Confession. I often get so caught up in the on-screen experiences of characters in movies that I have to choke back the tears. The emotion hits me like an unexpected punch.
Sometimes it’s a movie I’ve seen many times, with scenes that stir my emotions again and again.
It’s a Wonderful Life, for instance.
When the entire community of Bedford Falls rushes to George Bailey’s house to rescue him financially at the end of the movie, I’m fighting off the tears. Every. Single. Time. Can’t help it.
And I know what’s coming beforehand.
But recently a powerful scene in a television show hit me right in the feels. It was the final episode of Season 1 of Apple TV’s Ted Lasso.
If you’re not familiar with it, Ted Lasso is a series about an American football coach — Ted Lasso — who’s lured to England to coach a Premier League soccer team.
He knows absolutely nothing about soccer.
Lasso endures countless insults and plots against him throughout his first season as coach of the Richmond team. Yet, he never waivers from his relentlessly positive outlook in every situation.
He delivers a sort of American optimism and corny naivety that bewilders the British.
In fact, Lasso subtly and slowly wins the heart of his players, Richmond fans and even the scheming team owner. She hired him only because she thought he would do a terrible job and ruin the value of the franchise as a way to get back at her ex-husband.
In the end, Richmond does lose the final match of the season, which means it will be relegated to a lower league.
However, after the game, Lasso stands before his team in the locker room and delivers a heartfelt tribute to the players and shows them exactly how far they have come.
That’s when it hit me. Unexpected. Out of the blue.
I found myself all choked up as I watched Lasso’s speech. Fortunately, I was alone in the room, so no one was there to laugh as I blinked back tears.
Anyway, I highly recommend Ted Lasso if you can tolerate the incredible amount of profanity by virtually every character in the show, except Ted Lasso himself.
But Ted Lasso delivers what I see as an awesome message about having a positive impact on people around you — even those who may not be ready to receive it.
I’m not crying. You’re crying.
BONUS! I thought of a few other movies that can hit you with an unexpected emotional reaction. There are scores of them, of course. But these are the ones that are most vivid in my memory.
The Blind Side
A Star Is Born (2018 version with Lady Gaga)
Field of Dreams
The Fault in Our Stars (I blame my daughter for taking me to see this one)
The Pursuit of Happiness
Toy Story 3
To Kill a Mockingbird
Good Will Hunting
As Good as It Gets
Dead Poets Society
Good Morning Vietnam