Letter no. 12: Box of Tissue Award

The actor speaks in character, a music from nowhere plays in a touching score,
The trees sway, the leaves drop, sometimes tears too. The moment is set for a pleasant beginning,
A story is depicted, sometimes, about love and tragedy,
sometimes about life and beyond reality. And the rest is but a history.
Lights, camera, and a box of tissue please.

Dear Michael,

Isn’t is amazing how a moving picture combined with sounds and script, perfected by a good music can touch our hearts in just a span of an hour or two. I don’t know about you, but a little part of my life disposition was influenced by movies. You know, when I was a kid, whenever I watch movies, whatever genre it was, I would easily get moved by the dialogue of the actors, sometimes repeat them for once. I would sometimes copy the moves in an action packed movie, and right after the acknowledgement rises on the screen, it would be stored in my mind until the next day. Sometimes, I would even dream of what I’d just seen.

Whenever I watch a movie, I don’t mind who plays a who. I am not too actor-centric, except for some: Anne Hathaway, Mario Maurer and Keannu Reeves to name a few, whom I consider exception to my rule. I am more after a story and the lesson I can get, or if not the lesson, the explanation of thrill at least. There are tons of good movies out there, old and new, black and white or high definition, it doesn’t matter how it looks like to me, for as long as the story and acting move me. Everyone of us has our own choice of genre. Everyone of us has probably our own list of favorites and least like when it comes to movies, and earlier Michael, as I was cleaning my hard drive, an idea came to my mind. I’ve got several movies stored in my drive and I kinda sorted them out according to how I adore them. So I made a list of my favorite movies I have watched ever in my whole life and from there gathered the top 12 of them that made me cry, moved me as a person, somehow changed my life disposition and let me realize the value of life, love and belief, the number one spot being the best- probably gave me a goosebump, a box of tissue and a great lesson as a whole.

And before we reviewed them, I’d like to set a disclaimer. The following movies on the list are not necessarily under drama category, some of them may not be your type and some may not be even in your list. I understand that we have our own choices and opinion on and of movies and this is not to oppose you, this is just to further explore how I loved them, and again, this is MY LIST. There might be other movies that you think are better than what I’ve chosen, and so it only means either I haven’t seen it yet or it didn’t make me cry a lot. And when tears are involve, it means the movie transcends on the screen, and goes directly to my heart and its essential for movies to touch the audience and make us feel the emotion it is portraying if you know what I’m saying. I judged them in accordance to, 50% tears, 20% lesson, 20% delivery and 10% storyline. Just like beauty, movies depend on the eye of the beholder too. And here’s my list with a little description.

12. The Notebook (2005)
“Sometimes we need to be apart to understand just how much we truly love each other .”
This is indeed a very moving film that tackles the healing power of love despite the lovers illness. Watching the film ate up my bone as every single line that the characters were saying was heartfelt. The script was expectedly well-written knowing Nicholas Sparks. The movie just proved that it doesn’t necessarily take a death scene to pull tears from viewers and end up the drama. Sometimes, it just takes two aging lovers, a woman who lost memories of the past and a man who repairs the woman’s memories, holding each others arms, sleeping, as the camera zooms out to capture the masterpiece of love. The scene where Noah Calhoun (Ryan Gosling) was boat-sailing in the lake one sad dusk touched me so much. The picture just defines solitude and longingness that is more than melodramatic. Directed by Nick Cassavetes, this novel adaptation taught me the value of home, that where love is, home there is.

11. One More Chance (2008)
“You had me at my best, she had me at my worst.”
Director Cathy Garcia Moline never fails yet in every movie she directs, and this one is but a masterpiece that brought me to the chemistry of John Lloyd Cruz as Popoy and Bea Alonzo as Basha. The story is typical but the actors moved it to the next level, which I believe everyone in this generation can relate to. So far the best Filipino movie under lovestory genre for me. It captured lovers in their twenties who were tied up by love and got seperated by personal choices. It taught me how to properly decide in life, when romatic love is involve, there’s no clearcut solution. It showed the difficulty for lovers of having different proritites in life as well as the beauty of love on the other hand given each other’s differences. And how would I forget the three-month rule, that it should take three months after the break up to fully recover and avoid bounces in respect to the relationship. How

10. Charlie St. Cloud (2010)
“Nobody ever gets to see what could have been.”
Who would ever get tired of watching Zac Efron. This movie showcased his other side. In here, he acts not as a hearthrob or something that would pulpitate the viewers, but as a brother, a caring good buddy to his younger sibling Sam played by Charlie Tahan. The movie let me feel the pain of detachment to someone we loved the most, the longingness to the lost person we value deep inside. Losing, death, detachment and longingness are the keywords of this film. It may have a negative theme but it just proved that good things sometimes can happen out of it if we follow our instinct. The moment Charlie found Tess (Amanda Crew) after a violent storm hit her on a sea journey is just captivating. One scene I wouldn’t forget is when Charlie and Sam (who’s supposed to be dead) jumped into the riverwater, then Charlie came up after a second and Sam didn’t show up anymore. It was just
so lonely.

