My wife wants to make a supercut of me crying at movies. This would be incredibly bad for my pro wrestling tough guy image, seeing me sobbing like a baby at the absolute dumbest things in movies while she asks me why and I reply, “Because it’s nice.” I also cry at things like coffin scene in City of the Living Dead, when Suzy leaves the crumbling dance school in Suspiria, when the Mighty Ducks or any sports team rises against the odds in a movie and whenever an older man starts crying and tells his son that he loves him. I’m a weepy, blubbery mess of a man.
Christopher Robin set out to make me cry. But worse — it tipped the scales and went from inducing tears and then relieving them with happiness to outright depressing me to a level where I was sure that everyone in my life was sick of me. Such is its horrifying Lovecraftian power.
Director Marc Foster was behind films like Stranger than Fiction, a movie that may make you reexamine everything in your life. I wasn’t expecting that same kind of emotional punch to the testicles in a movie about Winnie the Pooh.
Christopher Robin leaves for boarding school, leaving his friends from the Hundred Acre Wood behind. The movie fast forwards through his life, taking him from school to his marriage to Evelyn, the birth of his daughter Madeline and his harrowing adventures in World War II. It was at this point that I wondered, “This is still Winnie the Pooh, right?”
After the war, he works as an efficiency expert at Winslow Luggage, where he works all night and neglects his family, something that didn’t hit close to home at all with my sixty to eighty hour work weeks. His entire team is about to be fired unless he pulls off a miracle. That’s when his wife basically leaves him.
Surely, Pooh is gonna make this all better, right? Well, Hundred Acre Wood has been reduced to a near post-apocalyptic landscape and all of his friends are gone. If I was a child, this is when I would have either turned off the movie or gotten sad. As it was, every time Pooh appeared my eyes welled up because I really didn’t like to see him looking and acting so pathetic. Him coming to grips with his childhood friend leaving him behind tore me up.
Of course, everything works out fine. People learn lessons. But it takes forever and a day. Pooh has always had such a warm, gentle touch and this movie just seems too dark, too cynical and too rough for what I want it to be. You surely may feel differently. I mean, you may also think that this is the exact same story as Hook, but what do I know?