This movie is (I will not use past tense) epic. It really is/was THE movie that everyone was obsessed with, mostly because it featured Leo DiCaprio in his prime.
I have to admit, the first time I saw this movie (it came out at the end of ’96, so I saw it on VHS in the comfort of my home in 1997) I was a little confused by the fact that it retained the original Shakespeare dialogue set in a warped, modern-day Verona. Granted, I wasn’t even 10 yet, but to a grade schooler that seemed a little off. No worries folks: I had an older sister, thank goodness, who saw the amazingness of this movie right away and owned it. As I kept watching it throughout the years, I want to point out these things that the movie has influenced me on:
1) Leo DiCaprio is the most beautiful man on earth. Honestly, Paul Rudd (whom I’m also obsessed with) pales in comparison. Sorry, Rudd.
2) With My-So Called Life and then this, I wanted to be Claire’s BFF.
3) This is one of the first movies where I was like, whoa that sex scene is like actually beautiful. And who didn’t love that sheet scene? For about .5 seconds I wanted to be a filmmaker because of this movie.
4) John Leguizamo really threw me off in the beginning because I only knew him from To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar (which really is, like, the best movie that has the longest title, ever.) He can look menacing guys! He’s not just the prettiest drag queen.
5) I was really proud of myself for figuring out the whole water-importance theme early on. A ton of important scenes happen while surrounded by water (Romeo and Juliet seeing each other through a fish tank, the balcony scene happening in the pool, when he goes to her on the night of their wedding it’s raining and when he leaves he falls into the pool).
6) I became a bit obsessed with Radiohead after this movie, as they comprised the exit theme.
Who else is still obsessed with this movie? Side note: today, upon trying to find the movie on Netflix, the recommendation popped up for a Romeo and Juliet movie for kids centered around warring families of seals. Yes, seals.