16. The Rakishly Heady Meet-Cute in Sense and Sensibility (1995)
It’s a dramatic scene, worthy of a Gothic romance novel, for the passionately romantic Marianne Dashwood (Kate Winslet). She loses her footing on the slippery slopes in the rain and wind on the unknown, darkening moors. Her ankle is sprained. She sends little sister Margaret to fetch aid. But who should come a-striding? A tall, dark, handsome stranger, that’s who. A stranger who delicately assesses her injury, touching her ankle. Le gasp. Who sweeps her up in his manly arms and carries her home. Oh, my. And this stranger’s name? Yes, what is this stranger’s name? Why, it’s Willoughby (Greg Wise), of course. The most lovable of Austen’s rakes.
17. Young Love Behind Streaked Glass in The Sound of Music (1965)
You’re humming it aren’t you – Rolfe and Liesl’s duet? Fleeing the rain, young lovers Rolfe (Daniel Truhitte) and Liesl (Charmian Carr) seek shelter in a glass-enclosed gazebo. They sing and dance and dream of the life they will share. Full of hopes and youthful wistfulness. Rain streaks down the glass. And they share a kiss, one very enthusiastic, chaste, first kiss. Rolfe runs away smiling, and Liesl wanders into the rain whooping with joy. You’re still humming, aren’t you?
“I am seventeen going on eighteen, I’ll take care of you!”
(Except he doesn’t, that dastardly Rolfe. That feeling of betrayal I felt as a girl first seeing this film has never left me. Oh, Rolfe – grrr….)
18. A Dead Man’s Farewell in Cast Away (2000)
Memories of her, thoughts of her, plans with her – they kept Chuck (Tom Hanks) going for over four years on the deserted island. He has longed for his Kelly (Helen Hunt), loving her from afar, promising to return to her. But Kelly had lost him, buried him, grieved him, moved on and found love with another. So, when the miracle of miracles happens, and her love is back from the apparent grave, well, what can she do? Kelly has another life now, another love, other responsibilities. But she runs after Chuck in the rain, and they share a passionate embrace, locking lips in desperate farewell kisses.
“You’re the love of my life,” Kelly tells him. And then they let each other go. Each has their separate lives to live.
19. Déjà Vu Sparks in the Rain in Safe Haven (2013)
They’re in a boat, on a romantic outing, and it starts to rain. Oh, you’re thinking that I’m describing yet another classic Sparks’ scene. No, no, this is not The Notebook. But this is a Nicholas Sparks’ film. And Nicholas Sparks loves rain scenes – it’s something of a trope. So, when Alex (Josh Duhamel) and Katie (Julianne Hough) make a run for it in the rain, laughing, flirting, touching, him finally carrying her, well, we know the rain is leading us to a romantic climax. Which then occurs as a dance scene in the store/café where they find shelter.
20. A Rainy Rescue in Enchanted (2007)
Giselle (Amy Adams) has slain the dragon to rescue her love, Robert (Patrick Dempsey). It’s a stormy night atop the Woolworth Building. He’s about to fall, but she catches him, and they slide – clasped in each other’s arms – down the roof. They stop just at the edge. And there’s not much else to do in such a situation other than kiss. You know, near death, perched on the edge, rain falling. Better kiss while you can, like your life, depends on it.
21. One Last Rainy Look in The Bridges of Madison County (1995)
He’s standing there in the rain in the middle of the road. Francesca (Meryl Streep) has already ripped out her heart, saying goodbye to her soulmate Robert (Clint Eastwood). But then he’s there in the street, in the rain, looking at her. Not approaching, not speaking, just gazing through the rain. Francesca’s clueless husband arrives, and they drive off. The rain is really coming down, and they end up behind Robert’s pick-up.
Two pick-ups waiting at a light. Francesca is in anguish, gripping the door handle, second-guessing her decision to let him go. She chose her motherly and wifely duties over her heart that would have her run away with this man. Robert turns left, Francesca and her husband drive straight through. And Francesca gets one, last, blurry glimpse, through the rain-streaked windows of the love of her life.
They shared a beautiful moment in their lives, and that is all. A moment. One meaningful moment that will have to sustain them the rest of their lives apart. He turned left, she kept straight on in the life she had chosen years prior. Oh man, let it rain.
22. A Rainy Reunion in The Incredible Hulk (2008)
He disappeared five years prior, denying himself her love because of the monster he’d become. Bruce (Edward Norton) tries to avoid her, but Betty (Liv Tyler) won’t let him disappear again. She tracks him down, finds him on the side of the road. And she won’t let him go this time. Seeing her there, he can’t turn away. Bruce can only go towards Betty, embracing her, as she entreats him to come home.
23. The Significance of an Umbrella in Persuasion (1995)
Anne (Amanda Root) spots him through the rain-streaked windows of the café. Captain Frederick Wentworth (Ciarán Hinds) is now in Bath. And, suddenly, he’s in the café before her. A stilted conversation of superficial niceties ensues. Both are on tenterhooks. You can see it in their eyes, probing. Does he still care? Does she think of me still? He offers her an umbrella, and the gentle humor and naturalness of that offer, promises to break the ice. To lead to these two into having the soulful conversation that needs to be had. Both hold the umbrella at the same time. It’s a peace offering, a symbol of something more. It’s as close to touching as we’re going to get.
