EINTKILFEverything I Need To Know, I Learned From Titanic (The Movie, Not the Disaster)Jessica Tholmer

Asking me how I feel about Titanic is like asking Kate Winslet who her favorite costar of all time is. (A little Titanic humor for you. I was also going to say: “is like asking an iceberg what it is most famous for” or “is like asking old Rose who she loved more: her husband or Jack Dawson”.) Since I saw the movie for the first time a little over fifteen years ago, I have never gone more than a month without watching one of my four copies that I have to choose from (they are all the same film, I assure you). There is just something about those flippy Jack Dawson bangs that sets my soul at ease—and I need my soul eased often.

Imagine my delight when Titanic 3D premiered this week. Say no more, say no more! 10-year-old Jess is so thankful!

Everything I Need to Know I Learned from Titanic

1. Real men wear suspenders.
I was barely even pre-pubescent when Titanic crashed its way into theaters for the first time. My cousin and I went to see it, excited but unsure. When the movie began, I was disappointed because I certainly wasn’t trying to see a documentary and the Bill Paxton parts were very misleading. Picture my surprise and relief when the camera panned on Leonardo DiCaprio for the first time. Those sweet pink lips holding that flimsy, hand rolled cigarette? I was completely in love by the time he kissed Rose’s hand and told her he saw that in a Nickelodeon once. (Even though admittedly, I was like, “Nickelodeon was not invented in 1912! Blooper!”) Remember when Jack first sees Rose, and he’s wearing that brown shirt and those tan suspenders? Ever since that moment, back in December of 1997, my hopes have been dashed every time I meet a cute boy not wearing suspenders. Which is like, always.

2. Poor people know how to party.
Everyone knows their favorite scene is the Irish dance party in third class. Come on, admit it. The movie actually gets louder in this scene to really portray the difference from the dull dinner party happening in first class. Jack and Rose go from snickering and tapping the sides of their glasses while eating caviar to throwing their shoes off and chugging dark liquid that I was sure was Coca Cola when I was ten, but that I’m pretty sure is some kind of homebrew now that I’m older. Cackling and stomping and spilling beer everywhere? Forget the rats; I want to go to that party!

3. Don’t gamble.
Listen, I know Jack claims that winning that ticket on the Titanic was the best thing that had ever happened to him, but we all know that is movie romance talkin’. Winning that ticket onto the Titanic killed Jack at an extremely young age. If you don’t gamble in poker games, your feet will stay safe on the ground. Jack could have met another nice lady somewhere in his life, maybe not on a sinking ship, and you know what? I bet she would have let him draw her naked, as well. I mean, have you even seen his blue eyes?!

4. Americans don’t have lice.
I fact checked most of what I learned while watching Titanic endlessly throughout the majority of my life, but this one I never checked, which means I took it as fact. Americans don’t have lice. (Though I totally had lice in the third grade and had to miss our Halloween party. It was the pits.)

5. A real man makes his own luck.
I try not to listen to Cal Hockley, but ever since Dwight Schrute repeated this line on The Office, it has stuck in my head as truth. If a real man makes his own luck, I guess Cal wasn’t much of a man since he ended up Rose-less and eventually bankrupt and dead after the Great Depression. It is still a nice motto, though! For good people, at least!

6. Ice fishing.
When Jack first meets Rose, he is talking her down from jumping off of the Titanic, so he’s talking to her a lot about random topics so she won’t actually go through with it. When I was younger, I always wanted Rose to let him finish his description of what ice fishing is—she interrupts him, and he teases back,” you just seem like, you know, kind of an indoor girl.” Jack, I’m kind of an indoor girl! I had to look it up in an encyclopedia because it was before the internet was even invented! (This may not be historically true, but go with it.)

7. If someone saves your girlfriend’s life, offer more than a $20 reward.
That is a weak offer, especially if your girlfriend is a gorgeous, feisty redhead. A $20 shall not do it—at least make it a dinner invitation in which said savior can continue to sweep her off her feet until she leaves you, even on a sinking ship.

8. Life is not fair for women.
Rose’s mom, Ruth, while fiercely telling her to get her act together and fall in love with Cal Hockley, reminds her that nothing in life is fair for women. As a kid, I thought this was the silliest argument ever—poor Rose, two men in love with her. Now that I have been in that situation, I know it sucks—and that doesn’t even include the whole “we are only pretending we are rich people” thing. Life isn’t fair for women, money or no money, excessive numbers of boys in love with you or no boys in love with you.

9. Real women have curves
.
Okay, so maybe everyone’s favorite scene is actually the scene in which Jack draws Rose. She’s a beautiful woman, and you know what else? She’s not a stick. She’s a curvalicious beautiful woman. My ex-boyfriend told me that he thought Rose (being the first woman most boys my age saw naked) shaped what he thought a woman should look like. I was like, yeah, me too, why do you think I drink so many milkshakes? Thanks Rose! Your mean curves and sassy attitude created the woman you see here today.

10. A woman’s heart is a deep ocean of secrets.
Rose keeps her Romeo and Juliet-esque love story a secret forever. The first time she ever talks about Jack is when she is 101 years old! Now listen, I am the worst secret keeper ever, but I can relate to the statement. A woman’s heart is a deep ocean of secrets, even if I do a poor job keeping my secrets in my deep ocean. Maybe my ocean is just more shallow than other womens’? What I have learned, however, is that a woman’s feelings are far too complicated and beautiful to share with common folk. Amen, old Rose.

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    Anonymous | 5/04/2012 09:05 am
  3. Apart from the two that you mentioned, everyone’s other favourite scene surely is the steamy car scene?! (though this scene also signifies the part of the film at which I think it should end, because frankly my heart can’t handle anything that happens beyond this point)

    This 10-year-old Jess is also thankful that future her also gets to enjoy it again as an adult whilst fully understanding all that is going on!

  4. Another important lesson from Titanic, start from the outside with the silverware.

  5. Bridget Espinola – I NEVER KNEW THIS! always thought it was a movie mistake.

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      Anonymous | 5/05/2012 09:05 am
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      Anonymous | 5/05/2012 07:05 am
  6. “There is just something about those flippy Jack Dawson bangs that sets my soul at ease—and I need my soul eased often.” You understand me soo well!

  7. Actually, a nickelodeon was a place where people would watch movies for a nickel.