Monday, April 9, 2012

You jump, I jump, remember?

No joke, this is one of my favorite movie posters of all time! (x)
I am a hopeless romantic. No ifs ands or buts about it. Anything cynical I say about love is promptly followed by a string of giggles that say, 'I don't really believe that.' But even if you don't let your hopeless romantic "freak flag" fly, don't let it stop you from seeing the unapologetically romantic Titanic in 3D on the big screen. Now I frequent the movies often enough to hear the divide in the movie theater during previews. Whenever Titanic's preview played it was sprinkled with "Eeeeee I can't wait!" and "Oh my gooooosh, really?" Personally, I was freaking out. Because there are a few things you should know about me:
  1. I never saw Titanic on the big screen.
  2. Having been prone to leaving the room or throwing a blanket over my head whilst wailing, I had never seen this movie from start to finish.
  3. Being on a sinking ship is my worst nightmare.
  4. Jack Dawson is my dream man.
With all this in mind, I quickly decided that this experience was not one to be missed. After all, if you can't see it all in one go on the big screen the year of Titanic's centennial, when can you?

Where oh where to begin? To me, Titanic is one of the most iconic films of our time. Not just because of its unforgettable scenes, but because of its magnitude. Like the grand ship of dreams that it was named for, this film positively dazzles with its cast, costumes, music, and sets. In fact, the moment when the bagpipes kick in at the beginning alone has me reaching for a hanky. You want my heart to be instant silly puddy in your hands? Just add bagpipes. Not to mention the haunting vocals in James Horner's masterpiece of a score. But the costumes. The costumes!!! 
Don't do it, Rose! Your dress is too pretty! (x)
Actually my first memory of the Oscars was watching Deborah Lynn Scott win Best Costume Design for them. And it's no surprise why. I want all of Rose's outfits. Each and every one! And how often can you say that about a movie? Even if it is a period piece. 
We never get a spectacular shot of it, but this is one of my favorites! (x)
Why don't we dress like this anymore?!?! I mean, every time Rose steps out of the car and looks up at the ship, giving you your first look at her... Oh! It just takes my breath away! She's so stunningly beautiful and her clothing so luxurious, I'm instantly swept up in the grandeur to come.
I am *speechless*! (x)
And you know how sometimes you see actors in a period piece and it feels kind of forced? Well Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio look like they were made for that era. It takes absolutely no convincing to believe that she's been raised under lock and key while he's been sleeping under the bridges of Paris. 
This part! This part! (x)
Maybe this is because they've turned out to be two of the best actors of our time, but seriously, romantic pairings don't get any better than this! And these are two characters I would cheer for on or off Titanic. Rose is a force full of spirit and sass and Jack is a cockeyed optimist hellbent on living life to the fullest. One of my favorite scenes is simply when he's running through the crowds to board the Titanic after winning a pair of tickets in a hand of poker, whooping and hollering. But as a firm believer in "when you know, you know," a huge part of what draws me in with this story is that love at first sight element. Heart-clutch number one in this movie goes to the look on his face when he sees Rose for the first time.
Then his friend waves his hand in front of his face, he's so captivated, and I just can't find a bottle of smelling salts that's big enough for this moment. I mean, I told you I'm a hopeless romantic, didn't I? These days it seems so frowned upon to have a straight up romantic movie and I resent that. So that was a huge draw for me seeing it on the big screen. And it was an unforgettable experience! 