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But Mr. Elliot (Samuel West) appears with an umbrella of his own to escort Anne through the wet streets of Bath. Captain Wentworth’s umbrella is duly returned. And the moment, once so promising, is broken. Ack and alas.
24. A Celebratory Culmination in Australia (2008)
Sarah (Nicole Kidman) and Drover (Hugh Jackman) have survived a long, dusty cattle drive under harsh conditions. They’ve nearly died, one of their team lost his life. The thugs of the local cattle baron have been doing thuggish things along the trail. And on the journey, the growing romantic tension between Sarah and Drover has been through the roof.
But they make it, they make it to Darwin with their cattle, and that demands to celebrate. Drover shows up unexpectedly at a party that he swore he wouldn’t go to – all cleaned up – and sweeps Sarah off her feet. The long-awaited rains suddenly come, marking the arrival and the promise of the wet season. In those wet drops of promise from the heavens, Sarah and Drover can just let loose, just let go of the fears and the worries and just kiss. Just kiss.
25. Raincoat Ranting in I Know Where I’m Going (1945)
When it’s not raining in this film, it’s blowing. Yes, the weather is hindering Joan (Wendy Hiller) from getting to where’s she’s going. That and a certain Scotsman, Torquil (Roger Livesey), who’s getting under her skin and into her thoughts and feelings. In climactic defiance, Joan decides to defy the weather and common sense and finally get to where she’s going. To hell with it all. She’s determined to go, to get away from the storm inside her and the man causing it. Joan and Torquil hash and thrash it out on the stairs in wet raincoats. It’s heated, rat-a-tat exchanges like only a black-and-white, golden oldie can deliver. Oh, it’s drippingly good.
26. A Dreamy, Disturbing Downpour in Bride and Prejudice (2004)
Now I dream of what it would be like
To be an overseas bride dressed in white
The Bakshi sisters have just been singing, “No Life Without Wife,” highlighting the type of man Lalita (Aishwarya Rai) wants. Lalita takes herself to bed, and the vision and song continue into a dreamy, idyllic realm. Into a quaint British village of Morris dancers and maypoles and diffuse sunshine. Lalita is running to the church in her white wedding dress. And who should be waiting there? Why Wickham (Daniel Gillies), of course.
At the altar, as Wickham lifts her veil, the scene abruptly changes. Thunder claps, darkness falls, and Darcy (Martin Henderson) stands across from her. She screams and runs into the rain. But he is there too. And they share a charged dance and near kiss in the rain. She in her wedding dress.
Lalita wakes with a start. The dream had become a nightmare. Or did it? What’s her subconscious trying to tell her about a certain aloof, irritating gentleman?
27. Wet, Post-Proposal Elation in Jane Eyre (2006)
“Good night, my darling,” whispers Mr. Rochester (Toby Stephens), as he steals yet another kiss from a giddy Jane (Ruth Wilson). The heavens had been rumbling portentously since these two just hashed it out under a tree, resulting in both declaring their love for one another. Mr. Rochester’s proposed marriage, Jane’s accepted.
They are now to be married, and Jane is at liberty to kiss that man at her pleasure. The heavens open, and they run through the courtyard, taking shelter in a passageway, soaked through and through and absolutely elated with love.
28. Drinking Rainwater and Revelations in First Knight (1995)
Guinevere (Julia Ormond) and Lancelot (Richard Gere) have been riding and riding in the rain, away from her captors. He has rescued her once again, this woman betrothed to another. They rest under a tree, and he delights her with his method of directing raindrops onto leaves to form a drinking fountain. Cloaked in this rain – and the intimacy it creates – Lancelot drops his guard and reveals his childhood traumas. And he reveals also his love and devotion to this woman, who is betrothed to another.
Guinevere: Your life is your own.
Lancelot: I give it to you.
29. Witch Water in A Discovery of Witches (2018)
Diana (Teresa Palmer) can see Matthew (Matthew Goode) shutting down his emotions, shuttering himself off from her. The Congregation’s henchman has delivered his message. They are watching and any breach of the covenant will bring swift and fatal consequences. Diana doesn’t understand. But Matthew does. Their love is forbidden.
To protect her, he must away, must away from the feelings which are threatening to overwhelm him. Diana pleads with him to stay, that they must be together, that she loves him. And still, the ancient vampire shuts himself down emotionally and drives away. Leaving Diana frantic in the rain. Rain she is creating herself from her tears. Witch water. Yet another remarkable power in this apparently unremarkable witch.
30. Frozen Rain in North & South (2004)
Okay, I know, it’s a bit of a stretch, calling snow frozen rain. But it does sometimes snow in April, at least where I come from. Plus, I did so desire to get a Mr. John Thornton (Richard Armitage) moment on this list. And none is more heart-aching than us watching him watching Margaret (Daniela Denby-Ashe) pull away in her carriage, ne’er to return. All as the snow gently falls, blanketing the world.
“Look back. Look back at me,” he utters, watching, hopeful, squinting into the distance. And we know by his crestfallen look that she doesn’t look back.
“Oh, but I’m looking at you, Mr. Thornton!” Is it only me who yells that at the screen?!
What’re your favorite romantic moments in the rain? Let us know in the comments.
Featured Photo: Jane Eyre (2006), BBC.
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