An unnamed woman stoops before an elderly couple, viewed from the back. She looks into the face of the man and puts her hand to his cheek. She speaks a single word — “Dad.” That is all we see and hear of her before she steps out of view.
While this is happening, we hear the voice of a man describing the dream we are witnessing. As he speaks, we hear him say of the couple in the dream “We can be good, too.”
For those of you familiar with the film, this is obviously the closing scene of “Raising Arizona.” (Yes, for those of you unfamiliar with it, I guess this counts as a “spoiler.” But the movie has been out for roughly nineteen million years, and you have no excuse for not having seen it yet.) I love “Raising Arizona.” It and “Fargo” are my two favorite Coen Bros. movies, and I go back and forth as to which is my very favorite. (I still haven’t seen “No Country for Old Men,” as I know I would have trouble with its unremitting bleakness.)
I mention the final scene and those two moments in particular because they will, without fail, make me cry. Not outright bawling, mind you, but definitely watering eyes and runny nose. Heck, just typing up the above description made my throat tighten. As sure as night follows day, as soon as we hear the word “Dad” my face will start to scrunch up.
I am not afraid to admit this. We’re all friends here, right Internet?
The only other sure-fire trigger I can think of for the water works is a two-word sentence spoken by Joelle van Dyne to Don Gately after a Major Plot Occurrence in Infinite Jest. It makes no sense out of context, and since Infinite Jest remains one of my very favorite books and I would hate to spoil it for anyone I’ll have to leave it at that. Suffice it to say that a mere two words will make me cry, and (like the “Raising Arizona” bit above) it makes me mist up just thinking about the scene.
So that’s this week’s Question — what reliably puts a lump in your throat? What will you admit in front of everyone gets your tear ducts going? It can be a movie or a show, or when that team you’ve rooted for thanklessly for years finally makes the play-offs. Real life or fiction, what has you complaining that your allergies are acting up?
[Tune in next week when I ask yet another Stupid Question inspired by the same movie!]