Recently, I've been revisiting the movies I was obsessed with as a pre-teen and teen. I cannot overstate how addicted I was to Romeo + Juliet during this period. It triggered an intense crush on Leonardo DiCaprio that lasted at least two years (helped along by Titanic), not to mention a devotion to Shakespeare that would be unthinkable in an 11-year-old otherwise. Despite my love for it, it's been many years since I've actually watched the movie. Here's how the experience of rewatching it went down...
1. I still know this opening monologue off by heart. Thanks, Baz Luhrmann.
2. Having it as a TV report is pretty clever.
3. The introduction of all the characters, with the dramatic music, is so good.
4. Oh that’s right, Randy from Scream is the pink-haired Montague in this!
5. THE BOYS THE BOYS.
6. This movie was responsible for me wearing Hawaiian shirts for most of Year 6.
7. God, this soundtrack is the best.
8. The rhythm of the thumb-biting interaction is great.
9. Those cars are really cool.
10. BENVOLIO! I LOVE HIM.
11. Remember when he dated Alanis Morissette and starred in her “So Pure” video clip and it was truly iconic?
12. This movie is so amazing.
13. I kind of wish Baz Luhrmann had adapted other Shakespeare plays? Idk I know it’s cool to hate on him these days or whatever, but I high-key love his movies.
14. Also like, who else could have got an 11-year-old (me) to not only voluntarily watch a movie using traditional Shakespeare language, but also understand it? And not just understand it, but memorise it? And not just memorise it, but then read the original play?
15. Okay, my thirst for Leo DiCaprio played a big part in the above. But still.
16. John Leguizamo is brilliant as Tybalt.
17. SUCH a good opening.
18. My heart is racing.
19. Heeeeere’s Romeo.
20. I actually just gasped at that shot of him sitting there in the sunset, smoking and writing poetry.
21. I’m such a sucker for this Sad White Boy.
22. HIS HAIR! IT’S SO PERFECT AND DREAMY.
23. THAT SHOT OF HIM STARING STRAIGHT INTO THE CAMERA. I CAN’T BREATHE.
24. HIS EYES! SO PRETTY!
25. I think it goes without saying that this movie played a significant part in my sexual awakening.
26. It says a lot about how dreamy Leo was in this that he made PAUL FREAKING RUDD seem like a dud choice.
27. “Younger than she are happy mothers made.” This whole conversation between Paris and Daddy Capulet is extra gross in a modern context.
28. Omg! Is Balthasar the guy from Bring It On?
29. I definitely pretended to be Juliet in the bath, with my head submerged like this.
30. I love her mum’s dressing gown.
31. But I hate her mother.
32. The nurse is top value, though.
33. Leo in that knight costume! Swooooooon.
34. Yas Mercutio!
35. I remember being shook when he pulled those invites from under his skirt.
36. I also remember being confused about what the pill was and asking my much cooler friend, “like, is it a lolly???” And that’s how I learned what drugs were.
37. That escalated quickly, Mercutio.
38. Romeo is the epitome of “you must be fun at parties”.
39. YAS YOUNG HEARTS, ICONICCCCCCCCC.
40. This part of the movie makes a lot more sense when you know Romeo is high AF, which I did NOT know the first time I watched it.
41. Here we gooooo, the fishtank scene.
42. My heart is fluttering.
43. I feel 11 again.
44. Lmao @ the guy peeing in the background.
45. Ahhh there she is.
46. Leo’s little eyebrow raise! I just! I can’t take this it’s too cute.
47. The nose bump! I’m dying.
48. AHHH MY HEART.
49. This whole scene is so lovely and Juliet is lovely and Romeo is lovely and ahhhhhh.
50. “Did my heart love til now?” I have swooned approximately 17 times already.
51. Paul Rudd is such a doofus haha no wonder Juliet hates him.
52. AHHHH THE ELEVATOR!!! THE ELEVATOR!!!! AF:OAGOWUG(*OF:AGBAL:.
53. DAYUUUUMM HE KISS BY THE BOOK ALRIGHT.
54. “Is she a Capulet?” Dun dun dunnnn.
55. Okay but real talk, they would not have been anywhere near as obsessed with each other if they didn’t find out their love was ~forbidden~.
56. Tybalt needs to relax.
57. You know whose story I’d really like to see? Rosaline’s.
58. I’m cackling at Romeo being so awkward when the lights turn on and scrambling to hide.
59. Romeo, don’t peep in her window, that’s creepy.
60. When I was 11, the fact it turned out to be the nurse he was checking out was so funny to me.
61. Romeo has NO chill.
62. I was that 11-year-old who was like, “actually she’s saying WHY are you Romeo, not WHERE are you Romeo. THE WHOLE SPEECH IS ABOUT HIS NAME DUMMIES."
63. “Nor any other part belonging to a man.” Heheheh.
64. Sweetie, calm down, you’ve literally met him once.
65. This movie is responsible for me spending all my teen years thinking that swimming in a pool with a guy was the HEIGHT of romance.
66. There is so much kissing in this scene.
67. I’m not complaining. But really, it’s a lot of kissing.
68. I know I’m getting old because, while still swooning, I’m also like, MARRIAGE?!?!? YOU GUYS LITERALLY JUST MET THIS VERY EVENING.
