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Richard Gere and a dog named Hachi: what movie makes you cry like a baby?

I’m not the kind of person who gets choked up watching emotionally manipulative commercials on TV. I’ve seen Terms of Endearment a ton of times and never felt a lump in my throat. And I certainly don’t have a problem keeping it together when I hear Cat Stevens’ “Father and Son” on the radio. I’m not saying I’m a heartless robot. Just that my threshold is pretty high when it comes to crying from the stuff I watch and listen to.

But we all have our soft spots. I remember once my friend Adam and I went to see the movie Deep Impact, which as you may or may not remember is about a giant asteroid hitting earth. It’s not the kind of film anyone would classify as a tearjerker. But there he was bawling his eyes out as Tea Leoni and the dude playing her dad embraced as they were about to be swallowed up by a giant tsunami. My wife can sob at the drop of a hat, too. Watching American Idol last week, her lip quivered every time some kid with a three-hankie backstory got their ticket to move on to the Hollywood round. I’m not totally impervious to these things. I think I felt something when Spock “died” in Wrath of Khan. And I’ll admit I got a bit misty watching Dennis Quaid in The Rookie, where he plays a former pitcher-turned-school teacher who gets one last shot to tryout for the major leagues thanks to his encouraging students. See, I’m not made of stone.

Anyway, all of this is a long build-up to say that I just saw the trailer for a new movie called Hachi: A Dog’s Tale and lost it. You’d think the movie would be terrible. Because even though it’s directed by Lasse Hallstrom (The Cider House Rules, Chocolat) and has an all-star cast that includes Richard Gere, Joan Allen, and Jason Alexander, it’s going straight to DVD on March 9th. Hachi, which I’ve also seen titled as Hachiko, is about a professor (Gere) who adopts a lost Akita puppy that grows up to be the most loyal dog ever (even after a tragedy that’s vaguely alluded to in the teaser). Take a look at the trailer and let me know what you think: did it put a lump in your throat? And while you’re at it, what movie or movies make you sob like a baby?

Originally posted January 18 2010 — 1:27 PM EST

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