equal. Viewers can expect wholly different sob sessions in Beauty and the Beast than they can in Furious 7. Come with us on this mournful journey as we categorize them all.
The Disney Cry
The way one’s body heaves when watching a Disney movie is so specific to that genre that it really can’t go by any other name. It really doesn’t matter the film’s subject matter—the cry will be the same. This weekend, audiences will relive the experience on the big screen thanks to the adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, wherein cries can be expected pretty much anytime Belle’s father shows up onscreen. (No? Just us?). Animated movies have a particularly strong influence on the amount of one’s tears, but it seems logical that the nostalgia factor would step in to ensure that there are no less this time around.
Of course, it would be pure blasphemy to discuss Disney tears without mentioning ultimate cartoon cry-a-thon: The Lion King. That bastard Mufasa gets us every. Damn. Time. It is physically and physiologically and psychologically—and whatever other type of science you want to throw in there—impossible not to have a sad reaction to what can only be described as the greatest family tragedy to ever grace the silver screen.
The Teen Tragedy Cry
Curse those teens and their melodramatic lives! Their plot lines are almost as out of control as their hormones, and yet it feels just as devastating no matter how over-the-top it is. Why is it that teenagers in YA movies always have to fall in love and die? One of those stories is cry-worthy enough, but both at the same time is simply unfair. We’re looking at you, The Fault In Our Stars.
Sure, it was a cancer movie, so audiences should have seen it coming. But that didn’t stop (probably) millions of grown adults from heaving as they listened to Gus’ eulogy for Hazel. For the millennials out there, one of the earliest examples of this was My Girl, followed in life stages by Here on Earth. Do you remember Here on Earth? LeeLee Sobieski only has a few months to live and yet falls in love with Chris Kleinanyway, and then someone reads something really sweet at her funeral. It’s absurd, yet somehow, not so.
The Dead Pet Cry
The first question any discerning movie viewer should ask, the second a pet appears onscreen, is “Does it die?” There’s even a website for that, so that concerned citizens can check to make sure they aren’t entering down a one-way street to Crysville. The worst offender, obviously, is Marley and Me, but anyone who says they didn’t get a little sad in Fear when Mark Wahlberg cuts off the head of Reese Witherspoon‘s dog would be totally kidding themselves.
The Unhappy Ending Cry
We don’t go to the movie theater to get a shot of realism, we go to the movie theaters to escape our horrible lives with something that’s way, way better. So when we’re watching a romantic comedy or a love story and the plot doesn’t wrap itself up in a neat little bow, we get very sad.
So sad, in fact, that we cry a lot. In the moment, nothing feels more tragic than watching two people whom we know are meant to be together, live out their lives separately without ever getting back into what we all assumed was a perfect onscreen relationship. If there’s one reason that La La Land was doomed from the start of the Best Picture race, it’s because Damien Chazelle and his evil cronies insisted on delivering a dismal ending to the story.
The Happy Cry
When movies are sad, viewers cry. When movies are stressful, viewers cry. When movies are happy, viewers cry…a lot. Perhaps it’s because everyone is so conditioned for something bad to happen, be it a sudden twist ending or the death of a pet, that when things go perfectly there are nowhere for those bottled-up emotions to go but out of our eyeballs. The happy cry is one of the more therapeutic of the genre—certainly much more so than the aforementioned dead pet. Dog deaths aren’t good for anybody.
The happy cry is what you turn to after a hard week at work, or when you realize you are in your thirties and still overdrafting your checking account to pay for Trader Joe’s wine. It’s what you turn to when you need a break from your own dismal reality that lifts your spirits, but also allows you that sweet, sweet release. In a nutshell, the happy cry is Love Actually.
Nothing that truly tragic happens in Love Actually (accept for the death of Daniel’s wife, but the writers mercilessly frontloaded the movie with that story line); in fact, it’s all very much good news. There are marriages, writers falling in love with their housekeepers, men finding sex in America, Prime Ministers finding love with their employees they mildly sexually harassed. Everyone is #blessed, and yet we are #sobbing. But seriously, who has the willpower to keep it together when Sam is chasing Joanna down the jet bridge?
The This-Is-Actually-Devastating Cry
So much of our movie tears are caused by events that, on their face, are wholly unrealistic or ridiculous. It’s the beauty of the cinema, to bring these occasions to life in such a way that we suddenly believe two terminally ill children would be allowed to fly to Amsterdam in order to chase down a famous person. But then there are the films that are so deeply rooted in reality that they shake us to our very core.
These are the movies that stick with us for days, if not weeks or months, after the credits roll. The movies that cause us to shake uncontrollably while watching, but also on the subway on the way home. And the next morning at the office coffeemaker. And five days later when somebody asks us how we like whatever movie it was.
These are the movies like I Am Sam, the plot points of which we truly cannot type out here today, 16 years later, without feeling a crater-sized hole in the pit of our stomachs. These are the movies like Still Alice, with its gritty depiction of early onset Alzheimer’s. These are the movies like Rabbit Hole, which we somehow allowed ourselves to watch despite knowing from the get-go that it centered around a teenager accidentally running over a little boy. These are the movies like Manchester by the Sea, which, well…f–k you, Manchester by the Sea.
