Released in 1997, Titanic is one of the most iconic romantic films of all time. It thrust Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio into Hollywood's spotlight, where they have remained ever since. The two actors star as lovers who meet on the Titanic, otherwise known as the "unsinkable ship," or the "ship of dreams."
Rose DeWitt Bukater (Winslet) comes from a wealthy upper-class family, and she's already engaged to be married. Her fiancé (Billy Zane) isn't a very pleasant man, and she feels trapped in her current lifestyle. She meets Jack Dawson (DiCaprio) as she's hanging over the back of the ship, and he introduces her to a more liberated way of life.
Jack and Rose remain two of the most iconic romantic pairings in the cinematic universe. Titanic is a film that fans can turn to for comfort, because so much of the story is a journey of discovery and wonder, even if the ending is tragic. The movie offers a little bit of everything: romance, yes, but also action, suspense, a touch of mystery, and a lot of adventure.
15. "Jack, I Want You To Draw Me Like One Of Your French Girls."
Because Jack is poor, the upper class looks down on him, but Rose is one of the few who sees past his status. One of his talents is drawing, and he shows Rose his sketchbook, which is filled with portraits of "French girls."
One of the tensest scenes between the two characters is when Rose asks Jack to draw her "like one of [his] French girls" — meaning nude, plus the iconic necklace. At first, she's uncomfortable, baring herself naked is an uncharacteristically vulnerable moment for her. Rose wouldn't be comfortable doing this in front of Cal, which indicates that she really trusts Jack.
14. "It's Not Up To You To Save Me, Jack."
As she recalls her memories aboard the Titanic, Rose says that Jack saved her in every way a person can be saved. However, as a young woman, she's rather resistant and more rebellious, and she warns Jack to keep his distance.
Even though he's the one who's at a disadvantage, financially speaking, he's tempted to save her, but it's not really his business. He hardly knows Rose and knows even less about her troubles. She knows that only she can save herself from the life that she predestined for.
13. "You're Gonna Die An Old, Old Lady, Warm In Her Bed."
The last part of the film is painstakingly drawn out, with Rose holding onto dear life and Jack in the water. Even though he's the one in the freezing ocean, he keeps whispering to her, trying to reassure her as she holds his hands.
They're both losing hope, and Rose voices her concerns, but Jack refuses to believe her. He asserts that they're going to make it out alive, even though the situation is dire and doesn't show any signs of improving. This quote really speaks to Jack's optimism, which he's shown throughout the film and displays here in his darkest moment.
12. "I Know, It Doesn't Make Sense — That's Why I Trust It."
Rose feels oppressed in her life. Everything has a process, everything has already been decided, and she must follow the rules laid out by other people.
When she meets Jack, all of that is thrown out the window. He likes to live in the moment, entirely in the present. Rose doesn't quite understand why they're drawn to each other so quickly, but she also prefers it that way. For once, she wants to follow her heart.
11. "... I Feel I'm Standing In The Middle Of A Crowded Room, Screaming At The Top Of My Lungs, And No One Even Looks Up."
Rose seems to have it all — wealth, education, a fiancé, family, privilege — but she still feels sorry for herself. Interestingly, Jack doesn't think that she's entitled or being precious but sympathizes with her.
He listens to her problems and takes her seriously because her feelings are still valid. She explains how it feels to be who she is, and how all she wants to do is escape her suffocating identity. Worst of all, she feels like nobody around her understands or cares how she feels.
10. "Rose, You're No Picnic. You're A Spoiled Little Brat, Even."
One of the reasons the romance between Jack and Rose is so powerful and memorable is because of how raw it is. Even though everything on the Titanic is glamorized and made to seem shinier than it is, Jack sees the real Rose when nobody else does.
Being a peasant himself, he sees rich people as spoiled, and he's not wrong about Rose. But despite his view, he still loves her, and she still loves him even after he says it.
9. "That Fire That I Love About You, Rose, That Fire Is Gonna Burn Out."
