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Titanic

Titanic  

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  1. 1. Does "Titanic" belong on the AFI List?

    • Yes
      5
    • No
      10

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  • Poll closed on 03/01/19 at 08:00 AM

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With all due respect, i may be misreading your post, but I feel like you just changed the topic of the debate just to make the same point I made. Neither Tom nor I ever suggested that the movie wasn't targeted to teenage girls. Tom's point (im pretty sure) was if there is a sexist backlash against it just because it was targeted toward teenage girls, we should logically see that same backlash against movies like Clueless and Mean Girls which were also targeting teenage girls.

 

My point had nothing to do with it's target audience either. My point was based on Sy's post (which, admittedly, I should have quoted) that said a lot of extreme hatred was a result of sexism. I never denied this. I even said that I agreed with it - to an extent. My point is that there is also extreme hatred of the movie from people who clearly aren't sexist. I just question saying it's "because of sexism" when that's only applicable to a portion of it.

 

Tom and I are aware that sexism exists, it's terrible, and there are certainly people who don't like Titanic because of it. I'm just not sold on that it was a significant factor in the backlash. Just because sexism exists doesn’t mean that because someone doesn’t like a movie it’s because of sexism.

It seems once again we all have a misunderstanding on our hands.

 

I think Sy was literally saying that he himself did not want to see that movie because it was something for teenage girls and him at 18 thought he was too cool for shit like that, so it seemed like he was taking something he personally thought and attaching it to a possible reason for others. I just even reread the series of posts and Sy said "some of the reason" and grudlian agreed and then Tom came back with Mean Girls and Clueless. So it was always posited as a non generalization of who hates this movies and who doesn't. Neither grudlian (nor I) suggested that you and Tom don't think sexism exists, but that sexism is definitely ONE of the reasons why we think people want to hate this.

 

Cameron, you mention that because sexism is a possible reason behind the hate means that all women must like this movie, when that's a big leap to make from that statement. As is anyone who doesn't like it must be sexist. That's never been mentioned nor implied and I think everyone on this board knows that you and Tom are like the least sexist people any of us could ever know. But it's still a valid possible reason why SOME don't want to like it.

 

And Clueless and Mean Girls are excellent examples of Teen Girl ™ movies that have hit classic cult status because 1. They're amazing and 2. They're just amazing okay, but I have in fact seen backlash against Clueless over the years. I'm not trying to just cause a stir when I legitimately say I've had men scoff at me when I say that's in my top 5 movies of all time because they think it's nothing compared to their Real movies.

 

EDIT: I will be honest that the shit I get for loving Clueless is definitely more confined and seems like a Twitter thing from specific kind of men. I tried to look and see if there was any kind of genuine hate towards those two movies and all I got was a hatred towards Stacey Dash (rightfully so that girl went cuckoo).

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Maybe instead of just blanketly saying this is strictly a movie "for teen girls" we branch it out to mean romantic movies for teen girls. Cause when I started looking at Titanic vs Clueless & Mean Girls the two latter films are comedies based on novels, while Titanic very much is a romantic drama set in a true disaster. That does make it a little harder to comp to other films but maybe we should be comparing it to things like The Notebook? Besides Pearl Harbor I can't really even think of anything quite like Titanic and we all know how shitty PH is.

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I think sexism is a notable part of the backlash though probably not all of it.

 

I think the reason movies like Clueless and Mean Girls don't suffer the backlash is because Titanic is deemed important and was the highest grossing movie of all time. If Clueless and Mean Girls won Oscars and made Titanic money, there would be some kind of backlash. But they are lesser in some way so people don't feel the need to take them down.

 

Clueless and Mean Girls are also comedies that make fun of teen girl subculture, so they aren't really asking you to take them seriously. Breathlessly earnest romances like Titanic or Twilight are in a different category. (And then reboots that reimagine nostalgic childhood properties with more women in the cast, like Ghostbusters or Disney Star Wars, are yet another.)

 

Anyway, to reiterate my argument, I was admitting that some of MY original dislike for Titanic was almost certainly rooted in sexism (perhaps forgivably so, given my age at the time), something I've recognized in the years since. I also think that I was probably not alone in carrying that bias at the time. That does not, of course, mean that everyone who disliked the movie did so solely because of sexism. That would be silly. (I've also recognized that there was probably some latent sexism in the rampant hate for the Twilight series, while also still thinking those movies generally suck.)

