''Truman Show,'' ''Shawshank Redemption,'' and more rely on the rain to drive their plots

Standing in the rain: It’s not just for angst-ridden students anymore. Hollywood loves climactic thundershowers. And as soon as the clouds start gathering on screen, you know an epiphany is on the horizon. ”It’s an immediate visceral way to experience something new and a little scary,” says director Gary Ross, whose Pleasantville features the latest example. ”It’s that moment when you overcome your fear to embrace something wonderful.” Or at least something wet. Behold, an abridged history of cinematic damp-nation.

The Truman Show Precipitation Situation Sitting on a stormy beach, unwitting TV star Jim Carrey is amazed to realize that the rain falls only on him. The Fallout Carrey trades prime-time captivity for the real world, where it only feels like you’re the only one getting wet.

Pleasantville Precipitation Situation When rain falls on a TV Eden that has never seen a storm, outsider Tobey Maguire must calm a drizzle-averse crowd. The Fallout Sexual revolution, rioting, major social upheaval. Now you know why your mother told you never to go out in the rain.

The Shawshank Redemption Precipitation Situation Escaped lifer Tim Robbins enjoys a highly symbolic shower after wriggling to freedom via a half-mile-long prison sewer pipe. The Fallout After 19 years of savage abuse, a little rain doesn’t seem like such a tragedy, it seems a lot like…freedom (cue swelling score).

Say Anything Precipitation Situation ”I gave her my heart, and she gave me a pen,” mutters a spurned John Cusack as midnight raindrops mingle with his earnest teenage tears. The Fallout After a scene like that, how could he not end up getting the girl?

Four Weddings and a Funeral Precipitation Situation ”Is it still raining?” drawls Andie MacDowell when she is finally united with lovestruck Hugh Grant. ”I hadn’t noticed.” The Fallout After a scene like that, how could he not end up embroiled in a sex scandal?

Singin’ in the Rain Precipitation Situation After smooching Debbie Reynolds and concocting a plan to save his career, Gene Kelly launches into the wettest musical number of all time. The Fallout One of the most unforgettable scenes in movie history.

Four Weddings and a Funeral
  • Movie
  • 117 minutes