Though Rose may feel secure in her life, she certainly doesn't feel happy. Her older version even says that she was "screaming" on the inside.
Jack can see right through her façade, too. When she's with him, she's loud and vibrant and headstrong. He tells her that if she goes on living the way she does, she will become trapped in that rigid lifestyle forever.
8. "I'll Never Let Go, Jack."
One of the most memorable quotes of the film comes in the final scene when the pair is holding onto a plank of wood. The ship is wrecked and sunk by this point, and the floating survivors are waiting for someone to come and rescue them.
Rose starts saying her goodbyes to Jack, but he insists that they're not done yet. However, not long afterward, he starts saying his goodbyes. He makes Rose promise that she'll survive and never let go of that promise.
7. "I'd Rather Be His Whore Than Your Wife."
Though some seem to think that Rose is reckless for abandoning her future marriage to Cal, the fact is that she chooses Jack. She chooses him despite his low social standing and lack of wealth.
Rose has spent so long dreading the future that she wants to live in the present — if only for a few moments or days — with a person whose company she enjoys. She even has the guts to speak her thoughts to Cal's face.
6. "It Was The Ship Of Dreams."
A story can't exist without a setting, and the Titanic is certainly one to remember. Before viewers even meet the characters, they must hear about and then see the ship in all of its glory. The reason for the disaster and its heartbreak is the ship's magnificence.
The captain and other officers on board were truly heartbroken to see the ship sink, but more than that, the Titanic was a promise of hope, safety, and innovation. When Rose is older, she insists that to truly understand the scope of the story, listeners must understand what the Titanic symbolized.
5. "You Have A Gift, Jack. You See People."
Rose has a passion for art, which is something viewers see the very first time they meet her and she's arranging pieces of art she's brought with her in her room.
She's delighted when she learns that Jack is an artist, and she understands that he has a real gift. He says that he sees her, too, and that he knows she wouldn't have jumped.
4. "I Saw My Whole Life As If I'd Already Lived It."
Rose's vision of her future must have been harrowing and utterly hopeless. She was trapped in a betrothal she didn't want, with family members who didn't understand her nor care to.
She already foresaw everything her life would entail: "An endless parade of parties and cotillions, yachts and polo matches. Always the same narrow people, the same mindless chatter. I felt like I was standing at a great precipice with no one to pull me back, no one who cared or even noticed."
3. "When You Got Nothing, You Got Nothing To Lose."
Jack Dawson only ever gets onto the ship by chance — he wins a ticket, which he later says is the best thing that ever happened to him, even if it does end up getting him killed.
However, Jack's lack of wealth means that he can live a very carefree life. He always lives in the moment, which is something Rose desperately wants, and it's part of why she's so attracted to him.
2. "You Jump, I Jump."
Young and reckless, Jack and Rose are each truly ready to throw the world at the other's feet, even though they hardly know each other. From the moment they meet, they feel a strong connection and pull towards one another.
When Jack first meets Rose, he tells her that if she jumps off the ship, he will, too. Towards the end of the film, Rose leaps from one of the rescue boats so that she can return to the ship and be with Jack. He asks her why she did it, crying and repeating that she's "so stupid" while he embraces her and kisses her.
1. "I Figure Life's A Gift And I Don't Intend On Wasting It."
Despite Jack's lower social standing, he has a lot of wisdom to offer. One night, when he has dinner with Rose's family, he explains the philosophy behind his way of living.
"You don't know what hand you're gonna get dealt next. You learn to take life as it comes at you, to make each day count." The family is surprised that he's content, living as he is, but tells them that already has everything he needs: "I love waking up in the morning not knowing what's gonna happen, or who I'm gonna meet or where I'm gonna wind up."
[Originally shared via ScreenRant.]
About the Creator
Svetlana Sterlin is based in Brisbane, Australia, where she writes prose, poetry, and screenplays. The founding editor of swim meet lit mag, she also edits with Voiceworks.
More from Svetlana: https://linktr.ee/svetlanasterlin