Withnail and I and Me

General chat about the film.

PostPosted by wodent » Mon Sep 29, 2008 7:21 pm

Only this film and Leon.
nothin down there of interest to you
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Re: Withnail and I and Me

PostPosted by Madstunts » Tue Dec 30, 2008 11:33 pm

It's funny that people love this film, and yet it is pretty miserable. Withnail is a pretty sad case, really.

There's something quite appealing about watching someone who is so deluded being put through the ringer. I love the sitcom "Black Books", and my favourite episode is where Bernard Black is locked out at night and has to wander the streets, begging food and having to demean himself in order to get shelter and warmth. The fact is he's such a self-serving oaf, you enjoy watching him being taken down a peg or two.

Likewise, Withnail could escape his desperate situation if he was prepared to start at the bottom rung of the acting ladder - taking understudy parts, and so on. But he's so deluded by images of his own greatness, the very fact that he's not prepared to lower himself means that when he's forced to by circumstances, it feels all the more satisfying.

Also, Withnail is an idiot. Although I love to watch him, I wouldn't want to know him. He's selfish, deluded, cowardly and willing to betray his best friend at the drop of a hat. It's like watching Big Brother. You keep watching to see how low he's willing to sink. What makes him a classic character is that he's also erudite, and able to sum up his thoughts in such a pithy and vivid way.

Plus, of course, it helps if you've been in a similar situation yourself. As someone else mentioned, many of W&I's fans are or have been students. Such people are generally intelligent and have been forced to live in relative poverty, probably with other people, and may have felt that the situation was beneath them. Even if they knew it was only temporary, they can see Withnail as a more extreme version of themselves.

A few years back, Empire magazine published a collection of essays called "Movie Heaven". There's one essay by Mark Ellen entitled "Drifting Into The Arena Of The Unwell" in which he draws parallels between W&I and his own student days. It's very funny. I recommend you seek it out. But there are parallels with my own student days as well. I was never an actor, but I did have a housemate who was gay and "in television". I never rubbed myself down with Deep Heat, but I did have to put my clothes on before I got out of bed because it was so cold. I never really had a problem with piles of washing up, mainly because I rarely ate anything sophisticated enough to require crockery. I was so removed from normality, I once walked 3 miles into the city centre and 3 miles back at about 2am in order to charge up the house electricity card so we could turn the lights and fridge on - and thought nothing of it.

So, yeah. To conclude with it would have been outstanding if I could have thought of a good way of succinctly encapsulating all my thoughts about the film in a single sentence. But I can't. So there you go. Life isn't like the movies, with their well written scripts, and expertly timed quips. Which is maybe why people like W&I - It's like real life, only funnier.
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Re: Withnail and I and Me

PostPosted by bluejon » Tue Jan 06, 2009 7:37 pm

Great post Madstunts! :)
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Re: Withnail and I and Me

PostPosted by Wrigglesworth » Thu Jan 22, 2009 12:19 am

yeah, well said.

I wasn't a student though. I was a mechanic. I suppose technically I was a student at a point in my life (that point between 16 and 19 :roll: ) but it was only day release. I definitely know about poverty. Try working on a YTS scheme for £55 and six days toil! God almighty!

The line 'we are indeed drifting into the arena of the unwell', that touched me. It was the mid 90's and the rave scene was at it's most hideously commercial and seedy heights. Men Behaving Badly was popular on TV. Something fealt wrong but hard to put ones finger on. Maybe it was the fast approaching era of the internet and mobile phone making waves ahead of itself. Who knows?
Last edited by Wrigglesworth on Sat Feb 12, 2011 6:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Withnail and I and Me

PostPosted by Arseholed on Gin » Thu Jan 22, 2009 2:33 am

I first saw the film many years ago shortly after leaving school, I caught it by accident and only really picked up on certain bits.......I was unaware of anything relating to the films release or history and never really gave it much serious thought at the time, despite enjoying it to some degree.

