Pirates of the Caribbean: I’m Getting Old

Guys, there’s a new POTC movie.

(Oh, you weren’t hanging out on the IMDB message boards in 2003? How sad for you. POTC is Pirates of the Caribbean. After waiting six hours for our moms to get off the phone and the dial-up internet to load, we weren’t wasting time typing out the whole name.)

(We had important things to discuss like what that guy’s name was that said “That’s got to be the best pirate I’ve ever seen!” [Teddy] and whether or not the part where Elizabeth shoves her dress at Barbossa and says “It matches your black heart,” made more sense when he was named something else [Consensus was yes.])

(I didn’t say it was important to everyone. Just us.)


I was…interested in Pirates of the Caribbean when it first came out. Well, interested isn’t the right word. Obsessed is a better word. Literal actual obsession. It consumed my life. It was my life.

I was 15, it was summer, and I didn’t have a job. So it was basically fine that it consumed my life. My sister and best friend and I went to see it a nauseating number of times (*cough*17*cough*) in theaters, we’d listen to the soundtrack on CD (before ipods, natch) over and over and over again, and we’d just generally not stop talking about it. I look back on that summer so fondly- the giggling, the swooning, and just how much fun we had together.

I had this poster in my room.

And this poster.

And this guy.

It’s been 14 years since that summer. I’m a grown up now, almost 30, married with two kids and a teeth-grinding problem. The last thing I swooned over was when I managed to make a pack of Clearblue test sticks last more than one month. The times, they have changed.

And that’s totally fine. I wrote about that here.

So you might have guessed that I was not sitting cross-legged outside the theater guzzling McDonald’s coffee at midnight on the 26th. You’d be correct. I was at a parish volunteer dinner drinking water and I was asleep by 10:30. Because I’m old.

I was still excited to see it though. We had a date night set up for a week after it was released, and while cheap Chinese food before the show would never have set my 15-year-old heart aflutter, damn did 29-year-old Kathleen have a craving for it. So we had a tasty dinner, got to the theater and settled in for the show.


I was 15 again.

It was not a good film. It was not a brilliant piece of acting or storytelling or…anything really. Johnny Depp is basically playing Johnny Depp playing Jack Sparrow. Orlando Bloom is HOLY HELL HOW DID HE GET SO OLD HE WAS THE YOUNG HOT ONE. And the CGI half real Johnny half fake young Johnny? Yeesh. I cringed it was so bad.

But when the theme started playing they make jokes about the first few and how it was basically a soft reboot of the entire series and LITERALLY JUST EVERYTHING GAVE ME THE WARM FUZZY FEELINGS.

I spent most of the show crying softly and beaming and hitting my  husband’s arm and saying “MATT!! LOOK!!! IT’S (whatever)!” and he very nicely obliged my trip down memory lane.

Okay full disclosure I was also enjoying a lovely cocktail because GUYS THEATERS HAVE BARS NOW. DID YOU KNOW THIS???? Imma see a lot more movies.

(That might have been part of the weeping.)

And then…the last 45 seconds. Guys. Spoilers. A little.

When Elizabeth comes over the crest of the hill to the original soundtrack and runs to Will like the first movie?

I wept.

Full on sobbing.

Ugly tears and snot.


It felt juuuuuusssstttt like 2003. When I was 15 and had never been in love and had no idea what was in store for me and I kind of sort of thought in the back of my head that maaaayyyybe Johnny Depp would want to marry me (I was delusional.) But even if I had to marry a mere mortal the love theme from Pirates would definitely play in the background while we made out right?

I had never had a job or a car or a mortgage or adopted a kid or been pregnant or given birth or bought a house or worried about wrinkles. I had never drafted a will. I hadn’t bought my grave.

I had never done any of that and my life is soooo much better now and I wouldn’t trade any of that (even the gross stretch marks from being pregnant and giving birth] or the grave) and I don’t even mind that THERE IS NO AUTOMATIC BACKGROUND MUSIC WHEN I MAKE OUT WITH MY HUSBAND. I’m way happier than I ever could have imagined being.

But I am sooooo different than I imagined being. My life is so much more complicated than 15-year-old Kathleen could have ever comprehended. It would have been no matter what because 15-year-old Kathleen was…well, a 15-year-old. Foresight wasn’t her strong suit.

But for the two hours of this movie, I felt like that girl again. It felt like my dad was going to drive me home because I didn’t have my license yet. It felt like Mary and Colleen and I were going to fall asleep on our floor and not in beds with our husbands. It felt like 2003.

Was it a good film? Absolutely not.

Was it an amazing fun movie? Absolutely yes.