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Heartwarming / Spider-Man 3

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"You know, I'd like to sing on stage for the rest of my life... with you in the first row."

  • The upbeat, optimistic opening is a refreshing change of pace compared to the more serious and (in the case of 2) straight up Downer Beginnings of the previous films. Peter has finally found balance in his life, respected and acknowledged by the people around him.
    • Peter coming to Mary Jane's first Broadway show as scheduled and them happily chatting afterwards. They later go out stargazing to celebrate, as pictured here, and top it off with a declaration of love and passionate kiss. It's all sweet bliss between the two, which is lovely to see before their ordeal in the rest of the film.
      • In a touching Call-Back to the second film, Peter and Mary Jane once again share an intimate moment together in his web. And unlike last time when they tearfully parted ways, this time they reaffirm their devotion to each other.
  • When Harry, in his hospital bed, is told he has good friends, he answers, "My best friends." He says it with all the earnestness of a contented 8-year-old, and it's just so cute.
  • In general, an amnesiac Harry's easygoing dynamic with Peter and Mary Jane, which reinforces how much he really cared about them. It's bittersweet seeing Harry as a normal, carefree young man happy to live his life despite the loss of his father.
    • He and Peter explore the Osborn townhouse while reminiscing on their friendship. After everything Harry did to him, Peter is just glad to have his best friend back.
      • It's a small moment but even after Harry got his memory back and planned to hurt Peter by threatening MJ to leave him, when Peter consults with him at a cafe after the "break-up", Harry gently breaks the news as to how she was let go from Broadway. Deep down and despite his actions, he does still consider Peter a friend.
    • Harry providing a listening ear for MJ as she's dealing with a rough patch regarding Peter and her career. While it ends up going south, he invites her over for dinner, where they have fun cooking, dancing, and laughing together.
      • It may be sappy, but the revelation that Harry wrote a play for MJ in high school is very sweet, considering how he mainly seemed to view her as a Trophy Wife back when they dated.
  • Harry's arrival just in time to help Peter take on the Sandman and Venom. Peter's no longer fighting alone and is now part of a superhero duo. And then afterward, his and Peter's conversation just before his death, which also counts as a Tear Jerker.
    Peter: I should never have hurt you... said those things...
    Harry: [gentle and earnest] None of that matters, Peter. You're my friend.
    Peter: [smiling tearfully] Best friend.
  • Despite everything, when Peter sees an opportunity to yank Eddie Brock from the destabilizing Symbiote, he only hesitates a brief moment before doing so. While it was likely because he intended to destroy it and believed that Eddie was being influenced by the Symbiote - even if he denied Peter's pleas to fight for control with "I like being bad." - he didn't owe Eddie anything. Their major interactions may have been while Peter was affected by the black suit, but Eddie was still looking to take the staff job at the Bugle from under Peter, didn't care about slandering Spider-Man with doctored photos to boost his own career, and literally prayed to God for Peter's death in response to being exposed as a fraud. But Peter tried to spare him anyway because it was the right thing to do, and he has a duty to save as many as he can. Unfortunately, Eddie didn't see it that way.
  • Spider-Man 3 may be a polarizing film, but damn if the "Birth of Sandman" scene didn't pull everyone's heartstrings; the beautiful musical score and jaw-dropping visuals only add to it. Watching Flint go from barely being able to stand to being on the verge of tears before reforming his whole body with absolute determination after just one look at his daughter's photo, one can't help but tear up a bit. When you can make people have a strong emotional response to a pile of sand, you're doing something right.
  • Mary Jane attempts to reach out to Peter as he's tracking Flint, concerned about his emotional state. Keep in mind that she just lost her acting role and was mad at Peter for kissing Gwen, yet is still ready to support him. When Peter is too upset to listen to her, MJ doesn't push and simply reminds him that he doesn't have to face such difficult news alone before leaving.
    Mary Jane: Everybody needs help sometimes, Peter. Even Spider-Man.
  • After Peter has shed himself of the alien symbiote and sits alone depressed in his apartment, Aunt May visits Peter to see how things have gone between her nephew and his fiancĂ©e and asks if he's proposed to her yet. Peter tells his aunt that he's not ready for marriage because he had hurt Mary Jane badly and returns the engagement ring May gave him earlier in the movie, much to her shock. In response, Aunt May says Peter should forgive himself and she believes he will do the right thing because she knows Peter is a good person, and he will find a way to make things right again. May then punctuates it by leaving the ring on Peter's desk, completely confident that he'll still have a use for it in time. Since this is their final scene together for the trilogy, it also serves as a Tear Jerker moment.
    Aunt May: Well, you start by doing the hardest thing: You forgive yourself. I believe in you, Peter. You're a good person. And I know you'll find a way to put it right... in time.
  • The ending, where Peter and Mary Jane get back together again. Ever since his childhood, Peter wanted to be with Mary Jane, and being Spider-Man meant that it was all but impossible. Yet, Peter has finally managed to balance his personal life and life as a superhero, conquered his dark side, made peace with his past by forgiving Sandman, and finally, after all that he's gone through, he can spend his life with the woman he loves. The series begins with him wanting to be with Mary Jane, and it ends with the two of them together.
    • Even more than that: they've both just lost their mutual best friend and put each other through hell, but he comes back to her, and there's the implicit recognition when she takes his hand that he won't let her suffer alone, and they'll work through their issues together. Bottom line: when all is said and done, they love each other.
