• Sun, Mar 9 - 11:01 am ET

The 20 Most Heart-Wrenching Moments In Lifetime’s The Trip To Bountiful

Lifetime Trip To Bountiful Blair Underwood Cicely Tyson 2014

Hey Lifetime, quit making good movies. If I can’t snark on something every Sunday morning it will be bad for my health. Alas, there aren’t many wisecracks I can make about the newest movie The Trip to Bountiful. It’s adapted from a play of the same name by Horton Foote and tells the story of an old woman setting out to see her hometown of Bountiful, Texas, one last time before she dies, against the wishes of her overprotective family.

Lifetime’s version stars Cicely Tyson, who happens to have won a Tony for playing the role on Broadway. That production also starred Vanessa Williams, who reprised her role for Lifetime’s version. And the result was just about what you’d expect from something adapted from a classic and starring amazing performers. Add in good production value and it would seem my snark levels are dangerously low.

Luckily, even though it’s physically impossible to say anything smart-alecky about a legend like Cicely Tyson, I am able to direct the cutting remarks at myself and how emotional I got while watching this movie. I’ve said before that I’m a crier, and it showed last night. Before Lifetime’s version aired, I vaguely remembered watching the 1985 movie starring Geraldine Page years ago, and while the details are fuzzy, I distinctly recalled bawling like a baby. So I of course expected the same results this time around. Therefore I thought I’d just list the most heart-wrenching moments of my viewing experience, in chronological order, and rate them according to my emotional reaction.

1. The promo for the movie airs seconds before it starts…

… and they play that “Coming Home” song over a montage of tender moments.

Emotional Response: A wrinkling of the brow, a despondent sigh that seems to say, “This is it. No turning back now.”

2. Cicely Tyson pulls a wagon through her neighborhood…

… and she’s an old lady pulling a wagon, so that’s about the most “ugh, my heart” type of moment this movie could start with.

Emotional Response: “Ugh, my heart.”

3. Blair Underwood shows up playing Cicely’s son…

… and he’s just as extremely attractive as the last time I saw him.

Emotional Response: Light swooning

4. Vanessa Williams shows up playing Cicely’s daughter-in-law…

… and she still plays a bitch like no other.

Emotional Response: Intense finger snapping in a Z pattern

5. Blair and Cicely sit up together late at night…

… and they reminisce about old times.

Emotional Response: A smile-pout, when your bottom lip sticks out but the sides of your mouth curl into a smile

6. Cicely collapses during housework…

… because she has a bad heart and shouldn’t put too much strain on it, hence why she shouldn’t make the trip to Bountiful.

Emotional Response: Some gasping, muttering “Oh no” under my breath

7. Vanessa tells Cicely she forbade the grocery store from cashing checks for her…

… because she suspects Cicely is hiding her pension check from her.

Emotional Response: “The bitch!”, followed by more finger-snapping

8. Cicely gets to the bus station to buy a ticket…

… and she holds up the line by paying in quarters and nickels.

Emotional Response: More smile-pouting, followed by the words of Cher Horowitz: “Old people can be so sweet.”

9. Cicely runs to catch the bus…

… and she yells out begging them to let her on before thanking the driver profusely and hobbling up the stairs.

Emotional Response: A momentary inability to breathe, NBD

10. Cicely tells her new friend Keke Palmer she wasn’t in love with her husband…

… because she was in love with another man her parents wouldn’t let her marry.

Emotional Response: Scrunched up cry-face, tingly tear ducts, no actual tears

11. Cicely learns the friend she was going to visit died the day before yesterday…

… and she was the last person in the town of Bountiful.

Emotional Response: Scrunched up cry-face, tears, so many tears, more tears, “WHY?!”, “Oh noooo,” “This is so sad,” etc., etc.

12. Cicely sings a hymn at the top of her lungs at the bus station…

… and it’s emotional enough to touch even a heathen like me.

Emotional Response: Smiling, lack of eye-rolling, confusion over the smiling and the lack of eye-rolling, acceptance

13. Cicely and Keke dance together on the sidewalk…

… and Cicely says, “If my daughter had lived, I would have wanted her to be just like you.”

Emotional Response: Gaping mouth, leftover tears from the last heart-wrenching moment, “Can this lady’s life get any sadder?”, etc., etc.

14. Keke gets on another bus to go home…

… and Cicely looks completely heartbroken.

Emotional Response: TEARS, inability to see the movie through those tears, MORE TEARS

15. The sheriff says Cicely’s son is coming to pick her up…

… and she delivers an intense monologue about how no one will stop her from seeing Bountiful before she dies.

Emotional Response: “AMEN!”, tears

16. The sheriff drives Cicely to her old house…

… because he has a heart.

Emotional Response: Smile-pouting, clutching my hand to my chest

17. The house is abandoned and run-down…

… but Cicely looks so happy and says, “I’m home.”

Emotional Response: A single tear rolling down one side of my face, immediately ruined by ugly cry-face

18. Blair gets to the house…

… and he delivers an emotional monologue about regrets and not wanting to remember.

Emotional Response: Wrinkled brow, also more light swooning

19. Cicely comments that the farms have been replaced by woods…

… but those woods will probably be cut down for new farms, then replaced by woods, and so on and so on the circle of life and it moves us all AMEN.

Emotional Response: Smile-pouting, nodding

20. Cicely rides away from her home in the back of the car to the tune of a hymn…

… and you can read all of her varied emotions in one facial expression.

Emotional Response: DEAD.

(Image: Lifetime)

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  • elle

    Ah I was totally prepared to snark on this and be like Blair Underwood and Cicely Tyson why are you reduced to Lifetime movies? but it was actually really good! I got pretty misty at the end. I guess I didn’t realize it was a Broadway play that was adapted to film….

  • Chanel

    The movie was so good and Ms. Tyson parts made me laugh a little when she told Blair that she wasn’t sleep and heartbreaking when she said that she wanted to go home. I have to agree, for years now Vanessa Williams has became a bitch lately in her roles. Why is that? I fell in love with her acting in “The Jackson: An American Dream” when she protrayed Suzanne de Pass she seem so sweet which I bet she is in real life but now her acting has become bitchie . And Keke Palmer, what can you say except I love her. She’s one of my favorite actress.

  • Cbalducc

    To me, the movie was unrealistic in its treatment of black-white relationships of that time period. It would have been extremely rare for a white person to treat an an older black person with the courtesy and deference portrayed here. For example, it was much more common for a white person to call an older person by his or her first name instead of “Mrs. or Mr. (last name)”. The “Colored Waiting Room” in the bus terminal was also fantasy. In reality, such facilities were much smaller than the “white waiting rooms”.

  • Katie

    Blair Underwood is the gorgeousest of all. One time I unashamedly photoshopped him into a photo with me and made it my Facebook profile picture. I want to watch this now!