Thursday, June 19, 2008

Movies and books that move you

Winner of Kelley's contest is: Laura J. email Kelley at: kelley.nyrae (NO SPACES)

There’s not been that many movies or books that left an impact on me. I’m hard to please, I suppose. Well, the other day my husband and I watched “The Bucket List”. Morgan Freeman is such a phenomenal actor, pair him with Jack Nicholson and you have a sure winner. I went into it knowing how’d it’d end. I mean, that part’s not a mystery. And while I generally don’t like sad endings, this time I broke my own rule and watched a movie that was sure to end sad. The thing is, it left me with a sense of peace. My husband and I looked at each other and we just felt this overwhelming happiness, ya know?

It’s not easy to be in love and happy after 15 years of marriage and two kids, but in that moment I could so easily see the rest of my life stretched out before me. Spending my days writing and my evenings sipping a glass of wine and chatting with my husband. I had an easy image in my mind of growing old and pampering a passel of grandkids. How lucky am I to find someone I could picture that with, right? Well, actually, sometimes it’s not so much a matter of finding that perfect someone, it’s a matter of working to create that perfect life together with the one you love. Nothing in life or love comes easy or free. But the things that make life and love worthwhile are worth working to obtain and keep. Agreed?

Now, recently my mom turned me onto a book that had that same sort of impact on me. Sharon Sala’sThe Healer”. I’d say it’s easily Ms. Sala’s best work ever. She’s a master storyteller, and this book proves that without a doubt. I was so excited about the story after I read it that I wrote a ‘fan letter’ to the author explaining how much emotion her book pulled out of me. I guess, when it matters, when it really means something, I feel this overwhelming urge to say THANKS to the author. I want them to know that they touched an emotional chord with their words. I think, and I can say this because I’m an author, that that’s what authors want to hear. We want to know that we touched someone with our words. It’s like getting an A+ on a test in school. You feel proud that all the hard work paid off!

So, today I’m giving away a $15 Amazon Gift Certificate, but I want you to tell me which movie or book, or both, touched you recently. J


Cassidy McKay said...

Loved the post!

Okay, this is going to sound really silly. But I have to say that Disney's Enchanted was one of the best 'feel good' movies I have seen in a long time. My husband and I took the kids to see it, and just walked out smiling, not saying a word until we were halfway home.

Usually we're tearing apart a movie as soon as we step out the door... but this one? Ahhhh.

Yes, I'm easy. And love a good Happily Ever After.

Cassidy McKay

Regina Carlysle said...

Ah, great post, Anne. You know, I watch a lot of movies that have me going...aaaahhhhh. There have been two movies that had me weeping. One is an older movie with Meryl Streep and Renee Zellwiger called One True Thing. It was all about the strength of women and not mispercetions and suddenly, in that one blinding moment, seeing real truth. The other is a historical, Sense and Sensibilities with Emma Thompson, Kate Winslett and Hugh Grant. I alway blubber at the end.

As for books? J.R. Ward's story about Zhadist touched me deeply but it wasn't so much the hero's story as John Matthews. Remember that scene when Tohr brings him home and he's eating and he's just so damn grateful that someone gives a damn? He starts to cry. I did too. Don't know if it was my "motherly" instincts kicking in but I just lost it.

Ooops. Sorry this is so loooong!


Kelley Nyrae said...

PS I Love you! I'm a romantic all the way and I always watch movies that make me cry. I teared up when she got the first taped message from him otherwise this was a feel good movie to me. Love the friendship with the three girls, it touched my heart how much he loved her and wanted what was best for her. He wanted her to go on and be happy. To learn to live a little bit. Makes my heart feel good.

Jodi said...

I've been reading a lot of Karen Kingsbury books lately. Her books always touch me in a way that make me sit back and reflect on my life and the things I'm doing.

Anne Rainey said...

Cassidy--My daughter totally wants to see Enchanted! I think that's next on the rental list.

