James Cameron’s epic love story Titanic has aged rather interestingly, to the say the least. Remember when Titanic came out and everyone went bat shit crazy for Jack and Rose? Well, after a few years, (for some) that love seems to have died. It became the poster child for the typical Oscar backlash. It’s become a film that is both parodied and consistently poked fun at (just watch this hilarious Titanic 2 fan made trailer). Does it deserve the bombardment its received? No.
For what Titanic is, it’s a perfectly fine “love” story, and it was an event movie. Who could forget those last incredible last ninety minutes? And what about Billy Zane chewing the scenery being the love-to-hate bad guy? There’s some great stuff there, but again, it’s become prey to the cynical backlash we all know and have seen before.
For the past few years, plenty of people have finally been coming to the conclusion that some of the dialog is questionable. There’s also the infamous “I’m the king of the world.” Do people homage that as a classic moment? Or parody it deeming it cheesy? Difficult to say, but at times, it feels like the latter. Finally, there’s Celine Dion’s theme song. That’s been joked about beyond the point of exhaustion. It’s now on level of doing a parody of the opening scroll of Star Wars. When you hear that song, do you think of that as the beautiful them song from Titanic? Or do you just laugh to yourself? Most people surely didn’t do that when it came out. Now, plenty do.
Now, what does producer Jon Landau think of this? When I hopped on the phone with Landau I was questioning whether or not I should even bring this topic up to him, but I did. The last thing I wanted to do was offend Landau so of course I told him how I find Titanic to be a perfectly enjoyable and pretty good movie, but how did he respond? Well, being the self-aware guy he is he knew exactly what I was talking about. “I think there was, but I’ll tell you an interesting story. One of those cynics was my now twenty-two year old son. I was delighted to go to the ArcLight Cinema in Los Angeles a couple of weeks ago to present Titanic and speak about it afterward. He went. When it was over he looked at me sort of sheepishly and said, ‘you know, dad. That’s a pretty good movie. In fact, that’s a really good movie.’ I think that it’s easy to look at someone’s success and be cynical of it, but people should really take a look back on the movie now.” I added that people go into Titanic with a false perception now and Landau agreed. It’s a movie that plenty go into it wanting to bash it due to the over-sized bandwagon.
Here’s a question: Don’t we all remember seeing Titanic for the first time? I do, seeing it with my grandfather. It was actually the first time I saw a half-naked woman… and that was with my grandpa sitting right next to me. Awkward? Not really. I didn’t really get what I was looking at (I was young). Anyway, backlashes like this are to be expected nowadays with nearly every Oscar winner or box office smash. Titanic is just an unfortunate prime example of that… But hey, a good amount of people still love that movie. Why else would they be playing that five hour version on TBS all the time?