17 Movies That Make You Laugh and Cry!

I recently saw the newest Pixar hit Inside Out (2015), a journey through the mind of an 11-year-old girl and her emotions. Like so many other Pixar films, it touched upon basic human emotions about changes in life. And it does so literally in this one, because the main characters are named Joy and Sadness. But it got me thinking about some other fun films on DVD which are equally heart-warming. It takes some great storytelling to balance an array of emotions in one film.

Sometimes you desperately need to laugh out loud. And sometimes a good cry does you some good, too. Rounded up by my officemates and me, here is a collection of 17 loveable movies that have been known to illicit both laughter and tears before the credits roll. I won’t name names because some of the guys in the office were reluctant to confess – “I might have cried or whatever.”

Get your tissue box in reach and prepare to laugh.

1. Steel Magnolias (1989). The plot largely takes place in Truvy’s (Dolly Parton) Beauty Parlor. It’s the story of a close knit group of people whose lives come together there. As you get to know the people at Truvy’s, their stories will make you laugh, and they will make you cry. Shelby Eatenton (Julia Roberts) is a diabetic young lady who becomes pregnant, against the advice of her physician. The pregnancy endangers her health. Her mother, M’Lynn (Sally Field) shares her concerns with her close friends. [SPOILER ALERT] This scene will make your heart ache along with M’Lynn as she express the anger she feels from losing her daughter.

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Agorafabulous by Sara Benincasa

You may recognize comedian and now author Sara Benincasa from her videos, blog, CNN interviews and Sarah Palin impressions. Our friends over at WIlliam Morrow sent us an advance copy of her first-ever book, Agorafabulous: Dispatches from My Bedroom, which releases February 14. In it, Sara unveils her personal struggle with agoraphobia – that is to say, she has a fear of open spaces.

Pause for a sec and read that last sentence again. Now, can you imagine living with severe anxiety, panic attacks and the fear of having a panic attack every day of your life?

In Agorafabulous, Sara rather candidly admits to a number of everyday tasks that, for her, become anxiety-ridden — even a trip to the bathroom. In chapter one, she itemizes her level of fear in an abridged chart, outlining the degree with which she’s been afraid of things like taking the bus and having a wet head. There are some truly awkward moments in her self-described “freak outs” (but hey, we all have awkward moments, right?).

Although it uses the vehicle of comedy, her work addresses a serious topic. Her book reaches out to other people who suffer with mental illnesses and screams YOU’RE NOT ALONE!

“I subscribe to the notion that if you can laugh at the sh#!&est moments in your life, you can transcend them. And if other people can laugh at your awful sh*t as well, then I guess you can call yourself a comedian.”

~ Sara Benincasa

Her comedic storytelling is exuberant. And, make no mistake, Sara is blunt. Perhaps you don’t have a fear of leaving your bedroom, but you may find yourself relating to the vulnerable nature of her confessions and laughing aloud at her honest self-assessments. There’s something wildly bare and relatable about Sara’s writing, similar in voice to that of Tina Fey.

Sara now lives in the wide open spaces of New York City, where “most people are even crazier than I am.” There, she continues to perform her one-woman comedy show on stage. And rumor has it there’s already a film adaptation of Agorafabulous in the works.

Does Agorafabulous remind you of any other memoirs you’d recommend?

— Meredith