The Instigator
simmyjaye
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
mindjob
Con (against)
Winning
18 Points

James Cameron's ‘Titanic' is hated mostly in reaction to its highest grossing film status

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/27/2008 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,199 times Debate No: 2965
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (6)

 

simmyjaye

Pro

That ‘Titanic' grossed a phenomenal amount of money worldwide strongly indicates that, upon its initial cinematic release, audiences liked it. They liked it enough to recommend it to others, while some liked it enough to see it twice.

After the hype had subsided, about a year later, something strange happened. It became the antithesis of ‘cool'. It transformed from being the movie that everyone was talking about to a source of parody and a frequent inclusion in "worst blockbuster ever" lists. The backlash was enormous and is ongoing.

I propose that the film is hated more as a reaction to its status as the highest grossing film of all time than for any other reason.

People like to think of themselves as superior to "the masses" while being, of course, part of them. Given its association with a level of near-hysteria at the time of its first release (those stories of some fans going to see it seventy times), I propose that people have tried to distance themselves from the phenomenon it originally caused, since sheep-like thinking is generally regarded negatively.

That's all for now. Please respond.
mindjob

Con

This is an interesting debate. Rehashing the Titanic phenomenon brings me back in the day, and that's always fun.

To state that people only hate Titanic because it was so successful presumes a lot, and I must say presumes falsely. I know you to be wrong because I remember why I disliked it so much. It was a fad. It was like the Macarena. You couldn't get away from it if you wanted to. It was everywhere, and stupid little girls were swooning over it like cult members. It doesn't matter what age you are, that is just annoying. Perhaps I just had a childhood different from most of my peers, but teeny-bopper pop culture made my skin crawl then, as it does now.

For this reason, it falls into the category of NSYNC or Backstreet Boys. Yes, they were popular, which made them more annoying, but most guys will have a natural aversion to pretty-boy, semi-fruity, barely talented guys singing songs that weren't theirs and dancing to routines they spent the entire day practicing. It's like girls who have an aversion to other girls who put on a pound of makeup, talk about getting implants the first chance they get, flirt with every guy they can and play (or genuinely are) retarded just to be cute. Leonardo Dicaprio, as well as the entire story, came of as being this kind of thing. The movie tapped into the same hatred most of us had for the boy bands.

Not to mention, most guys also have a natural aversion to such sappy, cavity-inducing love stories that go overboard (pun intended) like it did in Titanic. The fact that the movie was so successful only reinforced how irritating the movie already was to most of the male world. For girls, it was largely a fad, like I explained above, which led to the backlash you mentioned before. People didn't hate the Macarena because it was successful. They hated it because it was inherently annoying, but group think too over and made everyone feel as though they had to go along with it. Titanic was the same.
Debate Round No. 1
simmyjaye

Pro

Thanks for accepting. I will respond to your points before adding additional thoughts.

- I know you to be wrong because I remember why I disliked it so much. It was a fad. It was like the Macarena. You couldn't get away from it if you wanted to. It was everywhere. -

Dictionary.com defines a ‘fad' as a temporary fashion, notion, manner of conduct, etc. followed enthusiastically by a group. I would argue that the film's status as a ‘fad' is linked so strongly to its status as ‘biggest box office success ever' to the degree of it being, in terms of a motive for hatred, identical. The biggest film of all time would *have* to be a fad, being (a) a temporary fashion, and (b) followed enthusiastically by a group. Harry Potter could similarly be described as a ‘fad' at the time of release, as could any of the top five highest grossing films worldwide. If you will concede that calling Titanic a ‘fad' is not in fact distinguishable to the content of the original proposition, then the ‘fad' argument is void.

I will concede that my original debate topic awkwardly implied a number of variations on a theme; I would reject alternative reasons for the film's mass loathing such as "its extreme popularity", "that lots of people saw it", on the same grounds that I reject "it was a fad".

- stupid little girls were swooning over it […] it falls into the category of NSYNC or Backstreet Boys. […] The movie tapped into the same hatred most of us had for the boy bands. -

This however, is different, and a possible alternative: the lowest common-denominator girl appeal. I think the only way for me to disprove this hypothesis is to identify non-hated films that also have widespread ‘girly girl appeal' in the same vein. I think it could be stated that girls have ‘swooned', in the past, over Patrick Swayze in ‘Dirty Dancing', John Travolta in ‘Grease', or any number of other films with hunky leads. Pre-teen girls went to many repeat viewings of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl' to gawp at Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom. These films do not inspire the same disdain as ‘Titanic'. For this reason, I don't consider the ‘teeny bopper following' argument valid either.

- Not to mention, most guys also have a natural aversion to such sappy, cavity-inducing love stories that go overboard (pun intended) like it did in Titanic. -

I don't agree that people hate Titanic due to the sappy love story, although they may use it as a common excuse. Films containing soppy sentimentality are intensely popular, even with male audiences, such as ‘Casablanca' and ‘Wuthering Heights'. Even films where the romantic element is particularly weak or even nauseating (‘Four Weddings and a Funeral' with the horrific "Is it raining? I hadn't noticed!" line) are not hated in the same way ‘Titanic' is. And if ‘Titanic' is not hated for its love story, it must be for a different reason.

