Well, I put it in today, and it made PERFECT SENSE. I realized what he was doing with a lot of the stuff I hadn't understood, and I found myself feeling both the youthful and cynical roles very deeply and with great involvement. Baz was around my age when he started making this (35 for starting Moulin Rouge!, the next one), and I think both that and having watched the DVD of his La Boheme repeatedly and with a critical eye came together to give me a wiiiiide-angle perspective I'm not used to seeing through.
There's something kinda weird about the notion of having to wait until you're 31 to *really get* Romeo + Juliet, especially given how when you're 15 it *seems* like you clearly understand it all much better than any adult ever could. I'm wondering now what I'd think if I went back to the text.
Also, loosely releated: I'm VERY VERY EXCITED about "Australia", Baz's long-awaited next movie. As he himself pointed out, Moulin Rouge, started at 35, was basically his last shot at doing something with the last of his youthful energy and values before he cast them off at his power peak and started moving down the tail path. This will be his first picture as a "full adult," both culturally and more importantly in his own mind, and I can't wait to see what he comes up with.