I just love the main characters so much, you guys! HEARTS IN MY EYES!!!!! First, we have the outspoken Rose, trapped in a world she despises.
I love how quick witted she is. Before she's even met Jack, she's lashing out at the world around her. One of my favorite lines of hers is when she's at tea, bored to death over the Bruce Ismay's reasoning for naming the ship Titanic. Finally she says, "Do you know of Dr. Freud, Mr. Ismay? His ideas about the male preoccupation with size might be of particular interest to you." Despite being smothered, she still manages to throw a zinger in now and again, hinting at what's really under the surface. 
I love his reaction! Priceless! (x)
This is also an appreciation post for rich girls chugging beer. I love that part! But I'm getting ahead of myself... When she meets Jack, she allows herself to dream of little things at first such as spitting like a man. But by day four she's dreaming of getting of the ship with him when it docks instead of her rich and domineering fiancé Cal. Speaking of, can I just say how much I love the scene the morning after she dances with Jack below decks when Cal flips over the breakfast table demanding her to honor him? I know this might seem like a weird one to point out, but I think it's one of Kate Winslet's best acted scenes. Flawless Kate is flawless. But it doesn't stop there. When the ship is going down and she refuses to get on the lifeboat with her mother, she spits in Cal's face (ahhhhhh symbolism!!!) declaring, "I'd rather be his whore than your wife!" Ah! You tell him, Rose! She's so fierce! 
Bad-ass-ery! (x)
Hello. I mean, she proceeds to seek out Jack who's handcuffed down below in order to save his life. She's got to leave him and find help, punches the guy who won't help, gets an ax, wades through the rushing water, and swings. Talk about a nail biter! I was squirming in my seat. But even when both Cal and Jack get her on another lifeboat, she jumps off for the deck below. The girl is the very definition of tireless when it comes to love. My friend Sarah, who I went to see this with, and I got in a debate about this, but I'd like to think that I'd have done the same thing if I was in her shoes. So what if you she barely knew him? She knew enough! When you know, you know! But even when she survives and he doesn't, she tells a sailor her name is Rose Dawson. I love that! It's so human. She allows herself to be forever changed by this man she knew a few days, living the life they might have had together. Changing her name like that helps her hold herself accountable to the promises she made to him, refusing to slip back into the life of luxury she had before going through all this trauma. And seeing this photograph at the end leaves me crying enough tears to have given the Atlantic a run for its money:
Because not only did she keep her promise to Jack to truly live and "make each day count" as he said, but remember one of their first conversations? 

Rose: Why can't I be like you, Jack? Just head out for the horizon whenever I feel like it. Say we'll go there sometime to that pier. Even if we only ever just talk about it.
Jack: No, we'll do it. We'll drink cheap beer, we'll ride on the rollercoaster till we throw up, then we'll ride horses on the beach, right in the surf-now but you'll have to do it like a real cowboy, none of that side saddle stuff.

CREYES FOR EYES!!!!!!!! It's so romantic and brave! I'm getting all blubbery just thinking about it!

Then we have my honest-to-a-fault dream man Jack (incidentally, my favorite name for a guy)...
Everything is beautiful and nothing hurts! (x)
Before his character even gets involved, let's just cut to the chase and say that young Leonardo DiCaprio is quite plainly a life ruiner sent here to leave all our pantaloons in a twist till we've wept ourselves into an unsatisfied-by-all-other-men oblivion. Tall, light, and handsome, always wearing suspenders! I just-! Ahem... well, it had to be said. Moving on! Jack Dawson is so full of life, the living breathing embodiment of Carpe Diem, that it makes me think twice about what I'm doing with my life. If he doesn't like it, he's not doing it. This man only has time for what he loves and looking beautiful. As far as Rose is concerned here, he makes an instant connection with her and goes after her. No mind games. What a refreshing thought and attractive quality! Modern suitors, take note. Please.
I love a man who doesn't mind making a fool of himself in public places. (x)
He's a struggling artist who's worked his way from place to place and seen the world in the process. There's something so appealing about that! He's done and experienced so much, you can't help feeling this inevitable magnetism towards him. Plus with all that experience, he knows what to do in a time of crisis! I can only hope I am as lucky as Rose if I find myself in a similar situation *knock on wood*. He'll knick the keys for your only way out, drag your sodden self where you need to be, shove you out of the way when your cray-cray fiancé starts shooting, tell you when to take a deep breath right before you go under water, and find you a plank of wood that should hold two people (damn it, James Cameron! damn it, science!) in order to save you because such is his knowledge and love for you.
Intense moment is v. intense! (x)
Like Rose says, he "sees people." Which is more than can be said for her arrogant fiancé. Jack feeds off of those around him. Whether he's sketching (he's obsessed with hands! just like me!), convincing Rose not to jump, making speeches at first class dinner parties, dancing with little girls ((seriously, so unfairly cute!) that whole dancing sequence is my faaavorite), or ramming a bench through a third-class gate, he's giving life everything he's got. And yet, somehow it's understated in a way that doesn't rub it in your face. It's more 'hey join the party!' than judgmental. Because he's humble and open minded. 
A-freaking-dorable. (x)
And funny! I love when he sees Rose's ring and exclaims, "God! Look at that thing! You would've gone straight to the bottom!" While he's a self-proclaimed optimist, he's also a realist saying, "I have ten bucks in my pocket, I have nothing to offer you, and I know that." This is promptly followed by a fan-fic-esque exchange where he tells her only she can save herself, but still I eat it up. Because he's not a chauvinist pig like her fiancé. He recognizes the vitality that's being suppressed in her and encourages her to quit thinking about what everyone else wants and allow herself to finally voice what she wants. Now that's what a call gentlemanly! And when he selflessly puts her on a lifeboat knowing full well there won't be another one for him? I know she jumps back onto the ship and everything, but... ZOMG MY HEART!!! *GRABBY HANDS*

