The sky is grey, the wind is whistling and there’s no sign of the sun, so grab a warming drink, dress in your favorite sloppy-joe and settle down to watch the best movies for a rainy day. When the rain is beating down and you can’t get outside, you want great movies to take your mind off the weather; movies to make you feel good, or movies so engrossing that you become immune to anything but what’s happening on screen. Each of us has our own take on which genres make the best movies for a rainy day and here are my picks that span a number of them.
1. Midnight in Paris
I’m loathe to call this a chick flick or a romcom because I always think that seems to reduce the gravitas of a good movie. I think this is one of the great movies for a rainy day. It is far cleverer than you first imagine and it’s easy to get so lost in the plot so as to imagine you’re back in time yourself. Fans of great literature will love this movie (for fun!) and so will those who love a good love story.
I’ve not seen Taken 2 yet so I’m sticking with the original. For when a hard-hitting action flick with a sound plot is needed, reach for this one. It’s dark and mean and moody and Liam Neeson is at his best. “I will find you, and I will kill you” is surely one of the most chilling lines delivered on the silver screen in many years.
3. Jungle Book
No list of movies for a rainy day would be complete without a classic from Disney. I choose Jungle Book. Why? I’m not a fan of modern Disney – for me it has to be pre-1980, but this will remain fabulous whatever its age. It’s one of the few Disney movies without a dark background. The sub plot of Shere Khan trying to get his tiger paws on Mowgli is so subtle that it is lost amongst the brilliant animal characters and brilliant songs. I wanna be like you hoo hoo!
4. The Phantom Menace
Star Wars are great films for a rainy day. And the reason I’ve chosen The Phantom Menace is because it is the first one and what better excuse do you need than a horrid grey day to sit and watch all 6 of the movies back to back? Nuff said.
Boy gets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl again. This classic romantic story plotline takes place in a 1950s American High School where the gang you belong to is more important than your grades. Ok, so the plot is a bit thin, but who cares, this is one of the great rainy day movies and you’ll be putting on your poodle skirt and singing along with the unforgettable tunes right from the off.
6. To Catch a Thief
If you’ve never seen a Hitchcock movie or a Cary Grant film, this is the perfect combination to introduce you to a magical partnership. A gentle comedy as well as the twisting plot you associate with the master of this genre, To Catch a Thief ambles gently along to a gripping climax. Teamed up with Grace Kelly, Grant is at his elegant best.
7. To Kill a Mockingbird
In these days of 3D, CGI and amazing FX, it can be hard to find motivation to watch black and white movies, but some of the best movies for a rainy day are without color and are among the best ever made. These are movies where the acting and dialogue carry the film rather than the action scenes and effects. A rainy day is the ideal time to completely focus on a story without distraction and in this case, the message is hugely powerful. Sit back and enjoy the fantastic Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch.
8. Pride and Prejudice
I would always have a good old costume drama on any list really and I could put the movie version of Jane Austen’s fantastic story in here but I have to confess, I think it is a rather pallid offering compared to the BBC TV series. If you’ve only got a couple of hours, sure, watch Keira Knightley and Matthew McFadyen but, if the rain is going to be lashing down all day, pick up a copy of the full BBC offering. Jennifer Ehle is a totally believable Elizabeth Bennet and as for Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy – sharp intake of breath – just wait for the lake scene.
9. Gone with the Wind
What makes this one of the best movies for a rainy day? Well apart from being an absolute gem, it is four hours long. So many people are put off by this running time that they don’t watch it. But a rainy day, when there is nothing better to do than snuggle up in front of a great film, is the ideal time to get engrossed in the most famous of all movies about the American Civil War. Frankly my dear, you should give a damn.
10. There’s Something about Mary
Laughter is the best medicine and among the best comedy rainy day movies is another of the boy gets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl again stories. If you do not laugh out loud – in some parts raucously – you need to ask your doctor to locate your funny bone.
I hope my list of movies for a rainy day has inspired you. Maybe there’s one here you haven’t seen and you’ll watch it next time the weather closes in. I’m sure you all have your own favorites too?