This past Saturday, I went to an actual movie theater and saw the 15-year anniversary re-release of Titanic in 3D. Sober.
I was in the fourth grade the first time I saw Titanic. (Also sober.) I went with my mom, probably against her better parenting judgement. As a romantic future-writer and young idealist, I absolutely adored the movie — the sweeping nautical landscape and intense love story, the elegant clothing and the tragic ending. It wasn’t all swell though. The dead bodies floating in the water gave me horrible nightmares. (My mom made sure I knew RMS Titanic was a real ship. Oh god.) I also thought sex meant putting a sweaty hand against the window of a car for the next four years, but let’s not dwell on that.
I loved Titanic so much that for my birthday that year, I had my mom get the grocery store to silk-screen a cake with Leonardo DiCaprio’s face. I also had a huge poster for the movie on my wall. (Later to be replaced by a poster of David Duchovny from The X-Files. I know where the truth is, boy. Mmm.)
Re-watching Titanic in 3D, I realized the reason I loved the movie as a kid was because the dialogue sounds like it was written by an emotionally-unhinged 15-year-old girl. It’s kind of the best.
Here are some of my favorite lines I’d forgotten were actually said by characters in Titanic. This is not a joke.
1. “I’d rather be his whore, than your wife.” – Rose to Cal
My personal favorite line from anything ever. I hope I have occasion to use it one day, even if it’s completely out of context.
Dude: “Hey, Gaby. How are you?”
Me (spitting on him): “I’d rather be his whore, than your wife!”
2. “Draw me like one of your French girls.” – Rose to Jack
Hey, it’s a better proposition than “Sexy, can I?”
3. “Of course! Anyway, we don’t have lice, we’re Americans.” – Jack
All of Jack’s friends in this movie are insane stereotypes. His Italian friend is named Fabrizio and is basically Mario from Super Mario Brothers. His Irish friend is called Tommy Ryan, and is about one whiskey away from punching someone at all times. I get it’s 1912 but wow.
4. “I’ll just wait here.” – Jack
Rose leaves Jack in handcuffs with the water rising to try and find help. Watching this movie as an elementary schooler, I thought Jack and Rose’s dedication to each other was heartbreakingly romantic. At this recent viewing, I just thought they were acting like idiots. You’ve known each other for like, three days and neither of you is particularly adept at rescuing the other one. My heart can’t go on, because it is blackened with cynicism.
5. “You gonna cut her meat for her too there, Cal?” – Molly Brown
Kathy Bates! Feminism!
6. “Something Picasso? He won’t amount to a thing.” – Cal
I love this cliche — when a movie set in the past references something from the future in a cheeky way. This is how the screenwriter shows us that Cal is out of touch. Brilliant writing. Brilliant.
PS: A fun thing to do if you’re bored is include Billy Zane’s name in popular songs. “Billy Zane is in my ear and in my eyes” or “Billy Zane is not my lover!” You’re welcome.
7. “I’m flying, Jack!” – Rose
8. “It was the ship of dreams to everyone else. To me, it was a slave ship taking me back to America in chains.” – Rose, voiceover
Whoa, girl. Whoa. You are white and slave ships were a real thing. You can’t just say that. No. No. No.