Regina--JM brings out my mom instincts too. God, I hope he gets a phenomenal story!

Kelley--I'm not much for romance moves, but I do want to see P. S. I Love You.

Jodi--I've not heard of that author. Gonna have to google her now!

Carolan Ivey said...

I just finished watching the HBO miniseries "John Adams" on DVD last night. Very few books or movies move me to tears, but this one had me reaching for the hankie more than once. It's a love story - a man's love for his country, his wife, and his family, even though I believe his children didn't "get" how much he loved them until later in life.

Joy said...

I watched an old movie recently (Radio) that made me cry like a baby! Radio was about this mentally challenged man who was "adopted" by a high school because of a caring football coach. It just proved that in being nice to someone you're helping yourself even if you don't realize it.

I agree with Regina about Zsadist's story! I felt the same way about Zarek in Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dance with the Devil and Rio in Lara Adrian's Midnight Breed series. Tortured heroes always make me feel *sigh*

Anne Rainey said...

Carolan--Thanks for stopping by! I haven't heard about that miniseries, maybe they'll reair it.

Joy--"Radio" was one of the best films ever made. It really was. We watched it as a family and there's a VERY good message in it for ALL ages!

Lois said...

Well, there's always Phantom of the Opera, movie or stage version. . . Pride and Prejudice, 1995 version. . . and I agree, Sense and Sensibility. . . and there aren't any others coming to mind at the moment.

And I haven't read it recently, but I still talk about A Rose in Winter by Kathleen Woodiwiss. Sure was good. :)


Anonymous said...

What Dreams May Come is the movie that gets me everytime.

Riding Heartbreak Road by Kiernan Kelly.

Chris Roberts (with a broken ac at work today. 85 degrees and climbing!)

Regina Carlysle said...

Oh Carolyn...I loved John Adams. It comes out next month on DVD and I'm getting it. Didn't she have a hard life??? The part about the kids getting vacinations and then the deal with the daughter in one of the final segments. WHo could imagine what a woman went through with something like breast cancer. My daughter and I were GASPING at that scene. The TEARS!!! I loved that show. So good.

Anne Rainey said...

Lois--Phantom of the Opera is such a great movie! I wish I could have seen the stage version.

Chris--I feel for you with no AC...dang, that really sucks! Hope they get it fixed soon!

Cathy said...

Recently watched the movie, Boys on The Side, with a great cast, includeing Whoppi, Drew and Matthew M. It's about love and friendship and the perfect movie if you want a good cry.

The Legacy book series by Lora Leigh, always moves me, though I recommend reading all three stories to get your HEA.

acdaisy95 said...

I love to romance movies too. One book that I remember I read is the "Notebook" by Nicholas Sparks.

blessedheart said...

One of my all-time favorite movies is "The Titanic". It has innocent pure love affair, courage, compassion, and romance.

Rhonda :0)

Anne Rainey said...

Cathy, I've never seen that movie, but I do like Drew Barrymore.

acdaisy95, I've not seen that movie, but my MIL loved it and recommended it to me. I was afraid of the ending...I like HEA's generally.

blessedheart, yep, that's a classic for sure...even though there wasn't a HEA.

Anonymous said...

I have to say I haven't watched any really good movies like that in a while but there is an older movie called Soldier with Kurt Russel, that has its moments. As for books they are more private so alot of them get to me.

J.K. Coi said...

Kelley, I saw PS I Love You just recently too, and I was crying my freakin' eyes out! It was a really good movie and I want to watch it again and again...if only I didn't have so much work to do.

cindy said...

Hey Anne, I'd have to say the movie Premonition, it really touched my heart,& it's a reminder that we're not promised tomorrow,& that we should live each day as if it we're our last with the ones we love.

tetewa said...

