July 23, 2017

Titanic: Not My Love Story

At this time 19 years ago, “Titanic” was blowing up the box office. Now the ’90s produced a lot of wonderful things, including me, but this is not one of them. Not even “My Heart Will Go On” can save this shitheap masquerading as a story of true love.

It’s three fucking hours long

Three. Hours. In that gluttonous amount of time, I could have gone to a class or a bar and found the IRL Jack to my Rose. The present-day sequence that introduces the film is slow as hell. Later on, I watched people die for like an hour. James Cameron could have benefitted from some of my college journalism classes: concise is good!

Rose is kind of a brat

At the beginning of the movie, elderly Rose showed up at the research ship after she found out they were searching for her diamond necklace. She brought with her a ton of cargo, her tiny dog, and her damn goldfish. It’s unsurprising given how much art she stockpiled onboard the Titanic to decorate, but we’re supposed to believe that she’s nothing like her snobby, wealthy friends just because she fell in love with a poor man. She also asked Jack to draw her in only a necklace which, oh by the way, was given to her by her fiance. Who does that?!

This bitch almost capsized a lifeboat full of people to jump back on board a literal sinking ship. Go ahead and read that again. That doesn’t say to me, “Oh how cute, she’s in love.” That tells me she is a selfish and possibly crazy person.

Hypothetically, let’s say Rose does not decide to abandon a perfectly good boat ride to safety. Jack was obviously not getting on a lifeboat with Sir Tantrums A Lot, but he could find his way onto another one. Worst case scenario, he ends up exactly where he was with Rose, on the ship as it goes down. But when he hits the debris lottery and that giant door goes floating by, he can be the one to hog it instead of sacrificing himself! Since she’s in a lifeboat, maybe she could have convinced her boat to go back and check for survivors. Maybe they end up together, maybe they don’t, but at least she doesn’t wake up next to his frozen corpse.

Then for the kicker, the film revealed that she hid that stupid diamond the entire fucking time! It wasn’t even from Jack! The research ship guy spent years and god knows how much money looking for it and she drops it into the ocean.

They fell in love in like four days

Rose and Jack bonded over spitting into the ocean, so not exactly the foundation for a lifetime together. She liked him because he’s real and exciting, unlike the other people in her life, but what happens if she left her rich world and he became normal? The novelty would be gone.

I don’t blame Rose for the love triangle because she was pretty much pressured into an arranged marriage with an abusive jackass. But just because she didn’t like the way her fellow rich people treated her doesn’t mean she was prepared to live Jack’s wandering lifestyle. She liked trying beer and dancing without predetermined steps, but that’s hardly living under a bridge. She was trying on the life of a common person like she tried on her fancy hats.

It’s really about class issues and all the poor people get shit on

A ton of people died on that ship because of rich person hubris. We wanna go faster! We can’t clutter the deck with enough lifeboats for everyone! While they were in their staterooms counting coins, a class of working men were in the boiler rooms desperately trying to stop them all from going down. You know who died first? Those guys.

Let’s take a quick stock of everyone’s fortunes. Upper class Rose? Floated off on a chunk of wood and was rescued. Her mean girl of a mother? On a lifeboat. Her massive turd-face fiance that put bullet holes in an already sinking ship because he’d never taken an L before? Yep, he made it to land. He was free to fuck people over another day until the Great Depression caught up to him. Jack, who saved Rose’s life about 49 times despite being mocked, framed, and arrested? He froze to death along with all of the other lower class people in that eery montage of hypothermic bodies just chillin’ in the water. Those third class families gated down below deck like animals? The ones who didn’t battering ram their way through all drowned there.

If a viewer is upper or middle class, they are free to empathize with Rose. What a horrible thing to lose your true love, but how wonderful that she found it, right? But if a viewer is or has been lower class, they might see this film as three hours worth of reminders that people don’t see the poor as equals.

This ain’t a love story; it’s a goddamn tragedy about how upper class smugness dooms everyone.

Nicole Gustafson 16 Articles
Editor

Nicole was born in Chicago and raised in Des Moines. She took her talents to The Iowa State University, where she earned a degree in journalism. You can find Nicole cheering on her favorite sports teams, hanging out with her dog, or finishing a Netflix marathon. Nicole is a big fan of #pitcherswhorake, fat guy TD's, and carbs. She's not a fan of mornings, winter, or vegetables and will complain to anyone who will listen.

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