It’s April 4 today, and that means Titanic has re-released in 3D. Sure it’s all a big money-making scheme hanging on the 100th anniversary of a major tragedy, but yeah, I went and saw it at midnight with my friend Angela. And about 100 other women and a dozen men.
I haven’t watched Titanic in years despite owning the DVD, and I must say, it’s still a love story that I love. This time around I couldn’t help but compare it to the last time I saw Titanic on the big screen — back for it’s original release in 1997.
In 1997 I was 9 years old. I was in the fourth grade. I was suffering through Cotillion on Sunday nights, hating every second of manners training and the foxtrot. I really hated the dresses. In fact, I still kind of hate dresses. I totally blame the Cotillion for this. (Though, interestingly enough, I love dancing — just not the Foxtrot.)
So there’s this moment in Titanic — just after Rose has told Jack to leave her alone, by golly she’s going to marry Cal! — and she’s having tea with her mother. Rose turns and focuses on a young girl, about 9 years old, and realizes in an instant she doesn’t want this life for herself or her future daugther. She wants out, and Jack is her way out.
At 9, I saw myself in that little girl Rose focuses on and saw my future as Rose, and almost instantaneously Titanic had a lasting impact on my life. I didn’t want to be polished, I didn’t want to be a trophy, and I certainly didn’t want to wear any more dresses if I didn’t want to. Sure, at 9, the comparison was slightly exaggerated, but I finally had the courage at 11 to refuse to attend Cotillion ever again. I refused to be a Señorita (my town’s version of the debutante) when I was sixteen.
(Similarly, I very much relate to Lorelai Gilmore.)
But I must say, despite it’s being utterly silly and repeating the same chase-scene plot sequence 3 times in a row, I don’t think Titanic will ever lose it’s special place in my entertainment heart.
And really, I fell for Leonardo DiCaprio because of this film. He’s an actor who has always chosen films well, and has handled the hype and press of films spectacularly, often shattering people’s expectations of him.
Sure, going to the midnight release wasn’t promoting any major big new thing in film, but the fact of the matter is, I go to movies for the experience and the entertainment, and last night with Angela (and Rose and Jack) I had the most fun I’ve had in a long while at the movies.