The Bridges of Madison County: NBC/Warner Bros./ZUMA Press/NewCom
EW Staff
January 05, 2004 AT 05:00 AM EST

Why YOU say ”Madison County” is a top tearjerker

Clint Eastwood directs the big-screen adaptation of Robert James Waller’s beloved novella, in which a small-town Italian-Iowan housewife (Streep) falls in love with a free-spirited, nomadic photographer (Eastwood). An earthy, Botticelliesque Streep is enchanting as she quickly falls for the sinewy, rugged Eastwood, who symbolizes lost dreams and true freedom.

KLEENEX MOMENT When this housewife chooses her family over her own happiness: As she makes a trip into town with her husband a few days after rejecting Eastwood, she spots him standing in the rain, mournfully staring at her. You stop being able to tell the difference between the torrential downpour on screen and your own tears.

WHY WE TEAR-JERKED IT How much Streep could one list hold, what with ”Sophie’s Choice,” ”Kramer vs. Kramer,” and ”The Deer Hunter” already on it? No more Streep.

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