If you head to the movies this weekend, you might want to consider bringing a Furby or wearing one of the things people wore back in the ’90s (things I can’t name because my mom bought all my clothes back then). There are two films opening this weekend that invoke the spirit of this era — which, by the way, was the last decade we had with a clear, agreed upon name to it. (Can we, once and for all, decide what to call the decade from ’00-’09? The Aughts? The Oh-oh’s?)
Both “Titanic” and “American Pie” were noteworthy films of the ’90s; the former for making more money than any movie in the history of movies, the latter for reminding Hollywood executives that people would give them money (albeit less than they would give “Titanic”) to see raunchy humor. With “Titanic 3-D” and “American Reunion,” both franchises return to the cinema and into the future.
Unsure about the differences between the two? Here’s a rundown (spoilers ahead if you don’t watch basic cable):
• “Titanic 3-D”: A large boat’s haphazard tango with an iceberg ruins Leo DiCaprio’s shot with someone out of his league.
• “American Reunion”: High school buddies do gross things.
• “Titanic 3-D”: A third dimension, glasses
• “American Reunion”: Ten years, disappointing solo acting careers, children
• “Titanic”: 11 Academy Awards in 1997, including Best Picture
• “American Pie” franchise: Not what many refer to as “awards bait”
Joke you’ve already heard
• “Titanic 3-D”: “So tell me, now that it’s in 3-D, does the boat still sink?” (Runner-up: Anything about the three-hour-plus running time)
• “American Reunion”: Anything about the desecration of an apple pie (Runner-up: “Let’s seal an outrageous pact that will surely lead to mischief and embarrassment with toast!”)
Idea of a good time
• “Titanic 3-D”: Stomping and jigging in a crowded stew room; running away from wealthy people who very obviously hate love
• “American Reunion”: A house party with kegs and underage drinking; pranks involving bodily fluids
Listen to the music. What do you hear?
• “Titanic 3-D”: You aren’t even at the movie yet, but you already hear it
• “American Reunion”: Top 40 “rock’n’roll”; bands with numbers in their names
• “Titanic 3-D”: William Murdoch, a bridge officer on the actual Titanic who tried in vain to dodge the fateful iceberg, is depicted as a sleazy coward who takes bribes and kills people to get on a lifeboat (Runner-up: Everything about the story of Rose and Jack)
• “American Reunion”: The actors in “American Pie” are depicted as teenagers in high school
• “Titanic 3-D”: Yes
• “American Reunion”: No
What they won’t let go of
• “Titanic 3-D”: Jack
• “American Reunion”: High school, friendship
You were expecting Andy to call himself king of the world, weren’t you? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.