Once a month I find myself sprawled on my couch with a heating pad, clutching Cranberry while watching an emotional movie. Yes, I’m talking about my period. I know this can be a sensitive topic for those without a uterus, but I’ve always told my boyfriends that if you’re having sex with my vagina then you have to hear me talk about my vagina. That’s just common decency. I apologize to those readers who neither have a vagina or have sex with one because this post will probably be of no use or entertainment for you. But if Corinne can talk about her platinum vagine on national TV, I can talk about my period on my blog.
I was chatting about periods with my best friend the other day because she has an alpha uterus that controls my menstrual cycle, which I whine to her about every month, but I ultimately find helpful because she always knows when we’re PMSing. The conversation transitioned to the film No Strings Attached and the infamous period mix tape Ashton Kutcher makes for Natalie Portman.
First of all, I would like to note that this idea is incredibly heartwarming and I hope to find a boyfriend someday who will make me a period mix tape (even though tapes and CDs are irrelevant now) and bring me chocolate and wine. And although Cranberry is basically a living heating pad and is a wonderful period companion, she can’t buy me ice cream or alcohol or tell me to calm down when I’m irrationally cranky so in that respect she is useless.
Despite how thrilling becoming uncontrollably emotional once a month is, practically speaking I need to get all the crying out of my system in the privacy of my own home before I head to the office. This got me thinking about what movies are pure gold when you need to wallow in period-induced sadness. And because I’m a strong, independent woman who can fend for herself, I’ve decided to compile my very own period playlist:
For me, Titanic is the ultimate movie to watch during a post break-up ice cream binge. It slowly cultivates Rose and Jack’s relationship and just as we delight in their romantic union in the backseat of a steerage car, we see them torn apart. The emotional roller-coaster begins as we realize the Titanic is doomed and Jack is handcuffed to a pipe far below deck. Our hearts race as Rose and Jack bravely reunite and fight their way to the remaining lifeboats. Once the ship starts splitting in two and the montage of doomed souls below deck starts and the hauntingly beautiful music begins, the buildup of tears and tension breaks and the ugly crying begins.
Once in the water, we witness a massive number of passengers futilely struggling for life amidst the frozen waters of the Atlantic and we come to the realization that both Jack and Rose will not fit on the drifting door (yes, controversial, I know). When the present-day Rose drops the heart of the ocean off the side of the ship and dies peacefully in a warm bed, I dare you not to cry. And when Jack and Rose are reunited on the grand staircase in a beautiful afterlife, how can you ask for a better ending to a film? Titanic is definitely a time investment, which is why I reserve it for watching once every break up, but if you are having a really emotional period, this is the perfect remedy.
Keanu Reeves is one of my all-time celebrity crushes (tied for first with ER’s Noah Wyle) and Hardball is one of my favorite films. Keanu stars opposite Diane Lane, playing a bad boy with a gambling problem who gets roped into coaching an inner city little league team in order to pay off his debts. Over the course of the movie, Keanu is inspired by the young boys on his team and their teacher, Ms. Wilkes, and he begins to contemplate his terrible life decisions. I don’t think I can ever listen to The Notorious B.I.G’s lyric “I love it when you call me big papa” ever again without crying. Just thinking about G-Baby makes me emotional. And while this film presents many opportunities for a good ugly cry, you are also rewarded with the beautiful image of Keanu and his awkward, cumbersome approach to acting. Your uterus will thank you for this gift of a movie.
P.S. I Love You
P.S. I Love You was made for hormonal women everywhere. The entire film is sprinkled with tear jerking gems that leave me openly sobbing. The idea of mourning the loss of an integral person in your life and moving on to find happiness and fulfillment while still honoring your past is deeply moving. Hillary Stark’s performance is heartbreaking and the supporting cast shines in this movie, bringing moments of humor and humility to what could have been an incredibly depressing film. Harry Connick Jr., Kathy Bates and Jeffrey Dean Morgan all contribute to the heartwarming and uplifting tone of the film and there’s a happy ending that leaves you feeling refreshed after two hours of crying.
I first watched Steel Magnolias with my mom when I was in high school and what sets this film apart from the rest are the empowering female relationships driving its storylines. What’s better to watch while menstruating than a film following the complicated and comedic lives of six Southern women. Julia Roberts, Sally Field, and Dolly Parton create a sense of community and comradery that draw you into the highs and lows of their lives. Watching Julia Roberts fight to become a mother while Sally Field worries about losing her own daughter in the process is heartbreaking. Meanwhile, Dolly Parton brings a levity to the film that carries through the heavy storylines.You’ll laugh and cry and feel hormonally balanced by the end of this ’90s classic.
Another tear jerker from Julia Roberts, this one opposite Susan Sarandon. I can only imagine the pain a parent must feel knowing she will have to leave her kids too early, missing all the important milestones in their lives. Navigating a divorce and the formation of a new, pieced together family on top of receiving a dreaded diagnosis makes for a minefield of emotions in this film. Susan Sarandon delivers an incredible performance, illustrating the struggle of feeling like you’re being replaced, but knowing it’s what’s best for your family. Stepmom is the perfect film for a night in by yourself because this is sure to deliver a long, ugly cry featuring jagged, audible sobs.
Fried Green Tomatoes
Fried Green Tomatoes is another emotional roller-coaster that is sure to deliver both happy and sad tears. The film follows a main character who didn’t fit into the traditional gender roles of her time and struggled to succeed in a world designed to see her fail. She faces heartbreak and finds love and her courage inspires Kathy Bates to cover her body entirely in cellophane. I dare you to watch this movie and not be inspired to pursue your passions in life. The storyline transports you to another place and time, which will help you forget about the fact that you are bloated and couch-bound for the evening.
Moulin Rouge. Need I say more? Between the music, the sets, the costumes, and the choreography, Moulin Rouge makes you feel so many emotions. Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor are captivating leads who try desperately to escape their entanglements and run away together. When we are lulled into thinking they have a chance at happiness, we find out Nicole Kidman is sick and Ewan’s love can’t save her. If you really want to spend an evening wallowing in your tears, there is sadly no happy ending to this vibrant musical.
I hope these films bring you a sense of hope that you will make it through this trying time of the month with minimal blood loss and maximum emotional control.