Then there was that day in 1986 we all experienced..."the day the cartoons died." Watching Optimus Prime die in Transformers: The Movie is probably the Old Yellar moment for children of the 80s. Thankfully Optimus came back, but those moments that gripped us as kids still come out when we watch the movies today. Recently I found a VHS copy of E.T. and watched it with my boys. It was first time in years I had watched it and the first my boys had ever seen it. I didn't seem to remember the emotional ties I had to the movie. E.T.'s death, the flying bike scene over the police cars, the departure home...they all had me tearing up. But there is one movie as an adult now (at least on the outside) that gets me every time.
Field of Dreams has the firmest grip on my tear ducts. I loved playing baseball as kid. Whether it was wiffleball with the neighborhood kids, organized little league, or just playing catch with my dad, I felt like I grew up with a glove permanently attached to my left hand until I was about 13. I connected with the movie at first, mainly because I was a fan of baseball. I appreciated the story for what is was, but didn't truly connect with the emotions. But now, after having becoming a father myself and playing baseball with my two boys, the ending of the movie gets me every time. Watching Ray's blind faith to build the field and then embarking on a journey with no end in sight just magnifies the climax of the film. Ray's reconnection with his dad by just playing catch is so simple but yet, so pure. The introduction of Ray's daughter to his dad and the question "Dad? You wanna have a catch?" is an awesome emotion to experience. It's one of child-like joy and parental pride all wrapped into one. I feel fortunately that I've got to personally experience both sides. And that's why I cry every every time I watch Field of Dreams.