A couple of years later it was on C4 late one night and I made an effort to watch it properly.......the first of many viewings that eventually led to meeting several other like minded folk with whom I held Withnail themed dinner parties and the like where we would indulge in fine wines in our best clobber.
Between 1998 and 2004 a group of us used to do a regular "civilised" country holiday (albeit to Grindon in the Peak District for ease of transport) every March, renting a large cottage and visiting local hostelries before getting hopelessly lost trying to walk back to the accommodation across hill and dale, normally involving someone falling in some sort of mud filled hole/ditch on the way.
Unfortunately some of us are now in the grip of marriages and the like, abandoning your wife and toddlers to go on a "stupid boys drinking holiday" is apparently not the done thing in polite society and such events have fallen by the wayside in recent times.

The most memorable viewing I had was whilst travelling in Australia in 1999, there was an open air film festival in Perth's Kings Park.......A huge screen in the public park basically and free too, though you had to sit on the grass!
There were a few of us at the time who had been living and working in Perth and met up armed with fine wines for the viewing, a brilliant night sat in the warmth surrounded by near on a thousand Withnail fans whilst quaffing a 1996 Chateauneuf du Pape by the neck.....I still have the bottles label in a clip-frame at home with some other Oz trip stuff, sad git eh?

Anyway, bye for now....more waffling later hopefully.......
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Re: Withnail and I and Me

PostPosted by anniekey » Sat Aug 21, 2010 4:42 pm

To think I found my copy of it in the street...
These aren't accidents! They're throwing themselves into the road, GLADLY! Throwing themselves into the road to escape all this hideousness! THROW YOURSELF INTO THE ROAD DARLING, YOU HAVEN'T GOT A CHANCE!
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Re: Withnail and I and Me

PostPosted by McFuck » Sat Aug 21, 2010 4:49 pm

really? that IS interesting! must have been a sign from GOD.
Don't attempt anything without the gloves.
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Re: Withnail and I and Me

PostPosted by SpiritMuse » Fri Aug 27, 2010 6:14 pm

So I'm new here (now let's see if I'll stay around...)

Am I supposed to post in the introduction thread first? I don't know, I don't want to talk about me, I want to talk about the movie!

I saw it first not two weeks ago. And I'll admit my main motivation for watching it was that Paul McGann was in it. I'm here by way of Doctor Who, you could say. I was a bit hesitant, though, because of the label "comedy" attached to it. I don't really like comedies, as a rule. But I figured, at least I'll have Paul McGann to look at...

Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised.

It's so witty! But then, I don't have to tell you that. I have a love for language, especially when it's used creatively. And this is certainly creative. Withnail's outbursts are magnificent!

And then Marwood, poor little Marwood. Beleaguered by old Monty's affections - so funny! So wrong, but so funny!

Within the space of two days, I watched it again. Then I put it on my iPod. I always have it with me now.

There is certainly some magic in this movie.
I reject your reality and substitute my own.
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Re: Withnail and I and Me

PostPosted by jeff wode » Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:16 pm

McFuck wrote:really? that IS interesting! must have been a sign from GOD.


god? who he then?
"imagine the size of his balls!"
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Re: Withnail and I and Me

PostPosted by McFuck » Sat Aug 28, 2010 2:10 am

welcome SpiritMuse! don't mind Jeff, he's on steroids.
Don't attempt anything without the gloves.
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Re: Withnail and I and Me

PostPosted by jeff wode » Sun Aug 29, 2010 3:42 pm

apparently steroids preclude you from believing in imaginary friends.
"imagine the size of his balls!"
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Re: Withnail and I and Me

PostPosted by McFuck » Sun Aug 29, 2010 4:29 pm

I like my imaginary friends! they never come over to my house and drink all my booze, eat all my food, then leave a big mess when they leave!
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Re: Withnail and I and Me

PostPosted by crooked » Sun Aug 29, 2010 4:56 pm

Yeah and they reward you with eternal bliss just for living a decent life.
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Re: Withnail and I and Me

PostPosted by HE Bates » Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:51 pm

Welcome SpiritMuse. I liked your story of how you lost your Withginity...
...drinking cider, discussing butter
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Re: Withnail and I and Me

PostPosted by HE Bates » Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:52 pm

McFuck wrote:I like my imaginary friends! they never come over to my house and drink all my booze, eat all my food, then leave a big mess when they leave!


Yes, and they don't make stupid logical errors or say inane shit.

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