9. Seven Pounds (2008)

“In seven days, God created the world. And in seven seconds, I shattered mine.”

Half of the film portrays metaphors. The first thirty seconds is such a puzzle, and every second is full of emotions; hate, weakness, worries and stress. I would give five stars to Will Smith for keeping me at the edge of my emotion, such a brilliant acting. It’s a story of a man who found his purpose in life by giving his properties including some of his body organs to helpless people totally not related to him. Before doing so, he conducted research and pretended to be an IRS agent to get information of these people which was revealed on the very later part of the movie. If there’s a character among the seven people whom Ben helped that touched me the most, it’s Woody Harrelson playing a blind call center agent who used a braille system to accommodate customers. In the later part, after Will Smith donated his eyes, he was seen in the film as a music teacher in a rural community. I loved the vibes and metaphors it gave and the storyline is so meaningful.

8. The Lovely Bones (2009)
“There was one thing my murderer didn’t understand; he didn’t understand how much a father could love his child.”
In the beginning, a 14-year old girl Susie Salmon played by Saoirse Ronan is murdered and the viewers were oriented on who the killer was, and that’s where the thrill started. The movie focused on life after death, spiced by drama and representations. It gave me a clear picture of the portal to heaven where Susie was trapped. I cried a lot on the part where Susie met the other victims of the killer and together, they had to go otherwise their souls wouldn’t be blessed. It prepared me to the feeling of departure from our loved ones, the pain of letting go, and the struggle of moving on.

7. August Rush (2007)

“The music is all around US, all you have to do is listen.”
This is a story of a music prodigy. Lyla is a renowned and beautiful cellist and Louis is a guitar player and vocalist at a club. They fell in love when they meet each other following the sound of music on a party. Since they have different lives, they have to separate without seeing each other again. Unknown to Louis, they have had a baby named Evan who is given to the orphanage by Lyla’s father- and that’ where the story begins. The movie justifies how the music- be it any kind, can heal a soul. This is a story of Evan, who got the name August Rush on the latter part of the movie, and his search for his parents. What get me into tears are Evans journey, his innocence despite the world’s violence and his mature disposition despite of being young.

6. Waiting for Forever (2010)
“Bad love letters beg for love back. Good love letters ask for nothing.”
I found the movie lyrical with a touch of melodrama as the protagonist is under the spell of trauma which psychologically affects him as a child. This is a story of Willie (Tom Sturridge), a street trick performer who fell in love with his childhood friend Emma (Rachel Bilson). Wherever Emma goes, unknowingly, Willie goes. People see Will as retarded as he is psychologically imbalanced, but in fact, Will knows himself very much. The truth is, I fell in love with Will in the movie. He speaks softly, he is sweet and has an angelic look. He is an effective actor. The movie defines stalking and its parameters.

5. If Only (2004)
“I feel like I’m a really high second priority to you. That hurts. And the worst part is I’m starting to get used to it.”
I will not talk about the plot of the movie as I presumed everybody has seen it. The movie talks about ranking priorities in life. I learned from this film to value what we have until we have it and cherish the memories that have passed due. Jennifer Love Hewitt as always delivers a superb performance and she kinda shines a lot in every scene. It is such a great idea for the writer to come up with such a script that tackles about time and its value. The scene in the old house where Sam (Hewitt) and Ian (Nichols) were talking about death is the most poignant for me. I got carried away by how they delivered lines. Very sad ending.

4. The Lakehouse (2006)
” I sometimes feel as if Im invisible, as if no one can see me at all. I never felt that way when I lived at the Lake House.”
This is somewhat similar to “If Only” as they both carry “time” as the main theme. This movie is all about the enduring power of love and how it can move mountains. The idea of how two people of different timeframe find a way to finally meet in between is brilliant. Kate (Sandra Bullock) is living 2006 while Alex (Keannu Reeves) is living 2004 and both of them are communicating at the same time by sending letters using a mailbox at the lakehouse. Unknowingly, they have seen each other in Kate’s past which was revealed in the middle part of the movie. It’s kinda interesting and the movie scoring was perfected by Paul McCartney’s “This Never Happened Before” song. I loved the song. I just don’t like the ending where Alex and Kate finally see each other at the lakehouse and kissed. It’s such a loophole for me as Alex is supposed to be dead.

