Titanic is an AWFUL Movie

Titanic, the highest-grossing film of all time, has been resurrected on the silver screen. I had not seen the film in over a decade until this weekend, when I watched it with friends. Overall I enjoyed it a lot more before I hit puberty. If you have ever paid income tax or seriously analyzed a potential mate based on more than “feelings,” this movie will confound you with its cardboard characters, nauseating dialogue and ridiculous sentimentalism.

I knew the ship sank in advance, of course, but through most of the movie I seriously thought Rose had staged the entire disaster in order to steal the diamond. A woman who pretends to be syrupy and two-dimensional to foil the men around her, then steals a priceless jewel and sinks the entire ship and all its crew to cover her tracks, would make a better movie and a superior character. Such is not the case.

To its credit, there are a couple of redeeming features to the film. First, there is a topless scene five and a half hours into this nine hour monstrosity. Since they’re presently screening it in 3D, you can see floating holographic nipples for nearly twenty seconds before involuntarily rolling your eyes at the interpolation of gooey emotional platitudes. Additionally, the special effects are laudable and Kathy Bates does a fine job acting.

Otherwise the only other positive element about the film is that it shovels more money into James Cameron’s bank account. James Cameron recently became the first human being to see the bottom of the Marianas Trench, which is an astounding feat. It took us longer to get there than to the Moon. If Cameron teams up with Richard Branson and makes a decent amount from re-screening Titanic, maybe they’ll build a colony on Mars.

Why do I hate Titanic? Let’s consider a few things:

The crone drops the diamond

At the end of the film Rose drops “The Heart of the Ocean,” a diamond the size of a baby’s fist, into the Atlantic. Because it’s cursed? Because there’s a nuclear bomb inside? No. Because plunking it overboard gives her emotional closure from an event which transpired eighty-seven years ago.

If the diamond is really worth thirty million dollars, then Rose is selfish and evil. What else could Rose have done with thirty million dollars?

  • Endowed a children’s hospital
  • Funded AIDS research
  • Taken care of her entire family in perpetuity
  • Neutered every stray cat in Manhattan
  • Raced James Cameron to the bottom of the Marianas Trench

In the convoluted logic of this terrible movie, a poignant emotional experience is worth more than thirty million dollars.

It’s not.

Blatant pandering to the audience

Throughout the film characters drop names which they comically underestimate. (“That Picasso guy will never amount to anything,” “Is Sigmund Freud on the passenger manifest?”, etc.) Couple this with prissy Georgian wardrobes and movie watchers can feel pompous for no good reason for days.

The lovers know each other slightly longer than twelve minutes

The protagonist falls in love in, what, forty-eight hours? I have the good sense to do a credit rating on girls before I invest that much emotion into a relationship.

A friend told me that all women love Titanic and are reduced to tears when they watch it, but I have too much respect for women to agree with her. Many ladies read Kissinger and Hayek like normal people and wouldn’t toss a bizillion dollar jewel into the ocean for what any sane person would recognize as infatuation.

The dialogue is written by a fourteen-year-old girl

Watching Titanic is the cinematic equivalent of downing syrup of ipecac to induce vomiting. Cheesy lines include, “I’m just a tumbleweed blowin’ in the wind,” “I’ll never let go,” and “A woman’s heart is a deep ocean of secrets.” I’m pretty sure James Cameron wrote the thing by getting drunk in his bathtub with a Jane Austin novel.

How to Fix It

Adding 3D was definitely a good idea. Also, I like the bit where the ship sinks. It seems to me that the major flaw with the movie is the diabetic exchange of dialogue between Rose and Jack. When they get chased around the ship by a crazed butler and a plutocrat firing a revolver, it’s actually fairly engaging.

So basically if you cut the middle two hours out, scrapped the old lady, then reduced the film to briefly introducing the characters before jumping to the iceberg collision, it would be okay.

The scene where the musicians die playing nice classical music is sufficiently emotional. If you feel you need any more cathartic teary moments than that, you should probably consult a psychiatrist or better yet an accomplished bartender. 90% of the romance should be thrown out, unless Rose is rewritten as a vampire or android or something. Yeesh.

Rather than seeing Titanic, why not watch this excellent Newsradio spoof instead? There. I saved you three hours:

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 Andrew Heaton is a writer and standup comedian in New York City. If this post made you laugh or think, kindly "like" it on Facebook.

10 Comments

  • April 10, 2012 - 12:28 am | Permalink

    Thank you, Heaton. I was beginning to waver in my dislike of this movie, but you’ve shown me the error of my ways. Henceforth, I shall continue hating not only Jame’s Cameron’s hair, but the man himself as well.

  • Jim
    April 10, 2012 - 10:53 am | Permalink

    Every night in my dreams
    I see you, I feel you,
    That is how I know you go on

  • Teresa
    April 10, 2012 - 2:47 pm | Permalink

    I am seeing my adolescent obsession in a whole new light…

    What was I thinking at age 12????? I had been in real love like 8 times by that point!

    geez,

  • Beth
    April 10, 2012 - 3:41 pm | Permalink

    Andrew, Andrew, Andrew -

    You are just subscribing to hater culture. Titanic really is a good movie.
    You should read this article – http://insidemovies.ew.com/2012/04/09/titanic-and-the-rise-of-hater-culture/

  • April 26, 2012 - 3:27 pm | Permalink

    “Mr. Andrews, I saw the iceberg, and I see it now in your eyes.” -Rose

    I saw this film 5 times in theaters in 1996. Now having seen it in 3D and with 16 more years of life experience, I have to agree that the dialogue in this movie is absolutely ridiculous, but the movie is still a joy to watch.

  • Kyle
    April 28, 2012 - 5:21 pm | Permalink

    You forgot to fill in blondie’s forehead with skin tone in the second picture.

  • Heaton
    April 29, 2012 - 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Kyle, you are correct. Thanks!

    Homework assignment: what small detail of illustration went completely unnoticed by everyone in this post: http://www.mightyheaton.com/2012/03/30/morning-people/

  • Rural AR Mom
    August 8, 2012 - 7:15 pm | Permalink

    I did not see any commentary on either of these:
    Mitchell has a visible winky
    one of the hominid ancestor’s has a club foot

  • Kodos
    August 8, 2014 - 7:02 pm | Permalink

    - “So basically if you cut the middle two hours out, scrapped the old lady, then reduced the film to briefly introducing the characters before jumping to the iceberg collision, it would be okay.”

    They already did that. It’s called “A Night to Remember”. (1956)

    - “Do you know of Dr. Freud, Mr. Ismay? His theories about the male preoccupation with size may be of some interest to you.”

    Oh yeah; here we are, sailing along on the good ship “S.S. BIG PENIS”!!

    Jesus; guess Ms. DeWittBukakke Whatshername never heard of the mythological figures these ships were named after (Olympians, Titans, and Giants). Nope, gotta get her slam in on those silly males! I would have loved this movie if her Mother had leaned over the table and smacked her right in the mouth.

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