Titanic 2012: 5 Things to Know About My Childhood Obsession with Titanic and Leo Mania

on April 04 2012 4:27 PM
  • I knew all the lines.
    From old Rose’s recollection of her time on the big boat, to Cal’s awkward realization that he “put the diamond . . . in the coat, I put the coat on her!” to the familiar “Iceberg, right ahead” and of course, “I’m the king of the world,” I knew nearly every line from “Titanic” by heart. And was not one bit ashamed about it. Paramount
  • I watched “Titanic” in theaters three times.
    And never went to the bathroom once. I stayed away from all snacks and drinks during each screening, so you can imagine how hungry I was after 3 hours, 14 minute (times three). Back then, movies were affordable, costing something like $8 a ticket. I’m pretty sure one of my screenings was on a cheap Tuesday movie night, making the cost even more affordable. When “Titanic” finally came out on video -- as in, the double VHS boxed set -- I played the tapes so many times that the quality deteriorated faster than you can say “I’m the king of the world.” Amazon.com
  • I bought all sorts of “Titanic” memorabilia, including the piano score book.
    I also saved money for “Back to Titanic,” the SECOND soundtrack for the film. My favorite track from the second soundtrack? No, not the dialogue mixed version of “My Heart Will Go On.” Try “An Irish Party In Third Class” -- the jig that plays when Rose visits Jack’s dirty floor on the ship and finds herself dancing the night away (and doing a tippy-toe trick). Amazon.com
  • I lined my high school locker with Leo posters.
    I wasn’t kidding about the Bop and J-14 posters. A quick trip to 7-Eleven meant buying a magazine or two, ripping out all the Leo and Titanic stuff and carefully taping it to my school locker. With the fear that my Leo posters would be snatched away by fellow Titanic-crazed teens, I taped the posters to the inside of my locker door, and opened it during lunch hours and mini breaks. ztams.com/index.php
  • Like many Leo fans, I was “mad” at Kate Winslet for “letting go” in the movie.
    15 years ago, not everyone was happy with how “Titanic” the movie ended. And they weren’t referring to the fact that the ship went down and more than 1,500 lives were lost (both in the film and real life). They were mad that Kate Winslet’s character, Rose, chose to “let go” of Leonardo DiCaprio’s (um, Jack’s) hand, while mumbling “I’ll never let go.” Others were mad that she hogged the floating piece of wood, leaving Jack to stay in the water until his frozen death. But hey, it’s been 15 years. We’re all mature now right? Paramount
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Titanic returns to theaters this week, 15 years after grossing all those box office dollars, 15 years after Leonardo DiCaprio stopped millions of hearts around the world (known as Leo Mania at the time), and 15 years after Celine Dion's cheesy-yet-heartbreaking song My Heart Will Go On. Oh, the nostalgia!

Jack, Rose and that great big ocean liner can now be viewed in 3D and RealD 3D, meaning those iceberg chips will be flying at us while we watch with all the nostalgia in the world, behind those giant 3D glasses.

The film will also be in regular 2D, for those not interested in the added special effects.

The return of Titanic also means the return of my childhood obsession with Leo and company (or at least, what's left of the obsession). Gone are the days of rip-out posters from Bop and J-14 -- teen magazines that were purchased with lunch money I had saved during high school. Gone are the radio replays of My Heart Will Go On, mixed with clips from the movie -- just enough to tug at your 13-year-old heartstrings. And gone are the boy-ish looks of DiCaprio, who was only 22 when Titanic was filmed.

These days, Leo is apparently fat, and Leo Mania has significantly died down. Seriously, when was the last time someone purposely taped a poster of DiCaprio, now 37, on his or her wall? (A giant J. Edgar billboard in the Gramercy Park area of New York City doesn't count).

As I continue to contemplate whether or not to shelve out $18 USD to see Titanic in 3D this week, here's a quick trip down memory lane, and five things to know about my childhood obsession from 15 years ago.

Feel free to add your own thoughts on Titanic, Leo Mania and the nostalgia surrounding the blockbuster. Are you ready to go back to Titanic?