Before I went to watch Titanic in 3-D, I made sure to prepare myself on three levels. 1) I hate 3-D. It typically makes me sick. But my slight wooziness would be totally worth it if it meant my favorite part of the movie (Jack + Rose + sunset) was in any way better or more realistic. (It was!) 2) I had to choose my company wisely. My two best friends, who share my deep, corny love for this movie, live in Texas. So I opted to go with an equally fun companion who’d, miraculously, never seen the movie before. You see, I had no desire to go with someone who wanted to pay $17 just to go and mock the movie. 3) I knew that no matter what time of day I went to watch the movie, there would inevitably be someone in the audience who paid $17 just to mock the movie.
Had it not been for my preparations, my viewing of Titanic 3-D yesterday might have been sullied to the point of annoyance, particularly because of those who seemingly sat in the audience just to ruin the movie for everyone else.
Before you call me a curmudgeon, I know I’m not the Movie Czar. I can’t control why people go see movies nor their behavior once inside the theater. Jerks will be jerks. But I get particularly enraged by those who assume those around them are okay with their attention-seeking behavior. My friend and I had the displeasure of sitting a few seats down from such rudeness yesterday when we went to watch an afternoon screening of the movie at a theater on the Upper West Side. (Truth bomb: I think the disruptive female might have been intoxicated. It was 6 p.m. So she clearly has bigger problems.) While I certainly went to the movie with a certain degree of irony (“Yes, this movie is so corny! Also, I can’t wait. We have to go opening weekend.” — me to movie buddy/Titanic-virgin Sharon four months ago), I would never pay nearly $20 just to broadcast to others that I’m a sarcastic a-hole. (That’s, personally, something I try to keep under wraps.)
This brings me to my long-delayed point (sorry): If you went to see Titanic in 3-D this weekend, why did you go?
Perhaps I went into the whole experience expecting a little too much from others. Was the whole point of the movie’s re-release to watch it and laugh at inappropriate parts? Or did anyone else go to truly see the movie again/for the first time?
When my screening began, I knew it wouldn’t be incident free. As the sepia-toned first frames of the movie began, the man behind me said loudly, I hate this movie. (I’m pretty sure I heard his girlfriend hit him and he didn’t say anything the rest of the time.) I prepared for the worst after that, but the crowd — minus the aforementioned pair of people — surprisingly got into it. They laughed genuinely when Kathy Bates’ Molly Brown made her comment about Hockley’s overbearing need to coddle Rose (“You goin’ to cut her meat for her, too, Cal?”), and they had a surprisingly big reaction the boat crew’s silent-and-stunned expressions to Rose’s recount of her drawing session with Jack. And when we got the actual sinking (specifically, the emotional montage of passengers preparing for death toward the end) I looked around and saw most of the couples in the theater were leaned into each other. Head-on-shoulder and sometimes full-on cuddle mode.
Their reactions — and my own — led me to believe that a lot of people wanted to watch Titanic on the big screen to see if they could re-capture their first experience with the movie — despite how many times you’ve seen it on basic cable in the years since.
I invite your thoughts on the matter, and encourage you to share your theater’s experience.