I rewatched Titanic recently, and realised just how much my romantic notions have developed, because once upon a time I considered this to be the epitome of romance, and now I’m walking away in disgust”¦
You have Rose (Kate Winslet) a beautiful young woman engaged to an absolute jerk Caledon (Billy Zane) for his money – theirs has all dried up, according to her mother Ruth (Frances Fisher, in about the best performance this movie has to offer). She ends up falling for a poor immigrant Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio) and embracing a freer life at his proddings. She spits off the ship, she makes love, she does all sorts of things a good turn-of-the-century girl doesn’t do.
At the time (I was in my early teens) I thought this was highly romantic, and feministic, to boot. But watching it again, I’m insulted. Rose, in a nutshell, jumps from one man to another. Jack encourages her to “˜be herself’. As an old woman she says of him “˜he saved me in every way a girl can be saved. I interpreted this as “˜I was too preoccupied with status and money that I needed a man to come and make me see reason’.
So what it really amounts to, for me, is that she hated her life, but was scared of falling on her ass, so waited for ANOTHER MAN to come along and say “˜Ill catch you’.
Personally, I’d rather a woman who fell on her ass/face, got back up, bruises and all, gave herself a dusting-off, and kept on moving”¦