Despite their differences, they treat each other as equals. And I love them for that!
My heart striiiiiings!!! (x)
Mix these two together and it is positively dynamite (in a good way)! I'm talking world class ALL CAPS FEELINGS, people! Their "you jump, I jump" mentality sets my heart racing! Like, if I ever have a race horse, I'm naming him ALL CAPS TITANIC FEELINGS. Pull out the smelling salts and fainting couch, because I'm going to be gone in three, two, one...
"Do you trust me?" Gahhh!!!!!!!! Singing and playing with her hands? I caaaaaaaan't! *SOBBING*

Other reasons why Titanic is awesome: the unsinkable Molly Brown, John Jacob Astor, serious bling, secret notes, the delicious villains, and... oh! Hey! What! IT'S IOAN GRUFFUDD!!!! 
Almost makes me wish I was in need of saving! (x)
I thought I was seeing things, but luckily I wasn't! I heart this Welshman something crazy, y'all, crazy! Until I watched it this weekend, I had no idea he was in it! He leads the one lifeboat that goes back to find survivors. Ugh. ILU, Ioan!!! 

Reasons why Titanic is horrible: the sink ships and Jack dies (WHYYYYYYYY?!?!). I couldn't sit still the entire time the ship was sinking. WORST NIGHTMARE! And having my dream man involved was so not cool! The whole thing gave me a mad case of the heebie jeebies that I'd rather not revisit anytime soon. I might just revert back to watching up to a certain point... because... it's ALL CAPS TERRIFYING, okay?! I just couldn't handle it.

Still! It was fabulous, fabulous, fab-u-lous! And I'm so glad I went and saw it on the big screen (the 3D element did not so much do anything for me, I just love the story)! Because if you couldn't tell... IT GIVES ME A LOT OF FEELINGS!!!!

P.S. For those of you visiting or living in Washington D.C., check out the National Geographic Museum's Titanic: 100 Year Obsession exhibit. It's interactive and full of fascinating tidbits on the ship's maiden voyage, demise, and discovery along with showcasing some props from the set. And, of course, there's something very special you can do at the end...
My friend Sarah and I couldn't resist!
My heart will go on! Oh! Speaking of, let's just close out with the music video because we can, shall we? The movie came out when I was in the fifth grade and this was the closest my dear protective mother would let me get to it. So, yes, I have a peculiar attachment to this song! You know you don't want to ex out of this post before having a little sing-a-long!
And yes, if my sisters are wondering, I still like to sing this song in front of a hairdryer ;)

1 comment:

  1. AIYSDGLAAKSJDGASLHD!!!!! My over-protective mother wouldn't let me see this in theaters either, so I MUST go see it.

    Ugh. Titanic. Perfect movie is perfect. The MUSIC, the costumes, the actors, just everything. All the feelings in the world!