3. I am Sam (2001)
“I just don’t know what to call you: retarded, mentally retarded, mentally handicapped, mentally disabled, intellectually handicapped, intellectually disabled, developementally disabled”
This movie tackles a very sensitive topic about a mentally challenged dad named Sam (Sean Penn) on raising a baby girl. The story doesn’t have much of a twist. What caught my attention is the pacing, it’s too sluggish that every second seem to be an appeal to emotion, which by the way is very effective. I got blown by the acting of Sean, very excellent, one of a kind. He acts as if its really happening. The movie showcases a lot of reality about raising a child, abiding the law; the good and hard part of dealing with mentally challenged people. Such a heartbreaking movie.

2. The Love of a Siam (2007)
“I can’t be your boyfriend, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love you.”
I thought after seeing the trailer that this was just another clingy gay-themed movie, but I was totally wrong. I may have devoted 15% of my time reading the subtitle as the actors are speaking the Thai language, but still this one is on top of the films that moved me as a person. I felt for every character and their roles. The movie talks about the difficulty of losing a family member, it’s about the frustration of a girl on loving a gay, the hardship of suppressing feelings when you know you can’t socially be together, the complications of putting a
divide between friendship and relationship and the art of moving on.

1. A Walk to Remember (2002)
“How can you see places like this… and have moments like this and not believe?”
Who wouldn’t agree that this would be the best tear shedding movie of all time. Aside from the brilliant performance of Mandy Moore as Jamie Sullivan and Shane West as Landon Carter, the story gives a handsdown scripting and effective transition. It’s not an ordinary love story, it binds romantic love and religious love in one and the movie shows how those become essential in a relationship. It gives hope to everyone that love is never selfish, it can strike anytime at anyone. I can personally relate to the story. I love the simplicity of
Jamie’s character and how she deals with criticisms. I like the positivity and vibes of the movie. This is also one of the reasons why “Someday We’ll Know” song is my favorite.

And that’s my list. How about you? Share me your top box of tissue movie picks and let’s talk about it.


If you got the message and are Michael enough to break the question mark, then share your thoughts of the above letter and be featured as the next response letter. Just send your letters to lettersformike2012@gmail.com and be yourself read by others who have probably got the same thoughts.

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Posted on October 25, 2012, in LETTERS 9-16, LIFE LETTERS and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Reblogged this on "withDRAWING" and commented:

  2. Among the list, “The Lovely Bones” is my favorite. No doubt. I like the other movies in here too, but the story of Susie Salmon is the most poignant of all

  3. Nice post here. I haven’t watch all of them but some are really great. And we actually have the same attitude when it comes to movie, I don’t care who the actors and actresses are. 🙂

  4. I would give my box of tissue award to “The Lovely Bones” seconded by “August Rush” on this list. =).


  6. The scenes that get me in that tearful way are usually not typical, & definitely not ‘relationship romantic.’ The father-child dynamic usually does it, especially when there’s an element of heroism.

    Frex, the one kitchen scene in Unbreakable, the morning after the father thwarted a home invasion. The father & son had been wondering throughout the film how powerful the Dad was, with the son convinced, & the Dad trying to discourage his thinking. This one morning, father & son share a moment. Then there’s an article in the newspaper about a hooded vigilante hero saviour. The father sees it, slides it slowly across the table to his son to hide it from Mom, who hates, & is afraid of, the idea. The son reads it, looks up at his Dad, & they share a quiet moment of epiphany, when their suspicions are confirmed. The son is awed & proud, & the father feels validated in part b/c, for the first time, he is worthy of respect.

    Maybe you have to be a parent to appreciate it in this way, but I find it very moving.

  7. Hush, Charlotte

    The first time I watched ‘P.S. I Love You,’ after Gerard Butler died, I balled through the rest of the movie. Through my sobs I would say to my husband, “This is the worst movie ever!” I said that several times. The first time we watched the movie ‘Up’ I was being brave & trying to hold myself together through the montage of them growing old together. When Ellie dies, my husband burst into tears & said, “I don’t want you to die!” It was very sweet & terrifying because I had never seen him cry like that.

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