Frank's Faves: Rainy day people

Frank's Faves: Rainy day people

Raindrops on whiskers? Why is that one of anyone's favorite things?

You know it's bound to happen eventually — but who knew it would happen so often over the course of a normally long, hot Illinois summer? I'm talking about that day off from work when the heavens take note of our poor, pitiful plans for the next couple hours of our otherwise normally uneventful lives and, naturally, throw open their floodgates to turn inside-out every futilely unfurled umbrella and drench to the bone every man, woman, child and beast who dares set foot outside.

It's that never-ending rainy afternoon that turns me into the kid brother in Dr. Seuss' classic picturebook "The Cat in the Hat," chair drawn up to the window, nose glued to the rain-streaked window pane, with nothing to do but sit! sit! sit! sit! — and not liking it at all. Not one little bit.

So what's a grown-up to do when Mother Nature says, "No! You're not going outside right now, and that's final!"

Well, if Mother Nature hasn't already knocked out the electricity to make her point, you can probably guess what this fave-seeker heartily recommends — break out a few highwater movies to watch in the overcast gloom of your living room.

If some skittish youngsters are gathered closely around you, you might want to go with "Sound of Music" for its similar stormy-night scene setting up Julie Andrews' performance of "My Favorite Things," which is one of the best songs I know of for introducing:


"Singin' in the Rain" (1952). Gene Kelly breaks into filmdom's most famous splashdance — all because of a kiss from his leading lady. Even if sappy Golden Age musicals aren't your cup of tea, there's no denying the joyful exuberance and masterful choreography required to kick up your heels in puddle-plastered streets and rain-swollen gutters. And nobody will ever do it better.

"The Shawshank Redemption" (1994). Tim Robbins escapes from the title prison during an epic thunderstorm and once outside, pauses dramatically to let the rain wash over him. It's a great, blatantly metaphorical image, but if it were me, I'd wait to strike that pose in Rio a couple weeks later.

"Hard Rain" (1998). Morgan Freeman, who played the friendly fellow inmate in the previous film, doesn't often get cast as the heavy, but when he is, it's like incurring some good old-fashioned biblical wrath — the rains come down, and the floods come up. Makes even Christian Slater look squeaky clean.

"The Unforgiven" (1992). What is it about Freeman and rainy movies? This time it's his murder Clint Eastwood is avenging during a torrential gully washer. But for romantic-film fans looking to hire him out for my snuffing for omitting "The Notebook," sorry, but Best Kiss In A Downpour just doesn't hold a candle to Best Showdown In A Downpour.

"Blade Runner" (1982). Rutger Hauer as replicant Roy Batty gets the best exit line delivered in a cloudburst: "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain."

Topics (2):Film, People

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Ellen wrote on July 30, 2016 at 2:07 am

Frank, I think it's "raindrops on roses" and "whiskers on kittens" :)