The Laugh-Until-You-Cry Cry
After a viewing of Manchester by the Sea, it is absolutely essential for a human being’s mental well-being to transition immediately to something far more lighthearted. We turn to these comedies to give us more than a chuckle: To actually make us crack up so hard that tears stream out of our eyes as if completely independent from our bodies. We thank thee Judd Apatow for so many of these, from Knocked Up to Bridesmaids, but especially for that part in Bridesmaids when Kristen Wiig is high on the plane. What kind of a name is Stove, anyway?
The Nicholas Sparks Cry
The man has created his very own genre of tears. Think of this like Disney cries, except you feel way, way worse about yourself. It’s perfectly acceptable to let out some sobs during The Lion King, but it’s a little bit harder to feel good about doing the same during The Last Song.
The Cheap Shot Cry
We’re cheating a bit here, because our chief offender is not a movie but rather a television show. Yes, we’re looking at you This Is Us. We know everyone watches this program simply to cry. There’s really no audience member out there who’s turning on This Is Us and expecting to feel uplifted or, really, any emotion beyond devastation. That’s the show’s M.O.
But sometimes, and we hate to say it, the cries are a cheap shot. The writers know that its viewers are vulnerable. The writers know that its viewers had a really long day at work that may or may not have involved being publicly humiliated in an elevator. The writers know that its viewers are elbow-deep in a pint of low-calorie ice cream that tastes like crap. They’ve got us right where they want us, and they’re going to take a low blow. They’re going to kill someone off, they’re going to ruin a character’s day, they’re going to do anything that they know will elicit those much sought-after sobs.
We’re as much to blame for indulging as they are for taking the shot, but that doesn’t mean we’re happy about it.
Published at Fri, 17 Mar 2017 11:00:00 +0000
Drake has embarked on his Boy Meets World Tour, selling out arenas across the globe over the last few months and bringing people from all different backgrounds and cultures together under one roof, singing along to his songs, and despite any language barrier, never missing a line.
This moment is only about to be catapulted to a new level when he drops his next album, More Life, on Saturday.
The release has been highly-anticipated following the massive success of his last album, Views, and further proves that Drizzy Drake is arguably one of the greatest rap legends of our time.
But how exactly did he get here? What steps did this child star from Toronto take to transform himself from Degrassi‘s Wheelchair Jimmy to world-renowned Champagne Papi?
Let us investigate…
Step One: Born a Legend, From Legends
There are a lot of people who make it big in the world without ever knowing one of both of their parents, and while Drake’s dad may not have lived with him and his mother growing up, both Sandi and Dennis Graham had a major influence on his life, which he’s detailed in his songs time and time again. His mom—a Jewish woman from Canada—has always supported his career, and he often raps about the influence she had on his desire to make it big. “Look What You’ve Done” is just one song in which he dedicates his career to her: “I get to make good on my promise/ It all worked out, girl/ We shoulda known.”
His father, on the other hand, lived in Memphis, Tenn. Drake has rapped about the fact that Dennis wasn’t able to visit him growing up and often missed child support payments, but as time went on, they finally re-connected. In “From Time” he raps: “It’s just me and my old man getting back to basics/ We’ve been talking ’bout the future and time that we wasted/ When he put that bottle down, girl that n—a’s amazing.”
Now, both of his parents are heavily involved in his career. His father—whose made a name for himself with his thick mustache and retro-style—often attends concerts and after-parties alongside his son. His mother has remained by his side throughout it all, always showing her support during major milestones like his 30th birthday dinner.
Step Two: Started From the Bottom
OK, so maybe Drake’s start wasn’t exactly the bottom—it’s not like he was serving McDonald’s in Toronto—but he did start out in what’s usually deemed a doomed beginning: being a child actor. Drizzy starred as Jimmy Brooks on the hit Canadian teen series Degrassi. After being shot in the back during a school shooting, he was confined to a wheelchair and, thus, became known as Wheelchair Jimmy.
The show was a bit corny, albeit quite popular even in the United States, giving Drake at least a small, unexpected platform for kick-starting his music career. In fact, in one episode, he showcased his rapping skills, which proved to be pretty good even then!
Step Three: Listen to Yourself, You Don’t Need Nobody Else
Drake knew he was the man by the age of 6 and that has never changed. Being a child star on a teen series wasn’t exactly how anyone would picture a rapper kicking off his career, but the thing about Drake is, he doesn’t care and he never has. During a behind-the-scenes look at his life beyond Degrassi, he promised viewers and fans he’d always loved music and was determined to pursue it.
In fact, he put out music with Trey Songz even before he was ever signed to a label, proving he was working on his rap career before he ever actually made any money from it.
