This post is dedicated to Laura without whom my 1996-1999 Leo DiCaprio obsession would have been much more lonely!I NEED to talk about Baz Lurhmann’s version of Romeo and Juliet. Promotion is in full gear for the next version of R&J starring Hailee Steinfeld & Douglass Booth due out Oct 11, 2013. While I’m excited to see a new rendition and for this generation’s youth to have a new Romeo to obsess over, I really just want to talk about The Baz Lurhmann version. The Claire Danes as Juliet version. The Leonardo DiCaprio as Romeo version. The reason for my hormonal 8th grade year version. Can I do that now?
Good, but before I start, press play on this song.
Okay now we can do this:
The 1996 Baz Lurhmann, Claire Danes, Leonardo DiCaprio Romeo and Juliet Version IS the quintessential representation of my youth (well, until Titanic. Damn you Leo DiCaprio circa 96-99). I was in 8th grade the year this movie came out, and once I had it on VHS, it was all over. My romantic future was painted, and my fantasies were complete. Because I had a pause button. And my best friend’s VCR had a slow motion setting.
I was reminded of Romeo and Juliet last week when one of the songs from the soundtrack came on on Spotify. Hearing ANY of those songs brings me back to the summer between 8th and 9th grade like it was yesterday. I feel like I was JUST sobbing over Romeo’s death. Didn’t I just last night fall asleep to the soundtrack from the film, only to be awakened with a start because of the gun shot that’s a part of the score? Wasn’t it yesterday that I was cutting out pictures from every teen magazine I could get my hands on and plastering my walls and my textbooks and taping them in the epic notes passed back and forth between my bff Laura and I chronicling every teenage hormone-filled dramatic moment of our lives? The emotions were big, and the expectations this movie gave me for my future love were even bigger. Heres a quick rundown of what I learned from Baz Lurhmann’s Romeo and Juliet:
No other guy stood a chance
The hottest guy in my class was suddenly as attractive as the sweat dripping down Paul Rudd’s back while he was wearing that astronaut costume because Leo strutted onto the screen and into my life looking so badass and just… sigh...just look:
Love would definitely be at first sight
Maybe it wouldn’t be through a fish tank, but there was definitely not going to be a slow burn towards love for me. Love was going to be immediate.
(Spoiler alert Bekah of 1996- your future husband won’t even like you at first site)
Time would stop
No, the countless times I watched this scene in slow motion proved to my 8th grade self that time would stop when I met “the one”
Unforgettable first kiss
Of course my first kiss was going to be exactly like this:
(It would not be in front of a 100 or so people in front of the school and outside of the mini van my friend’s dad arrived in to pick me up. Okay, maybe it was unforgettable)
Until the second kiss..
And my second kiss was definitely going to be just as hot (and not a year and 1/2 time span in between the first and the second)
Can’t stop the kissing
Then at some point I’d have a fully-clothed, really heavy make-out sesh in a pool:
(My dad wouldn’t catch us because he was around the corner flipping burgers and I didn’t know)
Young Marriage for all
We’d be married young and fresh-faced
(I actually did this one…)
Wedding night perfection
And, of course, losing my virginity would be exactly like losing it to Leo DiCaprio in a tropical location in a big, beautiful (spotless) bed with the sheets blowing in the coastal breeze
Fun Fact: If you pause it just right & put it on the correct slow-mo setting, you can see Claire’s boob in this scene! Late night, 3rd time watching the movie in a row while eating chips dipped in velveeta cheese & salsa, optional.
Nevermind, life has lost all meaning
But then… everything was RUINED. Everything.
It stated with the tears I cried when Leo cried:
And ended with the death of my percious Leo as Romeo.
And the sob Claire kills us with after he dies. YOU KNOW THE ONE. I can hear it in my head like I’m hearing it for the first time…
I know my parents think that summer between my 8th and 9th grade years was so emotional because I was going off to a new school and had some friendship things going on, but it’s not true. The reason for my misery was the above 4 images.
And despite the fact that 8th grade was a very long time ago, and years living with the tragedy of Romeo & Juliet has lost the meaning it once had, and Leo and Clare are very much alive and I ended up with a very different, yet very good love story of my own, whenever I hear Kissing You or Talk Show Host or any of the songs from this movie, I’m back in 8th grade, crying my eyes out, deliriously giggling with my best friend while pausing the VHS exactly right on the second you can see Claire’s boob and falling in love with Leo and Romeo all over again.
I don’t think I want to confess how many times I watched this fanvid of perection last night:
I love you 1996 version of Romeo and Juliet and Leonardo DiCaprio as Romeo. I don’t know that I can ever love another.
What do you think? Do you have the same feelings towards Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet that I do? Do the songs take you back to where you were when you first saw Leo strut his gorgeous, smoking stuff onto the screen??