In this awkward season of not-quite-spring, sometimes there is no better option than putting on your PJs, grabbing that Costco-size Kleenex box and leaning into the miserable. Because we all need to empty the tear ducts now and then, and why not get it out of the way before the April showers abate? Here, a collection of cinematic sobfests on Netflix that are guaranteed to make you bawl like a baby (or a grown-up woman who just wants to have a good cry).
Julianne Moore won an Oscar (finally) for her portrayal of Alice Howard, a 50-year-old Harvard prof whose perfect life is permanently derailed by early onset Alzheimer’s. Based on the brilliant 2007 novel of the same name, the story is told largely through Alice’s own experience of her cognitive deterioration. It’s not for the faint of heart. Or dry of eye.
The guy who wrote Love Actually wrote another snot-summoning romance about a guy who can go back in time to revisit moments in his own life. Which might sound awesome (getting a re-do on an awkward first kiss, for example), but is actually a whole lot of heartache. Rachel McAdams plays the love interest whose charm transcends time and space (of course).
This nineties classic may be best known for the sexy pottery scene and/or the debut of Demi Moore’s era-defining haircut, but really it’s a story about how impossible it is to say goodbye to your true love. Grab the tissues, cue the Righteous Brothers.
Our Souls At Night
For fans of classic cinema, seeing Jane Fonda and Robert Redford reunited on screen (fifty years after Barefoot in the Park) may be enough to kick-start the waterworks. This Netflix original is about two neighbours who embark on a meaningful relationship after losing their respective spouses.
My Life Without Me
Life Is Beautiful
Roberto Benigni wrote, directed and stars in this no-mascara-advised account of a Jewish father who turns the Holocaust into a game to protect his young son. Charmingly offbeat and ultimately life affirming, the movie is equally as memorable as Benigni’s Oscar acceptance speech, which is saying something.
A dream vacation to Thailand becomes an epic quest for survival in this adventure drama based on the real experience of a family separated by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Naomi Watts (the mom) scored an Oscar nomination for her work opposite Ewan McGregor (the dad). If you have kids, you’ll probably want to go watch them sleep for a while after watching.
Burn, Burn, Burn
Two friends embark on a morbid road trip when their best friend dies and sends them on a journey to scatter his ashes. It’s a dark comedy that delves into love and friendship and making the most of every moment. Plus — attention Downton Abbey fans! — it stars Laura Carmichael (a.k.a. Lady Edith!), who is as glorious in modern day as she was in a corset.