A crying scene can be tricky to balance for an actor. You can't go overboard in your performance but you also can't undersell the grief in the moment. Fortunately for M. Night Shyamalan, director of the film Signs, the most vulnerable moment of the film, that being the dinner scene that ends in every character crying, is carried by the performances of four very talented and very capable actors. Unfortunately, the scene also stands as proof that there is such a thing as too much talent in one room.
No single performance in the scene leads to it being so borderline laughable. Mel Gibson, Joaquin Phoenix, Abigail Breslin, and Rory Culkin are all possibly no better as individual performers in any moment in the film than they are in this scene, one in which the family believes they may be eating their last meal before a full-on alien invasion that will likely end in their deaths. The performances are all great, but they add up to too much of a good thing. With every single character weeping (and with Gibson aggressively stabbing at the food on his plate), the dam sort of bursts on the scene's palatability. It's too much at once. You can hardly help but laugh (if only to break the tension) as an all-American family breaks down over plates of french toast and spaghetti.