I propose, in development of my response to your third point, that no single aspect of the film's actual content (such as, indeed, the overblown love story) could create such intense hatred for a film. That the film was so popular initially is strong evidence to suggest that the love story aspect of the film was convincing and that audience members, male and female, invested in that relationship and enjoyed it, regardless of whether or not they would have admitted so one year later. Indeed, if audience members had hated any significant aspect of the film itself, the positive word-of-mouth and repeat viewings would not have occurred. This brings me to conclude that intense dislike for the film must have happened later, long after the majority of people who had seen it had recommended it to others. This indicates something else must have been responsible for the backlash; as argued in my original post, it is very likely to have been its eventual status as ‘the biggest film of all time'.
mindjob

Con

Your opening statements show why Titanic was more of a fad than any other movie you cited in your last round. As you said yourself, Titanic became hated a little over a year after it was released. In conjunction with the definition, this made it the epitome of a fad. Harry Potter, however, has gone on to enjoy lasting success with multiple sequels. At no point has Harry Potter come close to any of the ill-will that Titanic met with. The lasting hatred for Titanic is also akin to the lingering resentment of such other fads as the Macarena and, I suppose, Pogs. As such, Titanic is very much distinguishable from most other movies, especially Harry Potter. Like I said before, it was this fad appeal that turned girls off to the movie after the year you talked about. The group think had worn off, and the rest of us thought such things as women falling off ferries after trying to repeat that flying scene from the movie was ridiculous and laughable.

The teeny-bopper argument is very much valid, because it helps explains why so many guys hated the movie. What is invalid is trying to say that an argument is invalid even though I can vividly remember that period in my life and why I and many of my friends didn't like the movie. For those of us who did have a girlfriend at the time, we didn't want to be dragged to such a girly movie. As mentioned in my last round, its cavity-inducing sweetness was very much irritating to us and we resented being dragged to a movie that we found to be irritating. We also couldn't say anything about our ill-feelings, lest we get chewed out by our gf who we knew to be in the grip of group think. For those of us who didn't have gf's, we resented that such a staggering number of girls were drawn like flies to a movie that created an unrealistic and way overdone representation of love and a fantasy-like relationship. It's the same kind of thing when a guy gets pissed about a girl falling for the bad boy. We, as single guys, were annoyed that so many girls were running to a movie to get a love-fix when we were there in real life. Is this a valid reason to hate a movie? No. But that is the psychology of a great number of guys. Trust me, I am one and went through that phase. This unrealistic portrayal of love was also irritating to those who had gf's as well. Not only that, but most guys have a natural aversion to most anything that gets girls to act like a flock, lacking any individual mindset whatsoever. The more successful Titanic was, the more this was thrown in our faces. But its success was not what was originally irritating to guys. It only made it worse. I'm sure there was also male backlash against these other movies as well, although I readily admit that is just an assumption.

Titanic is hated for its love story. It is unrealistic and was yet another example of some media format creating within girls' heads a standard of love that has no bearing on reality. Guys have a soft spot too, which is why many love stories find favor with guys, such as Casablanca, but it is the level of unrealistic passion that irritated us. In this sense, Titanic's success did have something to do with the level of hatred that it faced, only because it was more constantly thrown in guys' faces. But it was not the popularity itself that made the movie annoying, it was the story. Also, anything that gets teeny-bopper girls to act like a mindless flock, such as Titanic or NSYNC, is naturally going to draw the ire of guys. The smooth-talking, pimp-like bad boy does not bother other guys if he crashes and burns. But his success is not the reason why the rest of us hate him. It is the methods he employs. Male hatred of Titanic is the same.

I have shown again that it was, in fact, the story that turned many guys off to the movie. The story turned so many girls onto it, but that only reinforced guys' hatred of it. Girls turned on Titanic over a year later because of the fad mentality that surrounded it. Both guys and girls went to see it, but as a guy who had to live through that time, I can unequivocally tell you that we, as guys, had very little say on whether we went to see the movie or not...assuming we had a gf at the time. Those of us who didn't have gfs didn't go see it but still hated it for the reasons mentioned above. Titanic's success was driven by a flock mentality of teeny-bopper girls and lonely older women who saw in Titanic a great and overdone romance novel. Like the fads that surrounded Pogs, the Macarena, Pokemon, or whatever other fad you want to think of, Titanic developed a vast following driven by word of mouth until it ran its course and got out of everyones' systems. This is what happened to Titanic with the girls. The guys aspect has already been dealt with.
Debate Round No. 2
simmyjaye

Pro

I concede.

You win. I've changed my mind partly due to your arguments, partly because the more I think it through, I realise Titanic's success is only a catalyst for its hatred, not the sole reason. You're totally right; it's a combination of the wishy-washy romance, the teeny bopper thing AND its success.

I really like it though.

Thanks for debating!
mindjob

Con

Wow! This is certainly a first. Thanks. Sure, anytime. I wish there were more people like you on this site.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by PryorPirate93 8 years ago
PryorPirate93
Never seen anyone give in like that before0.o
Posted by Kleptin 8 years ago
Kleptin
The funny thing is, I reacted exactly the same way Pro reacted. First, I was against it. Then Con managed to change my mind O.O

Very insightful Con, I thank you.
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by simmyjaye 8 years ago
simmyjaye
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Vote Placed by scorpionclone 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by JonJon 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by mindjob 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by Kleptin 8 years ago
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