Me and my mom watched a really good tearjerker last week, I think it was called Things we lost in a Fire. It had Halle Berry and David Duchovney as a married couple. Don't want to put in many spoilers but there is a loss in the family and it is a very touching story of going on with having a loss od someone close to you. I also loved The Notebook with Ryan Goosling (YUMMY)! We also watched The Bucket List together and made up our own lists after watching it.

Anne Rainey said...

dcreader--I love Kurt, but that one doesn't sound familiar, gonna have to look it up now.

J.K.--ain't that the truth?! With my kids out of school for summer break my time has been cut in half it seems!

Cindy--I think it's important to watch those types of movies from time to time, like you said, as a reminder.

tetewa--I didn't make a list after watching "The Bucket List" but that's a good idea. One speaker I went to listen to once said you have to 'see' to 'achieve it'...I believe that's very true!

flchen1 said...

Very fun post, Anne! I'm not much of a movie watcher, but books are a whole different story :) I recently finished a couple of Harlequin's More Than Words anthologies--I loved the stories AND that these were celebrating real women and real organizations that are making real differences in communities all over. It was such an encouraging reminder that romance writers and readers are a wonderful group of people.

Joy of Joyfully Reviewed said...

My favorite movie is The Color Purple as I love my sister and this really hit hard emotionally when they were forced to be separated. Other tear-jerkers (The Bidges of Madison County, Sam, Steel Magnolias, Terms of Endearment

robynl said...

The movie Bridges of Madison County is the one that does it to me. Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood are awesome in this movie.

Regina Carlysle said...

OMG...Joy, I can't believe I forgot some of these. Matter of fact, I just BOUGHT Steel Magnolias on DVD.

Kelley Nyrae said...

JK- I really want to buy PS. I only rented it.

Titanic and The Notebook are two of my favorite movies.

Joy- Steel Magnolis and Terms are GREAT movies.

Anne Rainey said...

Joy! Thanks for visiting us! OMG! I can't believe I forgot Terms of Endearment! I'm with you on that one!

Robynl--I have to say, I grew up watching Eastwood movies, having all brothers will do that. LOL But, I've never seen him paired with Streep. I need to rent that.

mamasand2 said...

I don't watch a lot of movies Anne. I would rather read a good book and use my imagination to visualize the story.

The last two movies to really touch me deeply were "We Were Soldiers" with Mel Gibson and "Brave Heart" with Mel Gibson again.

The first one to have me in tears was "Bambi" a long time ago.


kim h said...

just saw notebook so good. i love it. made me cry. two people meant for each other so nice and swwett. sad they died togther, but had a gret life toghether.

kim h

Anne Rainey said...

Hi Sandie--thanks for coming over! I have to say, my love for movies goes way back. My brother and I used to watch Night Owl Theater: I loved movies. Some of my best memories were when I was with my brother Bobby watching Fritz the Night Owl. Now, movies/tv, definitely one of my most favorite things to do. My girls and I love to go to the IMAX and watch the Harry Potter and Narnia movies. And of course, I have to have the whole experience, pop and popcorn, just the right seat, get there in time for the previews. LOL I love it. In truth, movies are the very thing that started me on the path to writing books. Bette Davis, Audrey Hepburn, they were the ladies I admired! I wanted to write characters like that, ya know? Anyway, for me movies, books, it all ties in together.

Kim h--dang it, now I HAVE to see it! LOL

lrwirum said...

A couple movies that has left a lasting impression with me is The Last of the Mohicans & Dances with Wolves. I love those movies.

I love Hannah Howell as an author her books tend to stay with me.

Another book that gets to me every time is: Til Dawn Tames the Night by Meagan McKinney. Even knowing how it ends it gets me everytime.

Regina Carlysle said...

I just watched Dances With Wolves with my daughter today. Such a good one and we also have Last of the Mohicans. Is there ANYONE hotter than Daniel Day Lewis in the movie??? OMG.

Scifibookcat said...

I usually avoid anything sentimental, heartwrenching, or overly dramatic, because I have a high degree of empathy and bawl my eyes out at things most people don't even sniffle about. Crying leads to a stuffy/runny nose and a headache so you can see why I censor my books and movies, lol.

