Withnail and I (1987, Bruce Robinson)

One of those cult movies that you have to see over and over, or drunk, or high, or with the right friends, or at the right time in your life. I met none of the qualifictions, but sill enjoyed it quite a lot. Seems it was the Big Lebowski of its time, with the massively devoted fanbase. And I can see that now, having watched the half-hour bonus feature on the DVD, playing key scenes and lines again, giving me a second look. Certainly the performances and dialogue (when I could make it out) are absurdly good, which probably makes this an endlessly rewatchable movie.

The key performers are Richard E. “Kafka” Grant and Paul McGann (Alien 3, Ken Russell’s The Rainbow) as unemployed actor roommates who go on holiday, Richard Griffiths (Harry Potter‘s uncle) as Grant’s homosexual relative who lends them his cottage then shows up with designs on McGann, and Ralph Brown (played a stoner again in The Boat That Rocked, also in The Hit) as the ultimate pothead, a dubious friend of the two leads.

Robinson dropped off the face of the earh after the early 90’s, but is reportedly back with Johnny Depp in The Rum Diary – from working with Ralph Steadman on Withnail to adapting Hunter S. Thompson.

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