Rain can provide a backdrop to various scenes. So far it's provided an essential element from comedic roles (Young Frankenstein) to a catalyst for bringing bringing people (and their cat) finally together (Breakfast and Tiffanys). It also sometimes needs to be there when two friends say goodbye. My favorite of these scenes being Withnail & I (1987)
You probably could argue that the ending to Withnail & I could be done without rain, but for myself, I strongly disagree. For one, it is England. Rain and England are linked forever in your minds, admit it. Have you forgotten their damp trip to the countryside? Secondly, it is a goodbye, one between two friends who do care and love each other, but it's time for one to move on.
Marwood (Paul McGann) has been offered a lead part in a play. He cuts his curly hair. He is is ready to grow up and take control of his life. Withnail (Richard E. Grant) is too consumed with drugs, drink, and worst of all, crippling loneliness. Their goodbye is tender and genuine. It's a goodbye that hurts, but one that needs to happen (raise of hands if you have been through one of those before).
When Marwood walks away, Withnail, accompanied by a bottle of wine, begins to recite "What a piece of work is a man!" from Hamlet. His soliloquy is mournful and heartbreaking. His sadness and loneliness are real. His only company is the rain and the wolves behind the gate at the zoo.
The rain is essential. The sadness, the tears, England, Chin Chin, and all that. If you do do not believe me, then here is the clip. I know it can be a bit of a downer for some, especially on a Friday. So, let me leave you with the fact that it's Paul McGann and Richard E. Grant. I might be alone in this, but my heart definitely swoons for them. English and dashing, even when playing ridiculous and driftless young men.
Do not forget to tune in next Friday for the final installment of Essential Rain Scenes. We will be wrapping up this series in style with a scene that still gives me chills.