Why do we cry at movies? Washington Post film critic Desson Thomson, recalling his own waterworks watching emotional films, checked out some research to find out. Audiences weep out of empathy, according to one expert. Women definitely cry more than men (four times as much) and weeping releases internal toxins. People "literally cry it out," he said.
But another expert disagrees. If crying served as "therapy" then actors who cry on stage "would be the most psychologically healthy people in our culture, and we know that's not true," he remarked. Finally, a communications professor placed it all on a higher plane. "Tears aren't just tears of sadness, they're tears of searching for the meaning of our fleeting existence," she said. Now that's entertainment.