Recently my youngest daughter, Little Miss Sunshine, has become obsessed with Taylor Swift, and I know, I know, I have no one to blame but myself. She gets an hour of screen time a day and she often uses it to just sit with the iPad tuned to YouTube, watching Taylor’s entire oeuvre over and over.
Taylor has an older song (that you probably all already know, because unlike me you haven’t been living under a rock for a decade), called Love Story:
It’s about Romeo and Juliet. Taylor played this song at the concert this past summer (first time I’d ever heard it) and explained that she was disappointed with the sad ending to the actual play, so wrote this song so she could imagine a happy ending for the famous star-crossed lovers. OMG TAYLOR IS THE NICEST PERSON EVER SQUEE.
(Sorry about that.)
Anyway, this song on mega-repeat has led to lots of discussions around here about Romeo and Juliet, and the “real” version of the story, and Little Miss Sunshine is VERY interested. So a few days ago I picked up Baz Luhrman’s version, Romeo + Juliet, from the library, and we watched it together (with, of course, ongoing commentary from me while I explained everything they were saying). And she loved it, of course, because that kind of High Drama is in her blood.
And yes, as an aside, I will mention that at age 8 she’s a little young for this movie, which features plenty of violence and gunplay and suggested sex and, of course, suicide, but such is the way with the third child, is it not? I remember when the Captain was 8 and how he begged to watch Star Wars because all his friends had already seen it and we were none too sure about it. Now at at age 8 the Little Miss has already seen all the Star Wars movies, including the newest one, plus all the Harry Potter films and now Romeo + Juliet. It’s a slippery slope, people.
So coming around to the point of this post – in addition to really loving the movie the Little Miss was, as all red-blooded females seem to be, quite taken with the young Leonardo DiCaprio, and was not at all pleased when he died at the end, even though I totally warned her many times that that was going to happen, and all I have to say to her now is, just wait until we watch Titantic. Sir Monkeypants and I were dazzled at his youth in this film – it turns 20 years old this year and Leo was only 22 at the time, and seriously shiny and new, a marked contrast to today, where he’s still handsome but in a more mature kind of way. (Claire Danes, by the way, looked amazing then and amazing now – she’s hardly changed at all, just gotten that kind of lean look that really fit 40-something women get, but still totally rocking it on all fronts).
ANYWAY, my point here is that Leo looks quite different now, in an OLDER kind of way, and when he shows up at the Oscars on Sunday the Little Miss is going to be QUITE surprised that her little Leo is like, a totally gross man now. It’s similar to the way she loves old Backstreet Boys videos, but when she saw Nick on Dancing with the Stars this past season it was as if he’d passed through some sort of time portal and aged 20 years in a minute, and it was both shocking and alarming. With today’s access to all past pop culture at all times, no crush is safe.
It’s kind of a weird thing, and I hope she isn’t scarred or anything. Then again, I always did find Fred Astaire to be totally dreamy and he was possibly even dead by the time he caught my fancy, so I guess when it comes to the silver screen, true love never dies. Well, except for Romeo and everything.
Next week in our ongoing Taylor-inspired Classical Education: West Side Story! I’ll let you know how it goes.