Landon's desperate trip to his father's house to plead for him to cure the woman he loves, and his final recognition that no matter how much he pleads or prays or bargains, she is going to die. From that tearful embrace on, I am pretty much a blubbering idiot wondering how exactly a film with Mandie Moore in it could provoke such a strong emotion.
Noah, heartbroken is sitting out on the patio, where he has been sitting all night having watched the woman he loves walk out of his life for the second time...this time willingly. And that's when she appears below, her suitcases in hand. That little shrug of the shoulders and his tolerant grin, like he knew all along that was what she was going to do made the tears start flowing.
Believe it or not, the death scene did not get me started. It is done in a way that you are left wondering if that was the bull the did it or not. (This should not be a spoiler since the movie is based on a true story).
The tears started when they pan toward his father after the funeral, trying to distract himself building fences. He stops and admits with tears in his eyes that he's been trying hard, but he can't remember a single time that he ever told his son that he loved him. I'm afraid that father's are my weakness.
Not the moment of the two boys deaths. I've studied the Holocaust enough to know exactly what is going to happen in one of these movies when they begin rounding people up. It is the moment that his father looks into the empty barracks and realizes what he's done. His mother hears the father's cries from teh other side of the fence and breaks down. I break down with her.
The scene with the fathar and daughter facing the gunman. Sadly, the tears don't start when I think that the little girls has just been shot and killed, but when she starts to reassure her father that she will take care of him, and he realizes that, by some miracle, she's not dead...officially making the Persian guy's daughter my favorite character in the whole film.
OK, call it a daddy complex all you want. I've earned it, but the scene where Bruce Willis calls his daughter and leaves her in tears with nothing to hold on to but a monitor is heartbreaking. Her life flashing before his eyes near the end doesn't help at all to clear that up.
Nicolas Sparks has discovered the perfect tear-jerking formula. Girl or boy is forced into a situation that he or she is not familiar with. Girl meet boy or boy meets girl. Both fall madly in love. Something tragic happens to force them apart. Someone dies of cancer...or some other strange and sudden life taker. Boy and girl must overcome obstacles and never end up together. Dear John may or may not follow this formula, but the life-taker gets me in this one.
Clint Eastwood, tough guy extraordinaire--who has bested the worst villains in Western cinema history and wowed a generation with his ability to growl "Well, do you? Punk?"--crying like a baby at the thought of unplugging the girl that took so much of his crap to get to where she was, thinking that he would have to watch her die and know he did it. Even though the guy can't act his way out of a box, that's tearworthy material there.