Just so you know, I’m putting this out more as a discussion piece than a typical list. Let me explain…
There are a lot of great movies out there that I am completely content seeing one time and one time only. Typically because they are very long or deal with heavy subject matter. Maybe even just because the subject matter doesn’t interest me all that much.
Recently, however, I’ve realized that there are a handful of films that I really like but cannot get myself to rewatch them because they disturb me in some way. I take that back. Lots of Horror films disturb me and I feel compelled to watch them over and over again. I guess a better way to put it would be to say that they depress me or bum me out. So much so that I can’t even work up the nerve to throw them back into the ol’ Blu-Ray player. Mainly because I know what awaits me at the end of that emotional journey.
Below, I’ve assembled a Top 5. I wouldn’t call this the Top 5 Movies That Depress Me though. I wouldn’t because I know there are a few more that I am forgetting here. These are the five that I battle with the most often. Instead, I’ve ranked them according to how hard they bum me out and am posting this so we can all discuss this in the comments section below. So, make sure and tell us what films you love that are just too depressing for you to rewatch. Here are five of mine:
5. INDECENT PROPOSAL.
I’ll admit, this is the tamest one on the list but it strikes a chord with me. You may see a bit of theme on this list in that infidelity rubs me the wrong way. One girl cheated on me in 1997 and I am forever changed… C’est la vie!
Infidelity isn’t the issue with this film though. This isn’t a film where a spouse cheats on their partner. This is a film where a couple makes a consensual decision that one partner will stray for a single night in the “best interest” of the couple. After all, one night makes them one million dollars and their lives are forever changed. The problem I have is with the scenes where Woody Harrelson’s character realizes, too late, that they’ve made a mistake. That inner turmoil puts my stomach in knots. That moment when you realize that the cost is actually much greater than the reward.
4. ONCE WERE WARRIORS.
I can neither confirm nor deny that in my youth I was arrested and court ordered to do 52 weeks of Anger Management classes. Therefore, I cannot confirm nor deny that this film from New Zealand is so gnarly that they show it to help reform people with anger issues. I will say that it deals with tradition, broken dreams, abuse, over-indulgence, rape and death. It also stars Jango Fett. I will also say that I think everyone should see it once. Though, I have no intention of seeing it again… not that I have seen it.
3. BLUE VALENTINE.
I didn’t realize what a profound impact this film had on me until recently when it was playing on cable and my wife turned it on. I lasted about five minutes before I had to ask her to change the channel. Half of it is such a beautiful film, chronicling a blossoming young love. The deterioration of that relationship is what kills me. I think it strikes a particular nerve because it wasn’t that long ago that I was young and had a young child and was trying to keep a marriage on the right track. There’s a time for all when it can go either way. Luckily for me, it turned out great but it kills me to think of what could have been and that is reflected in this film. Similarly, and strangely, I get similar feelings from films like (500) Days of Summer yet I can watch that one over and over again.
This film seems like an obvious choice because it is just brutal. It features some intense violence and an unflinching (what feels like) nine minute rape scene. Oddly, the ending is actually quite beautiful. However, the problem here isn’t the rape or the violence. Those are prevalent in many films. The problem is that the director makes you feel every second of it. Using music, sound effects and camera techniques to shoot the emotions into your veins and leave you feeling the pain throughout the entire film.
1. REQUIEM FOR A DREAM.
I think most of you will feel me on this one. Requiem is a damn good movie from a great filmmaker but it should really just be called Total Bummer. It’s hard to watch the effects drugs can have on people. Tearing their lives completely apart as they devolve into madness. In this case, the madness is a bit over the top but it doesn’t feel that way. In fact, it feels all too real. For me, the even harder part is watching the destruction it has on relationships. Be it mother and son, boyfriend and girlfriend or even best friends. The toll that drugs can take is immense and has never felt more so than in this crazy little gem.
So, what films do you find too depressing for a rewatch?
Remember, we here at Man, I Love Films don’t do definitive lists. We do our favorites and we want to hear yours. So, make sure and tell us about them in the comments section below.