    • Earlier, Peter had pushed MJ away when she expressed worry over him seeking revenge for Ben's death. Here, it's implied he'll take her advice and open up to her about his struggles.
    • The scene is done without much fanfare, notwithstanding MJ's singing (which stops when she notices Peter). The two lock eyes, reach for each other's hands and hug before sharing a dance. No declaration of lovenote , no apologynote , no Big Damn Kissnote . There is something beautiful in its simplicity.
  • The novelization features the original ending for the film: Harry and Peter are trying to defeat Sandman and Venom, and even with the added help, they are having trouble. Then Sandman's daughter and ex-wife show up and beg Flint to stop, with his daughter Penny reminding him that he isn't a bad person. Flint returns to his human form and repents for his mistakes, but Venom begins to rampage. Peter tells Flint to run and get his family out of there, and the three leave.
  • Mr. Ditkovich, Peter's landlord, brushing off the angry outburst Peter (who was under the symbiote's influence) just dealt on him, assuring his daughter that Peter is a good boy, and then quickly forgiving Peter later on when the latter comes to apologize. Furthermore, Mr. Ditkovich lends Peter some romantic advice upon learning that Peter plans to propose to Mary Jane. Heartwarming in retrospect when one considers his previous portrayal as a rude, bullying asshole.
  • While it's a bit sad with how Peter is stringing her along and she's lapping up the attention she's getting from him, it's sweet that Ursula is catering to Peter's every whim and stuffing him with an endless buffet of her homemade cookies.
    • Also, despite her crush on Peter, Ursula still supports Peter and Mary Jane together full-stop, urging him to call her earlier in the movie. She's later giddy when Mary Jane calls Peter because she thinks it means that the two of them are about to get engaged to each other. In the novelization, Ursula helps get Mary Jane the singing waitress job after her acting career falls through.
  • Throughout the film, Gwen Stacy is shown to be nothing more than a beautiful person inside and out. She is more thoughtful, more affluent, and generally portrayed as a better partner for Peter than MJ. Still, Gwen respects their relationship and makes a point to ask whether Peter wants to avoid MJ after their messy breakup during their date. He intentionally refuses, and when she realizes the real reason Peter asked her out, she apologizes to MJ in person and leaves Peter in disgust.
    • The novelization even has Gwen forgiving Peter, and comforting him and MJ at Harry's funeral. Taking the film on its own, one can still infer that she and her father likely attended Harry's funeral primarily to comfort Peter and MJ, since they were not shown to have personally met Harry onscreen.
  • On the subject of Harry's funeral, the fact that Flash Thompson of all people was among those solemnly paying their respects to the deceased Harry and honoring his legacy, despite Flash having bullied him in high school.
  • Bruce Campbell's cameo is both funny and heartwarming. Unlike his other characters who either mock or impede Peter, he is thrilled at the idea of Peter proposing to MJ at his restaurant and deeply honored at Peter asking for help in the matter.
  • In perhaps the best of Stan Lee's cameos (and Stan the Man's personal favorite), when Peter stops to read a marquee declaring that Spider-Man will get the key to the city, Stan walks up next to him and briefly muses on the impact that Spidey has had. It's easy to interpret it as Stan talking about the most powerful lesson comic book superheroes (particularly Spider-Man) try to teach their readers:
    Stan Lee: You know, I guess one person can make a difference. 'Nuff said.
  • Peter finally forgives Flint after learning that his shooting of Uncle Ben was an accident caused by Carradine, so Peter still shares blame for not stopping him when he had the chance. Flint didn't flee with Carradine in Uncle Ben's car because he stayed behind at Uncle Ben's side, and he was the one who called for help, explaining the crowd of people around the dying Uncle Ben when Peter arrived on the scene. Especially so since Peter's carried the weight of his death throughout the entire trilogy, and he finally managed to find closure.
    • Also, before he got shot, Uncle Ben could see right away that Flint was just desperate and scared and tried to talk him down.
  • The deleted scene added to the Editor's Cut where Sandman becomes a giant sandcastle for Penny during an outing, leaving her in awe. Recognizing the castle is from (or perhaps a manifestation of) her father, she hugs it, with Flint's handprints meeting hers. It's a touching moment that helps humanize Flint further.
  • Aunt May's reaction to Peter telling her that he plans to marry MJ counts:
    Aunt May: Peter, what is it?
    Peter: It's MJ... I'm gonna ask her to marry me.
    Aunt May: [gasps in joy as she hugs him] Peter...!
    • This leads to a whole scene about the subject, in which May tells Peter the charming story of Ben's proposal to her, then gives Peter the same ring Ben used.
      Aunt May: It was a beautiful day, and he said, "Let's swim to the island." And at the island, we found a perfect spot by an old tree. And we laid down and looked up at the sky. And then he said, "Close your eyes, May," and I did, and then he said, "Open them!" and I did. And he was holding this ring [shows her ring] dazzling in front of me. I thought it was the sun.
  • Robbie stands up for Peter and reminds Jameson how long Peter's been working with the Bugle when Jameson floats the staff photographer job. Betty also advises and supports Peter at work when Eddie tries to one-up him. Really shows how much the two regard and care about Peter.
  • In the game, there is a part where Jameson almost thanks Spider-Man for saving him. Even though he stops himself from saying it halfway through, Spider-Man still tells him, "You're welcome."