I recently received and read an ARC (Christian romance though not overly religious)about a woman photographer who left the security of the east to travel to the Colorado Territory determined to take photos that will earn her a spot as the first woman staff photographer for an eastern newspaper. I couldn't put it down and I'll definitely be looking for additional books by this author.

The book is From a Distance (Timber Ridge Reflections, Book 1) by Tamera Alexander. It was a fascinating view of early photography, western travel and the early quest for women's independence.

kimmyl said...

used to think it was "Million Dollar Baby," but now that I've seen the "Snow Walker" I'm convinced that has to be the most intense downer I've ever seen. It should have won an Oscar for something. Cinematography, story, acting or whatever. Amazing!

Karen H in NC said...

Great post, Anne and I so agree with your assessment of 'The Bucket List'. I just watched it on DVD the other day and enjoyed it completely. I did shed a few tears at the end, but I mainly felt that Morgan's character needed to do those things on his list to really appreciate his wife and family...he did before but I don't think he realized that what he missed in his life was not as important as what he had. Same for Jack's character. It was touching to see the old curmudgeon
begin to soften, slow down and smell the roses, as it where.

Believe it or not, another movie that speaks to me is 'Dirty Dancing'. Aside from great music (which I love), I think the film clearly illustrates the difficulties and pain Baby and Johnny face in their relationship and their growth into adulthood. It so brings back memories of my life in 1963.

Grace Tyler said...

Great list of movies! Two of my most emotional movies are referred to repeatedly--The Notebook and Bridges of Madison County. I tend to avoid movies like that now, because I don't really need an excuse to cry! But books get me. Like one of the posters said, more private. And the writer has more opportunity to get to your emotions.

For the most part, I choose books I think sound fun, but sometimes the writer gets her hooks into those emotional reserves anyhow. Two I read recently made me cry like a baby. To Love and to Cherish by Jennie Adams and The Sheik Surgeon's Proposal by Olivia Gates. Yes, the authors are both friends of mine, but that doesn't make a reader cry!

Jennie's book is about a man who is recovering from breast cancer, and it is tender and funny for the most part, except when you want to shake the hero for being such a short-sighted jerk. And then she gets you. I did not expect to cry.

Olivia's is about a sheik YUM who falls for a woman he can't marry because he is heir to the throne of his country. I didn't know before reading this that there are a lot of sheiks and royalty in these countries, much like the European noble families. With that knowledge, it makes sense that only one family is actually in line for the throne. I think you can see the tear potential here! HOW will they get together? You know they will, because it's a romance, but I still cried.

Olivia writes powerful medical romances that involve adventure and intrigue with her Global Aid Organization, a fictional Doctors Without Borders. I am so her biggest fan!

Lately I've been kind of grumpy *shock* and so when the DH and I were scrolling through the movie rentals available on demand from our cable company, I was picking the death and destruction movies, and he votes for Dan in Real Life.

I figured, what's the harm? It's a comedy.

The laughs were so deep they were emotional, and I did get choked up watching it too. But I laughed so hard that I was grateful I hadn't seen in it the theatre, because I would have gotten on everyone else's nerves!

Anne Rainey said...

Thanks everyone for the wonderful discussion. And quite a few of you have given me a lot of movies to rent!

Jen said...

I meant to post this last night and never got around to it. Anne was talking about watching the movie Radio. I e-mailed her and told her that I live about 15 miles from the town where Radio lives. Most of the movie was filmed in this town (Anderson, SC). Not long after the movie wrapped, Radio's house burned down. The people involved with the movie (actors, producers, director, etc) went in and bought Radio a really nice house. The theater where they did the hometown premiere of the movie has a big gold start out front (like in Hollywood) and it has Radio's name in the middle. I've got to say, Cuba Gooding did a spot on job of portraying Radio. He had the mannerisms just right.