Apr 032012
Authors: Colleen McSweeney

It’s the second highest-grossing movie of all time. It made millions fall in love with — and hate — Celine Dion. It caused parents to frantically cover our eyes when Kate Winslet told Leo, “Jack, draw me like one of your French girls.”

It’s “Titanic,” and I’m embarrassed to admit the number of times it has made me sob while sitting on my couch, cursing TNT for having so many commercial breaks. And I’ll tell you what: I’m so glad my eyes will be hidden by 3-D glasses the next time I see it.

Today, for the first time in 15 years, “Titanic” will be released in theaters –– but this time, it’s “Titanic 3-D.” When I first heard about the re-release, my heart was split into a dichotomy. How could this film, this guilty pleasure that I’ve held so close to my heart for most of my life, fall into the overrated hype of 3-D?

But then I wondered: Will a 3-D makeover ruin the already slightly superfluous “Titanic,” or will it make us cry even more when Kate finally lets go of Jack’s icy grip? Because maybe, in 3-D, it will feel like we’re letting go of him, too?

I think — I hope — it’s the latter, and I’m willing to let go of my 3-D cynicism to fully embrace the cinematic equivalent of a bacon-wrapped hot dog. None of us really need it, it’s probably not great for our health, but sweet baby Jesus, it will taste good going down.

Most of us were in elementary school when the James Cameron mega-hit was first released, and it’s safe to say that no other movie has profoundly connected with such a broad spectrum of people since. Even if you claim to hate it, and a lot of people do, “Titanic” hit the iceberg that is modern American movie culture, and I don’t think we’ve ever really recovered.

And until three years ago, “Titanic” held the title of highest-grossing movie of all time. That is, until James Cameron released “Avatar” –– a movie that was pretty much “Pocahontas,” but with blue Na’vis instead of Native Americans. Sure, “Avatar” was visually beautiful, but it relied upon its stunning 3-D effects instead of any rich, genuine substance or storyline.

By the end of it, all I could think was: Why am I not crying? And where is Celine’s angelic voice?

“Avatar,” which has supposedly set the precedent for all future 3-D movies, became successful for its aesthetic beauty.

But “Titanic,” oh, “Titanic,” stole my, and so many others’, affections with its emotional smorgasbord, and I just hope the growing emergence of 3-D movies doesn’t steal away that emotion.

What other movie could make teenagers teaching each other how to spit so romantic? And who will forget that steamy car scene? I may have only been six when I first saw it, but I still remember thinking, “Wow, do people always sweat that much during the sexy time?”

“Titanic” didn’t need to be seen with 3-D glasses to cause a tangible impact. Maybe it’s because it was based on a historic event, but the love — and the tragedy — portrayed was real. From Kate leaping off the lifeboat to stay with Jack, to the Irish mother comforting her children while knowing their tragic fate, the movie knew exactly what it was doing to our pliable emotions.

And oh, man, every time I see those violinists play their final lilt to the sinking ship, knowing all too well that they’re going down with it, my heart is putty in James Cameron’s hands.

When I sit down in the movie theater to see my beloved “Titanic” in the over-hyped 3-D, I just hope the glasses won’t be a filter for the emotional rain but rather, a magnifying glass for the beautifully sappy downpour.

Editorial Editor Colleen McSweeney is a junior journalism major. Her column usually appears Tuesdays in the Collegian. _She can be reached at letters@collegian.com. _

 Posted by at 3:25 pm

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