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And Now With a Dose of Reality…
April 17th, 2012

I’m pleased to introduce, once again, my sister Anne.  These days she’s writing for Heart of Gold Girls, which is a wonderful site dedicated to helping girls pursue their goals.  She’s guest posted here once before and can always be counted on for a thoughtful and/or pithy response to popular culture.  In conjunction with the hundredth anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic Hollywood is all a-twitter with the 3D re-release of Titanic the movie.  Anne was quite the fan of the movie when it was released, and today she’s here to provide her view of the film as someone who has successfully survived adolescence.  Thanks, Anne!

I was a part of the demographic that made Titanic an international success.  I wish I were the demographic that flocked to an edgier, more hip groundbreaking film.  Pulp Fiction, perhaps.  But nope.  In 1997 I was a cliché with no shame who saw Titanic 5 times in the theater.

I could defend myself.  I could tell you, for instance, that despite its totally lame dialogue, Titanic restored the grand tradition of epic films a la Doctor Zhivago or Gone with the Wind. But who am I kidding?  I spent over 16 hours of my life seeing Titanic on the big screen for primarily 3 reasons…

  1. The love story
  2. Leonardo DiCaprio in a tux
  3. Kate Winslet’s clothes

But how about today?  Does Titanic hold up over time for this former swooning 17-year-old?  In an article for The Huffington Post, a kindred Titanic groupie saw the 3D version, and compared her thoughts while viewing the movie at age 12 to her thoughts as a now 26-year-old.  I haven’t seen the 3D version yet, but I popped in my VHS(!!!) copy of Titanic the other day so I could do a similar comparison.  Here are my thoughts:

Age 17: I wish people still dressed like that.
Age 32: Kate Winslet looks uncomfortable in those corsets.

Age 17: I wish I had red hair the color of Rose’s.
Age 32: I hope my daughter ends up having red in her hair. My ship has sailed.

Age 17: Leonardo DiCaprio is hot.
Age 32:  Thanks a lot, Titanic. Because Leo was stalked by teenage girls after Titanic came out, he never played heartthrobs after that. Please, oh please, let the new Great Gatsby be as good as I want it to be. Maybe he’ll be pretty again. No more J Edgar please.

Age 17: Jack seems kinda nerdy when he shouts about being “King of the World”.
Age 32: Good instincts, “Anne-at-17”.  It was indeed nerdy. Your cringe was worthy.

Age 17: I just love Kathy Bates; she’s so nice and friendly.
Age 32: Kathy Bates is always a hoot! Should I start watching Harry’s Law? Nah.

Age 17: I hope I meet a wandering artist someday and have a wild fling.
Age 32: How on earth do they think they’re going to travel the world if they’re broke?

Age 17: Jack is so fun-loving, getting Rose to dance an Irish jig!
Age 32: Jack can pull it off, but Rose looks like a doofus dancing that faux jig.

Age 17: Eeek!  Kate Winslet is really gutsy to show her breasts like that!
Age 32: Clearly Kate Winslet had not nursed any babies when she shot this movie.

Age 17: Ugh, I have to watch the ship sink now.  The good stuff is over.
Age 32: Oh god, I forgot they killed off that old couple in bed together.  I can’t watch.

Age 17:  Why doesn’t Jack try harder to climb on that friggin’ board?
Age 32:  Why doesn’t Jack try harder to climb on that friggin’ board?*

Age 17: What a dramatic gesture throwing that necklace into the ocean!
Age 32: Throwing that necklace in the ocean served no purpose whatsoever. It ticks me off.

Age 17:  I must buy the soundtrack.
Age 32:  Did I really buy that soundtrack that sounded like Enya but wasn’t Enya?

And, with that, I need to find someone willing to go see it with me again in 3D.

*I’m with the Huffington Post on this one…

Did you love Titanic or hate it?  Leo-lover?  Am I alone in thinking James Cameron should find a screenwriter and stick with the special effects?

2 Responses to “And Now With a Dose of Reality…”

  1. Gale Says:

    Isn’t it amazing how the perspective of adulthood affects our view of the world. In some ways I admire our practicality as adults (e.g. – “Kate Winslet looks uncomfortable in those corsets”). In other ways it makes me a little sad that our adult pragmatism can kill our appetite for romance (e.g. – “How on earth do they think they’re going to travel the world if they’re broke?”). And sometimes I just have to smile and laugh (e.g. – “Clearly Kate Winslet had not nursed any babies when she shot this movie”).

    Thanks for the post, Anne. It’s always a pleasure to read your words!

  2. BigLittleWolf Says:

    Ah, maturity…

    To be frank, I didn’t care for Titanic the first time around. Then again, I was 17 when I saw it.


    Great post!