Sound-Bite Cinema: “Titanic”

We start out with lots of geeky people spending millions of dollars searching for a ship at the bottom of the ocean, a potential discovery that might be minimally interesting but will not change the world in any way. After an interminable amount of time spent watching actors watch sonar screens, it becomes clear to the scriptwriters that we need to spice the story up a bit. So, we jump in a time machine and head back to the maiden voyage of the ship that could never sink, even though it does. (What? You didn’t know? Oh, please.)

Enter new cast of characters.

Rose: “I’m so bored with this high-society life and being engaged to a rich man. Is there anybody on this ship who can awaken my womanly needs?”

Jack: “Hello. I’m really poor and I don’t understand my place in life. Wanna go below deck and live the thug life for a while?”

Rose: “That sounds splendid! Lead the way.”

Scenes of Rose and Jack mingling with the peasants and dancing jigs, with Rose breaking free of her monied but corseted lifestyle and discovering the joys of listening to your heart and eating boiled cabbage for dinner. Later, up on the Rich Bitch deck, Rose’s Momma is none to keen with the developments.

Momma: “I read on the Internet that you’ve been dallying with degenerates. This must stop immediately. Cross your legs and deaden your soul and marry Billy Zane even though he’s an ass. After all, I bore the child of Clint Eastwood out of wedlock. You could do worse.”

Rose: “What about me? It isn’t fair.”

Momma: “Don’t try quoting lyrics from an Australian band. Everybody takes more than they give. Just deal with it.”

Rose deals with it by racing off to find Jack. “I’ve been given an ultimatum by Momma, and I feel the only way to resolve this is for me to rip off my clothes so you can draw me while I wear a necklace that will prove symbolic for this movie.”

Jack: “Makes sense to me. Toss aside your inhibitions and lounge on that chaise longue.”

[Sounds of sketching and product placement. (You too can own a cheap-ass replica of “The Heart of the Ocean Necklace” on the installment plan. Call now!)]

Insert scenes of low-level employees on said ship getting the first clue that something might be amiss with this voyage. No one on the high-level really cares, because we wouldn’t have a movie if they had done so in a more responsible manner.

Eventually, Jack and Rose decide it’s time to surrender the pink and they proceed to accomplish this goal in a conveniently-available Model T or some such auto in the vast cargo hold of the ship. (That’s always my preferred destination for trysting when I’m breaking social barriers. You?) This amorous scene is highlighted by that lusty hand smacking the steamy window of said auto, an image that left much more of an impression than the stupid necklace or Kathy Bates proving unsinkable.)

Later, post-coital, with the two of them strolling on the Promenade Deck, Rose: “The crisp night air is rather refreshing, especially since we nearly immolated in that car where they will never be able to scrub out the stains.”

Jack: “Love means never having to say you’re sorry about what might have happened to the upholstery.”

Rose: “So true. Wait, did you feel that? It seems that our love boat just ran into something that it shouldn’t have.”

Jack: “Oh, it’s nothing.”

Rose: “By nothing, do you mean that I shouldn’t worry about giant pieces of an iceberg crashing onto the deck in front of us?”

Jack: “Of course not. Our love is eternal.”

Mere seconds later, Jack and Rose are floating in the frigid ocean whilst stoic but stupid members of the ship’s orchestra continue to play show tunes as everybody around them plummets into the sea and writes scathing reviews on Expedia.

Jack, dog-paddling in the turgid waters: “Well, this is a bit unexpected.”

Rose, lounging on a huge piece of flotsam that could easily accommodate both of them if either had bothered to think about logistics: “And it’s so annoying.”

Jack: “Promise me now, never let go!”

Rose: “That’s so sweet of you to say. And how are you doing down there?”

Jack: “…”

Rose: “Hmm. I guess I’ll have to marry that nasty Billy Zane after all. Now, where is that wretched bell for room service? I’d like a nice cup of tea.”


Note: Events have been modified and condensed considerably, as no one has time anymore to do something that last three hours, even if it feels good and you want to slap a steamy window.


39 replies »

  1. NERD ALERT — That “lusty hand” hitting the window is a right hand and from the angle of the next scene that means Rose is either a contortionist or she invited a friend to help.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Never seen it – don’t care too, so thanks for the concise breakdown.
    Love the little song references, always good to know the rest of the world (well, you anyway) has actually heard an Oz song. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • And even more surprising is that I somehow managed to listen to quite a bit of Australian music whilst growing up in the cultural wasteland of Oklahoma. I’d list my favorite bands, but I don’t want to disappoint you… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

        • Well, here are a few of them, going somewhat chronologically: Midnight Oil, Men at Work, Air Supply (we’ve already established my sappy side), INXS (“The Stairs” is my fave song), Crowded House, Savage Garden and Missy Higgins (just listed to the “On a Clear Night” album the other day).

          Liked by 1 person

          • Oh, good taste – love them all, and Missy Higgins is wonderful on that album, also like “The Sound of White”.
            Nothing wrong with Air Supply – they were right for the times (like Sherbet and John Paul Young and so many others).
            The Black Sorrows had some good albums – Harley and Rose is my fav. Wendy Matthews (although not born here), Vanessa Amorosi.
            I must start listening to music again, I must.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. LOL. That about sums it up! Also, was I the only one who felt a bit sorry for Billy’s character, Cal?
    Sure he was a bit of a swine, but there are scenes where you see that he really does actually love Rose in his own way. He was a different man to Jack, and so his type of love was also very different. I don’t think he was all bad though. It annoys me so much when people who see the film just paint him as the villain. Look at his face when he goes down to steerage on the rescue ship looking for Rose, he is devastated and I think that if he had found Rose then, he would have been overjoyed and clung to her for dear life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, I was never much of a Cal fan, but now that you mention those things, I suppose it’s only right that I take another gander at the movie. (This will thrill my partner. He’s seen that that thing at least 50 times and he can quote essentially every line of dialogue.) I’ll get back to you with my updated findings… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. “Love means never having to say you’re sorry about what might have happened to the upholstery.” Oye. Love that bit. But I had to force myself to watch this movie just to figure out what everybody was jumping up and down about. I despised the way Molly Brown was portrayed, especially after all she did to help the survivors.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I liked part of that movie. The part where the ship sank, that was great.
    The lusty hand smacking the steamy window — hilarious! And in truth, we burst out laughing when we first saw it in the theater. (Never noticed the right hand/contortionist angle WD pointed out, but I’m most impressed.)

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Doh! Never saw this movie. I heard enough about it from friends who did and decided it wasn’t/is not for me. I sometimes (often) avoid books or movies i feel have been overhyped. Love this description though. I LOLed many times. The good old window slap. Quite telling, that. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • We all need a good window slap from time to time. But you’re right, there are so many things out there that are over-hyped. That’s why you need me in your life to filter out all the crap and give you the real goods. Said with complete humble humility that I may or may not mean, because I’m over-hyped as well… 😉


    • To be fair, this version does show some scenes of the poor souls on the lower decks, but it’s done in such an artistic manner that everything is given a gloss of “pretty death”, which is unrealistic. As for you having gone down in a previous life, I’m not even going to touch that… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Skipping over the fact that it is a tragic true event in which lots of people died, I hated the film. Three hours of my life that I now resent I’ll never get back. LOVED this version. “Wanna go below deck and live the thug life for a while?” Jack, you had me at ‘Thug’. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yep, the movie is not what it’s cracked up to be. I even skipped the Academy Awards telecast that year because I wasn’t interested in watching Titanic sail away with 461 Oscars whilst everyone undulated in praise…

      Liked by 1 person

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