 

This is the trouble when trying to talk about a widespread sociological phenomenon: people see an argument about the leanings of a particular group and think that it's directed at every individual in that group. For example, you can say that on the whole, white people supported Donald Trump. That does not, of course, mean that every single white person voted for Trump . . . but it's still true that out of all racial groups, he got by far the most support from that one. That's useful for studying his popularity from a sociological perspective. Similarly, I can posit that sexism might have contributed to the Titanic backlash (including a poll naming it the Worst Movie of All Time, come on now) without saying that everyone hated it for the same reason.

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Maybe instead of just blanketly saying this is strictly a movie "for teen girls" we branch it out to mean romantic movies for teen girls. Cause when I started looking at Titanic vs Clueless & Mean Girls the two latter films are comedies based on novels, while Titanic very much is a romantic drama set in a true disaster. That does make it a little harder to comp to other films but maybe we should be comparing it to things like The Notebook? Besides Pearl Harbor I can't really even think of anything quite like Titanic and we all know how shitty PH is.

Yeah, but I remember being 16 when 'Clueless' came out, and saw it in the cinemas with my girlfriend. I didn't get any stigma that it was 'for teen girls' any more than not personally identifying with Cher and Dionne and their fixation on fashion. For me, I totally signed on to that film because (real talk here) I was blown away by how hot Alicia Silverstone was but also how witty and fun it was. Same with 'Mean Girls' - I can't identify with the girl clique concept but it's witty and clever, with plenty to appeal to men as well. 'William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet' was HEAVILY attended by teen girls when it opened, but that's not dismissed as a 'teen girl movie'. Surely the backlash to 'Titanic' is based in the love story alone, not just the attendance of teen girls, and how it was remembered. I remember being 19/20 when 'Titanic' came out, and I ignored it because it was marketed as a love story that I didn't care much for. I would maybe say that 'Twilight' and 'Fifty Shades' are modern examples of franchises dismissed as being 'for girls', but I don't really get that stigma with 'Titanic'.

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Clueless and Mean Girls are also comedies that make fun of teen girl subculture, so they aren't really asking you to take them seriously. Breathlessly earnest romances like Titanic or Twilight are in a different category. (And then reboots that reimagine nostalgic childhood properties with more women in the cast, like Ghostbusters or Disney Star Wars, are yet another.)

Yeah I also just remembered that I legitimately heard Graham Elwood say last year on Comedy Film Nerds when Lady Bird was coming out, "Because we definitely needed another movie about being a teenage girl." Suddenly making me want 10 movies about being a teenage girl to come out lol.

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Yeah, but I remember being 16 when 'Clueless' came out, and saw it in the cinemas with my girlfriend. I didn't get any stigma that it was 'for teen girls' any more than not personally identifying with Cher and Dionne and their fixation on fashion. For me, I totally signed on to that film because (real talk here) I was blown away by how hot Alicia Silverstone was but also how witty and fun it was. Same with 'Mean Girls' - I can't identify with the girl clique concept but it's witty and clever, with plenty to appeal to men as well. 'William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet' was HEAVILY attended by teen girls when it opened, but that's not dismissed as a 'teen girl movie'. Surely the backlash to 'Titanic' is based in the love story alone, not just the attendance of teen girls, and how it was remembered. I remember being 19/20 when 'Titanic' came out, and I ignored it because it was marketed as a love story that I didn't care much for. I would maybe say that 'Twilight' and 'Fifty Shades' are modern examples of franchises dismissed as being 'for girls', but I don't really get that stigma with 'Titanic'.

I don't think you're really understanding the post I then made that you quoted. I've already stated that MG and Clueless have no hatred towards them because I think they're indeed better movies as a whole, so I positioned that maybe we take other movies that could possibly better be set up against Titanic than two comedies that are universally loved. And to be fair, it was Amy and Paul that mentioned teen girls to begin with so I believe that's why we're all focusing so hard on that demo alone.

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I don't think you're really understanding the post I then made that you quoted. I've already stated that MG and Clueless have no hatred towards them because I think they're indeed better movies as a whole, so I positioned that maybe we take other movies that could possibly better be set up against Titanic than two comedies that are universally loved. And to be fair, it was Amy and Paul that mentioned teen girls to begin with so I believe that's why we're all focusing so hard on that demo alone.

