Romance couldn’t ask for a better wingman than the rain. That’s what the movies have taught us anyway.
Forget candlelight, holding your boombox aloft or penning a sonnet. Nothing sets the mood for love better than a good dose of rain. Think of it as Mother Nature playing matchmaker. Unvoiced emotions, like raindrops, gather until they become overwhelming and release in a deluge of kisses or romantic declarations.
In “Dear John,” based on the Nicholas Sparks novel of the same name, soldier John Tyree (Channing Tatum) is on leave when he meets and falls for college student Savannah Lynn Curtis (Amanda Seyfried). They share their first kiss in the rain.
“Dear John” isn’t the only film that has taken advantage of rain’s mysterious properties. This romantic device has been bringing couples together throughout cinematic history.
Here’s some of the top cinematic kisses in the rain:
“Australia” – Lady Sarah (Nicole Kidman), a widow, cannot resist the charms of a rugged cattle drover, especially when he looks like Hugh Jackman. The rain just makes the attraction more elemental.Kissing for all to see during a celebration is inevitable.
“Breakfast at Tiffany’s” – The kiss shared between socialite Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn) and call guy Paul Varjak (George Peppard) is Kissing in Rain 101 — passionate yet tender, locks of hair not behaving quite right. It’s a classic moment, and the couple even shares the love with the poor nameless cat between them.
“Cast Away” – After being rescued from being stranded on an uninhabited island, what happens when you learn that the love of your life has married someone else? The rain offers this one solace, a last kiss. As a dejected Chuck (Tom Hanks) leaves Kelly (Helen Hunt), she runs after him in the rain and reveals that she had always believed he was still alive and then smooches him. A bittersweet kiss, but still moving. Thanks, rain.
“A Cinderella Story” – This is as cheeserific as rain lovin’ gets when the high school quarterback (Chad Michael Murray) stops playing during the big game, goes into the stands and has a few moments of truth with spunky, independent Sam (Hilary Duff) as the skies open up and her matchy-matchy stepsister seethe with jealousy.
“Cinema Paradiso” – Teenage love never seemed so sweet as this scene from the Giuseppe Tornatore classic. Toto (Marco Leonardi) and Elena (Agnese Nano) make love in the rain atop a Sicilian seawall as a makeshift outdoor theater projection flickers behind them.
“Daredevil” – Being blind isn’t an obstacle for a little kiss, so why would the rain be? Sight-challenged Matt Murdock/Daredevil (Ben Affleck) gently lays one on Elektra (Jennifer Garner). That must have been some kiss since the actors got hitched to each other later in real life.
“Enchanted” – After Giselle (Amy Adams) saves Robert (Patrick Dempsey) from falling off the roof of the Woolworth building, they get all gooey and kiss. Our first thought after a near-death plunge would be to get off the roof. We blame the rain for their amorous insanity in this instance.
“Four Weddings and a Funeral” – Those crazy Brits and their wacky backwards courtship. Charles (Hugh Grant) has just left his bride at the altar because he’s really in love with that American, Carrie (Andie MacDowell). He asks her please NOT marry him for the rest of her life. She says, “I do.” He may now kiss the non-bride.
“Garden State” – Zach Braff, he has to be so different, just because he was the writer, director and star. Yes, Andrew (Braff) and Sam (Natalie Portman) share a sweet kiss in the rain, but they defy the usual romantic movie conventions. Not only are they dressed in decidedly unromantic trashbags, but Andrew’s friend Mark (Peter Sarsgaard) is standing right there watching them. Creepy much? Oh, and they’re all standing on top of a huge yellow crane.
“Great Expectations” – This update of the Charles Dickens classic transforms Pip into modern-day Finn (Ethan Hawke), who’s tormented by that tease Estella (Gwyneth Paltrow) until one night when the rain interferes and he gets all alpha, drawing her away from her dinner at a restaurant. They kiss in the downpour and then move their business to Finn’s art studio. Rain, better than oysters.
“In the Land of Women” – Carter (Adam Brody) has just been dumped. Sarah (Meg Ryan) has just found a lump. They’re both emotionally fragile, and then the rain comes. Their kiss is the start of something not necessarily romantic, but definitely healing.
“Match Point” – Retired tennis pro-turned-exec Chris (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) and American actress Nola (Scarlett Johansson) are committed to other people, but can’t resist their forbidden attraction to each other. In the middle of a storm, they get biblical and sow oats in a field.
“The Notebook” – Noah (Ryan Gosling) and Allie (Rachel McAdams) are destined for each other and won’t let seven years and an engagement to another man get in the way of true love, not if the torrential downpour has any say in it. With this much anger, disappointment and resentment mixed with love, this is arguably one of the most passionate rainy day screen kisses of all time.
“Pirates of The Caribbean: At World’s End” – Swashbuckling can’t get in the way of puckering up. Amidst a shipboard battle in a huge storm, Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) officiates a marriage between Will (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth (Keira Knightley), whom have to dodge cutlasses and stay upright in order to seal the deal with a kiss.
“Sliding Doors” – Alternate reality timelines allow us to see two intriguing, “what if” scenarios starring short- and long-haired Helens (Gwyneth Paltrow). We’re rooting for pixie-cut Helen since she’s the one who gets to neck with James (John Hannah) in the rain.
“Spider-Man” – Superheroes just can’t do things the easy way, can they? An upside down Spidey (Tobey Maguire) and a little water from the sky won’t deter a grateful Mary Jane (Kristen Dunst) who accomplishes the deed without revealing her hero’s identity. The kiss has become so iconic, even “The O.C.” paid homage.
“Step Up 2” – What’s more triumphant than dancing an elaborately choreographed routine in the rain? A slippery, celebratory lip-lock!
What’s your favorite kiss in the rain? Did we miss any?
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Photo credits: Screen Gems, Paramount Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, Columbia Tri Star, New Line Cinema, Sony Pictures