69. Oh hi, more kissing.
70. Okay, I’m grinning, I can’t help it.
71. And yep, I made my boyfriend try this underwater kiss when I was 15.
72. A lot of the modernisations work well (naming their guns “Dagger” and “Longsword”, for instance), but keeping the marriage plot really doesn’t in this context.
73. I’m glad they slipped in a traditional balcony kiss here, as great as the pool scene is.
74. Leo’s smile!! Siiiiiiigh.
75. I know I’ve already said it, but this soundtrack is truly so good.
76. “When Doves Cry” is about to make me weep, though.
77. Romeo is a clumsy fucker, isn’t he.
78. Mercutio is so extra, shooting his gun just to get Romeo’s attention.
79. I am living for the nurse.
80. “LOVEFOOL” YAS.
81. This soundtrack!!!!
82. Is Claire Danes wearing a wig in this? How have I never realised this before?
83. “Oh my back.” Oh shit, I am the nurse now.
84. Okay, but nurse, dear, is it really smart to encourage Juliet to marry this random guy she’s met ONCE (twice if you’re being really generous, but come on, it was the same night).
85. Aw Juliet does look so pretty in this wedding scene, though.
86. And Romeo looks SO handsome.
87. Balthasar IS the guy from Bring It On!
88. Oh my god, that one string of hair on Romeo, I can’t take it.
89. I’m crying.
90. The two glasses of wine I’ve drunk might not be helping this situation.
91. I wanted a ring just like that so badly.
92. Aaaand we have ominous clouds on the horizon, here’s where everything turns to shit.
93. Mercutio is literally shooting fish, buddy needs to chill.
94. I did not get that he was totally in love with Romeo when I was younger. Huh.
95. Romeo running in so happy after getting married hurts my heart. It’s all about to blow up in his face.
96. There goes that strand of hair again.
97. Never has one (1) strand of hair been so sexy
98. Tybalt is a massive dick.
99. I’m so tense, and I know what’s going to happen.
100. Maybe I should say I’m so tense BECAUSE I know what’s going to happen.
101. Oh, it’s big for Mercutio to drop his gun considering how much he loves firing it.
102. Oh shit, the broken window.
103. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MERCUTIO.
104. Ooft that wound.
105. “A PLAGUE ON BOTH YOUR HOUSES!” I felt that in my bones.
106. All of this drama is going down, meanwhile Juliet just thinking of getting the D.
107. Romeo is piiiiiissed now.
108. Yes Leo act ur bb heart out.
109. Look at those tears! Should’ve won an oscar for THIS.
110. Why didn’t Juliet just go with him in his banishment, especially since they’re now married and all?
111. Oh, he’ll comfort her alright.
112. I love him in that blue shirt. So iconic.
113. A wet Leo coming through the curtains. I die.
114. THAT SMILE. GAH.
115. I AM SO HERE FOR THIS SCENE.
116. Leo is divine.
117. I remember being shook at 11 that Juliet was not wearing a bra.
118. Juliet’s dad being so keen to marry her off to Paris so quickly makes no sense in a modern context.
119. Oh shit, the way they’re sleeping now is totally echoed in the death scene, isn’t it?
120. This morning scene is so soft and pure, I love it so much.
121. Romeo in those sheets was the epitome of sex and romance to a young me.
122. And an old me, let’s be real.
123. I relate to the nurse checking him out.
124. It’s so sad that this is their last proper kiss and it gets cut off by her mother appearing.
125. I love how committed this movie is to making Leonardo DiCaprio wet.
127. Juliet’s dad is the worst.
128. Why doesn’t Juliet just go after Romeo though.
129. The way she begs her mother for help breaks my heart.
130. Claire Danes is SO good at crying
131. “I have done with thee.” Cold.
132. This nurse is not great at giving advice.
133. This is the most off-putting Paul Rudd has ever been.
134. Why does Juliet she go straight to suicide as the only option, rather than just FOLLOWING ROMEO.
135. This is the stupidest plan, truly.
136. Any plan that relies on the post being delivered on time is inherently flawed, for one.
137. Doesn’t Romeo have a phone?!
138. Juliet, don’t do it.
139. Balthasar NO NO NO it’s not what you think!!
140. God Romeo sitting there writing poetry and smoking again. Way hotter than he has any right to be.
141. Leo is really good at crying too.
142. JULIET! JULIEEEEEEET!
143. Balthasar, you fucked up.
144. Although Juliet and the priest fucked up more than anything, to be fair.
145. Why didn’t Romeo go see the priest first, though?
146. I guess he didn’t want him to stop him.
147. The postman being there again just as Romeo takes off just rubs salt in the wound.
148. WRITING ANOTHER LETTER WON’T HELP RIGHT NOW PAL.
149. Romeo looks like such a badass rn though.
150. Gosh, he looks so beautiful walking up this aisle.
151. His face!!
152. I remember even when I was a kid I thought it was so ridiculous that they kill themselves like this.
153. Like, if he had just been two minutes later!! Ugh.
154. Not gonna lie, I’m crying right now.
155. They were so close to being together again! I can’t take it!
156. I mean, the way she reaches up and touches him JUSt as he’s taking the poison! It’s frankly rude.
158. “For never was a story of more woe, than this of Juliet and her Romeo.” SOB.
159. Such an incredible movie.
160. The definitive Romeo and Juliet tbh.