No, I wasn't arguing with you, just quoted your most recent post but was contributing to the general conversation questioning the citation of MG and Clueless.

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I think you hit on a good point here. Arguably Billy Zane's Cal is the next biggest character after Rose and Jack and yet you'll notice not once was he brought up in the entire episode. Well, Danny Nucci brings him up but that's it. I found it very curious and I think the reason why is his character and performance is one of the weakest parts of this movie. They can't easily dismiss this as "nitpicking" but I guess they could try to defend it by saying it has to go back to old fashion story telling/melodramatic story notes. Does that excuse it?

 

Yeah, I don't think the "old fashioned storytelling" reasoning excuses Cal, because Jack and Rose are just as much from that same storytelling tradition but get a lot more shades and colors to their personalities (also the actors are better). I put Cal right there next to the Snidely Whiplash villains Giovanni Ribisi and Stephen Lang played in Avatar, who also drag that movie down IMO.

 

A Terminator being a one-note killing machine is fine (that's literally what it is), but a human villain needs a little more nuance than James Cameron seems to be willing to deliver. Maybe Burke in Aliens is the best he's done.

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No, I wasn't arguing with you, just quoted your most recent post but was contributing to the general conversation questioning the citation of MG and Clueless.

I see I see. Definitely fair.

 

Titanic hitting so big definitely puts it in a league of its own, and it is definitely a worthy discussion to see whether it still holds the same traction as it did back in the day, but it also definitely seems like we're all never fully going to agree on that lol.

 

(Also why isn't Clueless on this list??? It's genuinely perfect)

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Titanic hitting so big definitely puts it in a league of its own, and it is definitely a worthy discussion to see whether it still holds the same traction as it did back in the day, but it also definitely seems like we're all never fully going to agree on that lol.

 

IMO the phenomenon has faded over the course of 20 years. Leo DiCaprio is mister serious Oscar winner who does Scorsese movies now, not the heartthrob on the cover of every teeny-bop magazine like he was in 1998. So these days I don't think the movie has the same stigma that I recall from the time.

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(Also why isn't Clueless on this list??? It's genuinely perfect)

 

I'd guess it's not seen as classy enough to be on the list, but I'd strongly argue that it's one of the cleverest adaptations of a classic source that we have. That's what I love best about it - is how much 'Emma' is the Trojan Horse that drives what at first appears to be frivolous and silly. I think it deserves better.

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Cameron, you mention that because sexism is a possible reason behind the hate means that all women must like this movie, when that's a big leap to make from that statement. As is anyone who doesn't like it must be sexist. That's never been mentioned nor implied and I think everyone on this board knows that you and Tom are like the least sexist people any of us could ever know. But it's still a valid possible reason why SOME don't want to like it.

 

Lol - It’s so funny how we all say the same thing but sound like we’re disagreeing in these discussions.

 

The point you’re making was the one I was trying (poorly) to make. Sexism is definitely one reason some people hate Titanic, I was trying to say that while that’s true, it’s not the *only* reason people hate it.

 

I guess I read the original post as extreme hate for Titanic is the result of sexism, but I found that too general and kind of dismissed valid criticism as misogynistic ravings. And,of course, this simply isn’t true. This is why I cited my wife as an example of a non-sexist woman who hates the movie.

 

I definitely wasn’t trying to leap to “all women love Titanic.” Honestly, I was trying to say that everyone is entitled to their own opinion and we *shouldn’t* just assume that all women love it. Again, I mistakenly read Sy’s Post as saying “most,” not “some,” of the extreme hate came from sexism against things teenage girls enjoy. My misinterpretation of his post made me think Sy was implying extreme hate for Titanic equals sexism. Which, again, is obviously not true.

 

Anywhoo...I had a whole point about that I just can’t seem to articulate well - lol It’s, like, on the tip of my brain. Anyway, it doesn’t matter.

