juliet was thirteen

Zoë’s film recs

I decided that I would make a film recs list because I watch a lot of movies and thought that it would be nice to share them. Some are a bit obscure, whereas others are well-known. There are 70+ films, categorized by genre and alphabetically. Enjoy!

DRAMA & ROMANCE

PERIOD DRAMA

FANTASY & THRILLER

COMEDY & ANIMATED

MUSICAL

My favourite thing is when people read classic romances for the first time and realise how different they are to the way popular culture represents them. Mr. Darcy isn’t some handsome, perfect hunk. He’s a socially awkward loser who writes embarrassingly long, eloquent letters to the girl he likes because he can’t speak two words to her face without colossally fucking up. Mr. Rochester is a creepy bigamous liar who keeps women in his attic. Heathcliff’s a terrifying fucking psychopath who abuses kids. JULIET WAS THIRTEEN.

i just finished reading r+j (again)

and some things that stand out when you finally understand the play:

  • holy crap the puns
  • and the sex jokes
  • like sampson and gregory hot damn boys cool it we ain’t even seen any major characters yet don’t be such fuckboys
  • juliet is 13.  juliet is only thirteen. paris you perve.
  • romeo you’re no better
  • nurse and mercutio are tied for the “will you please shut up already” award
  • mercutio you just called romeo “fishified” like ily just for that
  • the best part of romeo’s character is he doesn’t start fights but damn does he finish them
  • yeah juliet you go girl keep up that sass with your mum
  • tbh everyone in this play is so overdramatic it’s like a soap opera
  • victorian soaps
  • this play starts out hilarious and ends up emo as all heck
  • shakespeare: i write sins not tragedies

The argument over whether Romeo and Juliet were really star-crossed lovers, or whether they were just dumb teenagers smitten with lust is an old one, and I don’t think it will ever be resolved because of how easy it is to argue for both sides. After all, Juliet was just thirteen, and Romeo perhaps sixteen when they met. They only knew each other for three days and had barely spoken before they were racing to get married. Yet much of the language they share is achingly romantic, and they undeniably nurse a deep, uncontrollable passion for each other, naive though it may be.

As I was puzzling over it, I began to think that maybe that’s the whole point. Maybe it’s purposefully left ambiguous, because the entire tragedy stems from us not knowing if it’s true love.

Maybe their relationship would have endured. Maybe Romeo and Juliet would have grown old together, raised a family and been deliriously happy for the rest of their days. Or maybe, as they grew older, they would have come to resent one another. Maybe they would have regretted their hasty marriage and fallen out of love, as teenagers often do. Maybe Romeo’s love for Juliet would have faded as surely as his love for Rosaline did.

We don’t know. We don’t know how their relationship would have progressed because the fighting between their families pushed these kids to make increasingly desperate and stupid decisions. We’ve all experienced those first pangs of love as teenagers, so strong that we were convinced we’d die for the other person, and thanks to the idiotic feud between their parents, these kids were placed into a position where they were forced to follow through on the mad passions of youth.

So were they star-crossed lovers? Were these kids really in love? Would they have lived happily ever after if they had met in another time, under kinder skies?

We don’t know. Therein lies the tragedy. We just don’t know. And thanks to the feud between their families, we will never know.