Holiday by Mistake

Plymouth Herald’s Emily Smith tells us why Withnail and I is one of her favourite films.

Withnail and I is a classic – it’s also one of those films that you watch when studying at university, start dating a super trendy boyfriend who says ‘you must watch this film’, or you head to an independent cinema and appreciate it in its full glory.

I was introduced to the film when I met my boyfriend several years ago and we were going through his film collection – the case was faded, there was a picture on the front of two men looking rather dishevelled, the name was weird to say and I didn’t really know what to expect. We settled down and pressed play – years later it’s still a firm favourite of mine and a film I recommend to so many others.

The film tells the story of Withnail (Richard E Grant) and I (Paul McGann) – two failed actors living in complete squalor in Camden. The film is set in the 60s and while a time of complete happiness and hysteria for many, it would seem not for Withnail and I (Marwood).

The pair decide they need to get away from it all – a flat without heating, alcohol and drugs – they go on holiday to Uncle Monty’s holiday cottage. Uncle Monty (Richard Griffiths) turns up unexpectedly at the cottage and approaches Marwood – it all goes terribly wrong and Monty leaves to return back to London.

As well as being terribly dark, it’s a comedy that can connect with so many people on various levels. It’s a film that reminds me of carefree Falmouth University days, skipping lessons with my boyfriend and of friendship.

I couldn’t think of a better venue, than the Plymouth Arts Centre, to sit back and enjoy this brilliant cult classic.

Emily Smith

Twitter: @EmzJ_Smith 

Withnail and I is showing from 5-9 December at Plymouth Arts Centre.


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