 

I think I was just trying to say, sexism sucks, yes, but just because sexist assholes don’t like movies made for teenage girls, doesn’t mean we should dismiss all criticism (extreme hatred included) as sexism . Which I get no one is doing, but I guess I just felt the need to say that anyway...? Who the fuck knows what I’m talking about anymore? lol

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The conversation moves so fast, I don't know which quote to reply to. Anyway, I don't think I misunderstood anything. My post wasn't criticizing or disagreeing with Sy's experience at all. We were all posting our experience with Titanic and they were all interesting to read. I quoted the "ding ding ding" part because if that was the "winner" for why Titanic received backlash, then I expected similar backlash to Clueless or Mean Girls - these were just examples off the top of my head and movies that I personally love, but I'm sure there are better examples. Other people have posted theories on it, and sure, "movies for teen girls" is part of it, but I still don't think it's the main reason for the Titanic backlash.

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I'd guess it's not seen as classy enough to be on the list, but I'd strongly argue that it's one of the cleverest adaptations of a classic source that we have. That's what I love best about it - is how much 'Emma' is the Trojan Horse that drives what at first appears to be frivolous and silly. I think it deserves better.

 

One of the AFI criteria for the list is "major award winner" so cult favorites have a tougher hurdle for inclusion. The stuff that made the list without winning a ton of awards tend to be HUGE things like Toy Story.

 

(Though, Clueless didn't even make it on AFI's Top 100 Comedies list, which doesn't include that criteria.)

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The conversation moves so fast, I don't know which quote to reply to. Anyway, I don't think I misunderstood anything. My post wasn't criticizing or disagreeing with Sy's experience at all. We were all posting our experience with Titanic and they were all interesting to read. I quoted the "ding ding ding" part because if that was the "winner" for why Titanic received backlash, then I expected similar backlash to Clueless or Mean Girls - these were just examples off the top of my head and movies that I personally love, but I'm sure there are better examples. Other people have posted theories on it, and sure, "movies for teen girls" is part of it, but I still don't think it's the main reason for the Titanic backlash.

I wasn't intending to imply, as the person who wrote the "winner" post, the sole or main reason for a backlash was misogyny. That definitely doesn't come across clearly in my post. I was more glad it was just being addressed and acknowledged.

 

I think the idea posited by Amy and Paul that James Cameron being a jerk is the reason is honestly a bit silly. I bet the average person isn't aware Cameron wrote personal rebuttals or knows much about him other than his filmography.

 

If you're going to talk about the backlash, I think not bringing up sexism is almost purposefully ignoring it. Of course, I also recognize sing a movie backlash is based on sexism is a great way to invite trolls. So, maybe that's not something they want to deal with and I don't blame them for that.

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I definitely wasn’t trying to leap to “all women love Titanic.” Honestly, I was trying to say that everyone is entitled to their own opinion and we *shouldn’t* just assume that all women love. Again, I mistakenly read Sy’s Post as saying “most,” not “some,” of the extreme hate came from sexism against things teenage girls enjoy. My misinterpretation of his post made me think Sy was implying extreme hate for Titanic equals sexism. Which, again, is obviously not true.

No, I get that we are literally all on the same page here, but there seemed to be certain lines in posts that made me want to clarify things.

 

Like I wasn't saying that you were saying "all women must like this movie" but rather it seemed like you thought that's what was already being said in response to the sexism comments being made and I read everything and was kinda like wait where is any of that implied? And that's when then your response came back seemingly on the defense saying that we were calling anyone who didn't like it a sexist or that you and Tom were ignoring sexism and I was like again wtf where was that implied?

 

Cause believe me I would have already called your ass out if I thought you were being sexist :P

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One of the AFI criteria for the list is "major award winner" so cult favorites have a tougher hurdle for inclusion. The stuff that made the list without winning a ton of awards tend to be HUGE things like Toy Story.

 

(Though, Clueless didn't even make it on AFI's Top 100 Comedies list, which doesn't include that criteria.)

 

THIS EXPLAINS SO MUCH! THANK YOU

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IMO the phenomenon has faded over the course of 20 years. Leo DiCaprio is mister serious Oscar winner who does Scorsese movies now, not the heartthrob on the cover of every teeny-bop magazine like he was in 1998. So these days I don't think the movie has the same stigma that I recall from the time.

