We gave it an A-
Even the manliest moviegoer likes to have a good cry from time to time. Bill Murray knew that much in Stripes when he asked his platoon to raise their hands if they cried when Old Yeller died. We fellas may appear to be emotionally bulletproof sitting through female-friendly weepies like Steel Magnolias and Beaches, but throw a dog into the mix and the floodgates tend to bust wide open. Hollywood’s been hip to this for ages, going back as far as 1943’s Lassie Come Home — a perennial that defies you not to reach for the Kleenex. Since then, there have been heart-tuggers aimed at art-house crowds (1952’s Umberto D.), action-flick aficionados (2007’s I Am Legend), and mainstream multiplexers (2008’s Marley & Me). What all of these movies about man’s best friend have in common is that they’re guaranteed to turn on the most stubborn waterworks. At first glance, there was little reason to expect Hachi: A Dog’s Tale‘s inclusion on that list. After all, films directed by Lasse Hallström (Chocolat) and starring Richard Gere generally don’t bypass theaters and basically go straight to DVD if they’re half decent. But this one’s a three-hankie gem. Based on a true story, Hachi is the tale of a professor who adopts a lost Akita puppy who sits outside the train station every night, loyally waiting for him to come home. Then, one day, his master doesn’t come home (I’m not giving anything away, it’s in the trailer) and Hachi just waits…and waits. All I can say is, I lost it. And unless you’re made of stone, you will too. A run-of-the-mill making-of doc is the sole EXTRA. No matter, Hachi still gets an A?.