Needless to say, he dove right into that dream and never stopped pursuing it. Based upon his childhood, he always knew people would doubt his rapping ability and call him privileged, like everything was handed to him “top of the ribbon, never worked to get it” (just listen to “Two Birds, One Stone”). But he did work and part of that work was ignoring the nay-sayers and breaking the glass ceiling of his child star history in order for people to take him seriously. “Should I listen to everybody or myself? Because myself just told myself, ‘You the motherf–kin’ man, you don’t need no help.”
Step Four: But Definitely Still Answer When Wayne Calls Up Your Phone
Even with all the confidence in the world, no rapper can make it without joining a label, and Drake made a solid decision when he answered Lil Wayne‘s phone call in 2009 and took a flight to Houston the next morning. He wrote the So Far Gone mix-tape immediately after his return. Not only did this album result in him to signing with YMCMB, but it also gave us his first official 17 songs, including his first radio hit “Best I Ever Had,” which became the song of summer that year.
Since then, he’s surpassed Jay Z on Billboard’s hip-hop chart for most No.1 hits, broke Michael Jackson‘s record for the most nominations at the American Music Awards, earned over 1 billion streams with Views and simultaneously turned “One Dance” into the most-streamed song on Spotify.
But the question remains: Why? Why did we start listening to this former-child-start-turned-rapper from Toronto in the first place? Why do we love him now? Why is he arguably the most popular rapper of our generation?
This leads us to our next point…
Step Five: He’s Emotionally Relevant
Some people give him a hard time for being emotional—”true say, I been goin’ hard, but then again they think I’m soft”—but in reality, we connect with Drake because we connect with his feelings. He’s never been too proud to really show the world his emotions in his music, whether it’s about his parents or his many loves. We appreciate that we can relate to him when he raps about texting—”three dots, you thinking of a reaction still”—or hitting his “tees with Febreze” or getting in fights at the Cheesecake Factory (we all love to go there).
He hasn’t become the best rapper alive because he’s predictable, only rapping about the money and the cars and the fame—he raps about real things with real emotions that real people can relate to.
Step Six: Rep Your City and Take No New Friends
If there’s one thing we know about Drake, it’s that he reps the six ’til the day he dies. This is, of course, because it’s the city that raised him and the city he met all of his closest friends—friends that he’s maintained even through all the fame. In fact, other than YMCMB, Drake reps October’s Very Own (aka OVO), a Canadian record label he runs with those day-one friends.
The fact that he maintains childhood relationships is another reason we love him so much. It’s something we can relate to and something that gives him a sense of realness in an industry that is often portrayed as a facade with fake relationships and fake love.
Step Seven: Except for a Few New Friends
Not only has Drake maintained his closest friends all these years, but he’s also helped kickstart the careers of several now-famous musicians.
For example, Kendrick Lamar opened for him during one of his first tours. He discovered The Weeknd and featured him on hit songs like “Crew Love” and “The Ride” off Take Care. He even hopped on remixes with rising artists like Migos and Fetty Wap, bringing new listeners to their music and giving them a little boost to help take them to the next level of their career.
Step Seven: And a Few Famous Love Interests
From his public relationship with Rihanna to his romance with Jennifer Lopez to whatever went on (is still going on?) with Nicki Minaj, Drake’s love life has made for some great music with some great story lines.
Songs like “Too Good” and “Make Me Proud” became even bigger bangers with the addition of a romantic interest between Champagne Papi and his lady-of-the-moment. Not to mention, they bring a whole slew of new listeners to his music—thank you to Rihanna Navy!
Music aside, moments the rapper has shared with these women give yet another reason to relate to him. For example, he spilled his heart out for Rihanna at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards and confessed he’s always been in love with her despite the fact that she’s shut him down (like when she dodged a kiss from him immediately after said speech). We love that he’s vulnerable and his openness always has us dissecting his songs to figure out who his lyrics are directed toward.
Step Eight: Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously
Drake does something a little different than most rappers—he’s not too proud to get weird.
Whether he’s becoming a meme from “Hotline Bling” or taking over Saturday Night Live, he’s able to step away from the “I’m too hard for this” stigma attached to rappers and not take himself too seriously. Thus, you guessed it, this gives us yet another reason to find him relatable, becoming even bigger fans and buying even more of his music.
Step Nine: Do Right and Kill Everything
Finally, we couldn’t end this post with Drake’s motherf–kin motto (and no, not YOLO). In case you’ve been hiding under a Drake-less rock somewhere, other than it being his middle name, D.R.A.K.E. stands for Do Right And Kill Everything.
The No. 1 thing that Drake has done right in his successful career is simply staying true to himself. If you go back and watch his behind-the-scenes interview at the top of this post and compare it to a recent appearance on The Ellen Show or an interview with GQ, Drake today is the same Drake he was a decade ago.
He’s still in touch with his emotions, and he’s still vulnerable. He’s still dedicating his music to his parents, and his still repping the six. He’s still with his day-one friends, and he’s still helping support growing artists. He’s still a little weird, and he’s not afraid to admit that he’s still a child star from Toronto.
He’s still finding success after success with his albums, and he’s still one of the greatest rappers of our time.
We can’t wait to see what More Life has in store!
Published at Fri, 17 Mar 2017 11:00:00 +0000