See I disagree with you there solely just because it literally sat at #1 in the all-time box office until Avatar came out. The feelings around the actors may have changed (although if you were like me and on Tumblr from 2009 until 2015 then you would also have seen that any time Leo and Kate got photographed together the whole damn site blew up) but the feelings around the movie being this Big Deal haven't changed. Like it really doesn't even matter who likes it or doesn't, because Tom is right - she has retained so much of this movie from when she first saw it and I think that puts it in an entirely separate league from a lot of movies.

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(Though, Clueless didn't even make it on AFI's Top 100 Comedies list, which doesn't include that criteria.)

Okay now I'm gonna fight AFI

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The “Goonies Conundrum” is something we’ve come up with which posits that if you watch a movie (ANY movies) at an impressionable age and/or under specific positive circumstances, you tend to have more affection for it than it might otherwise deserves. We use Goonies as a model specifically because it’s *not* a good movie, but a lot of people love it anyway because of their association of watching it as a kid. If you show Goonies to someone for the first time as an adult, because they don’t have that childhood association, they typically don’t like it. At best, they might say it’s “okay.” (I would argue much of the love Star Wars movies receive is a result of the “Goonies Conundrum” as well. We remember playing with toy lightsabers as a kid and tend to forget the cheesy dialogue, the simplistic story, or that the first 20 minutes or so of A New Hope is watching two, slow-moving droids shuffle through the desert.)

 

Thanks for this definition. My wife and I have discussed the Goonies Conundrum on several occasions without referring to it as such. Our first encounter was when I learned she had never seen the original Star Wars movies and was shocked that she wasn't completely swept away by them. The same thing happened to me when we later watched Hocus Pocus. It happened again when viewing Titanic, wherein she freely admitted she was unwilling/unable to develop new, objective thoughts about the movie. So far as Titanic is concerned, her initial thoughts and feelings reign, just as my own do for The Empire Strikes Back. I don't think the Goonies Conundrum is necessarily a problem. It's actually rather freeing when viewing nostalgic or sentimental movies with the uninitiated.

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I don't think James Cameron thought he was making a movie for teenaged girls. I feel like the discussion went a bit off the rails. Oh well, that's the fun of forums.

 

I am too old to have been in Clueless's target audience, but I loved it when it came out and still love it. But I didn't like Mean Girls (I wanted to for Tina Fey), but I know that movie means a lot to some people.

 

I liked Heathers BTW.

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Re Goonies Conundrum -- the word "Conundrum" seems wrong -- it needs another word there. It's not puzzling that people like some movies as a kid and feel lasting affection for them, even though they aren't good movies. Or maybe I'm not understanding the meaning.

 

I don't know if I have movies in my past that can compare to what some people have for Goonies. I must, but I can't think of any. My mom indoctrinated me on classic movies at a young age. But I have a similar experience with music in a huge way. I guess I hold on to beloved bands or albums more than movies. :P

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Re Goonies Conundrum -- the word "Conundrum" seems wrong -- it needs another word there. It's not puzzling that people like some movies as a kid and feel lasting affection for them, even though they aren't good movies. Or maybe I'm not understanding the meaning.

 

The problem isn’t having affection for a childhood movie.

 

The problem is when you care a lot about a film, and you want to share your love of it with someone else, but because your affection and relationship with the film is coming from an external, subjective experience rather than from the film itself, the people you’re sharing it with never really seem to understand why you like it so much. It just seems, possibly due its ubiquity on cable, like this situation most often occurs with The Goonies.

 

But honestly, “Goonies Conundrum” is just a joke descriptor.

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The problem isn’t having affection for a childhood movie.

 

The problem is when you care a lot about a film, and you want to share your love of it with someone else. But because your affection for it comes more from the the external experiences surrounding the film rather than from the film itself, the people you’re sharing it never really understand why you like it. It just seems like this situation most often occurs with the movie Goonies.

 

But honestly, “Goonies Conundrum” is just a joke descriptor.

I remember telling my college roommate, who somehow escaped the 80s without having seen The Goonies, to not bother watching it despite my own deep, personal love of The Goonies. I just knew I wouldn't respect him if he said he didn't love it and I knew no one could love it after age 12 or so.

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I remember telling my college roommate, who somehow escaped the 80s without having seen The Goonies, to not bother watching it despite my own deep, personal love of The Goonies. I just knew I wouldn't respect him if he said he didn't love it and I knew no one could love it after age 12 or so.

 

Exactly!

 

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