Remember this day. April 4, 2012 will forever be the day the world was introduced to Titanic in 3-D. And while the film, oh I don’t know, provided an unhealthy obsession for an entire nation of kind, gentle, movie-loving humans in 1997, much of the chatter around the revival of the James Cameron epic has been about the quality of the 3-D. Is it worth it? Is it even good? And I’m here to tell critics on both sides: it doesn’t even matter.
Titanic was not just a best picture contender from the late 90s. It wasn’t just an achievement in filmmaking. For many of us, it defines a pivotal year in our lives. It served as the introduction to Leonardo DiCaprio Syndrome, and the primer for later even more wild obsessions like Justin Timberlakenza and our more recent battle with Ryan Goslingitis. It taught us that it’s okay to ask a guy you just met to draw you “like one of his French girls” as long as he’s a street urchin with a heart of gold and he has at least one drawing of a fully clothed old woman in his portfolio to prove he’s not a pervert. In essence, Titanic taught us how to love. (In the “worries your parents that you’ll forever idolize characters from movies, confuse them with real life, and end up alone forever” sort of way, but we grew out of it, so cool your jets.)
The connection, while somewhat nostalgic, goes beyond that description. An entire generation’s attachment to the film stems from its merits in some respect, but the real reason that the smell of Green Apple Bubblicious I was chewing the first time I saw the film evokes my memories of “Come Josephine in my flying machine,” the chorus from “My Heart Will Go On” still gives me goosebumps no matter how many times I’ve heard it, and I started watching every Kate Winslet movie like clockwork since 1997, is that the connection to Titanic, for many of us, is a purely emotional one.
So the ads and movie posters can make claim after claim about the magnificence of the 3-D conversion, and critics can lambast it all they want. In reality, the new treatment is just gravy. For many of us, seeing Titanic in IMAX or 3-D or even 2-D in the theater again is really just a chance to go back in time to the moment we first fell in love with the film (even those of us who didn’t quite understand the underlying meaning of that sweaty hand on the car window). We could walk into the theater and receive a pair of the old-fashioned paper two-tone-plastic 3-D glasses and still be down for the voyage. Bells and whistles or not, it's all about love. Unhealthy, film-inspired love.
Are you heading to the theater to relive your adolescent experience all over again? Will you be bringing your Dr. Pepper Lip Smackers to celebrate the occasion? Will you throw your Diet Coke-soaked mini-icebergs at the screen if the 3-D isn't up to snuff, or will you just be happy to see the flick in the theater?
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