It’s day 5 of the 30 Day Geekgasm. One might wonder why I would include a blog about something I hate, but I’m a weirdo and I love discussing things I hate. Often as part of a quest to find out why people love it. Anyway. There are only two movies I couldn’t bring myself to finish, and those are Batman Returns (I felt violated) and Starship Troopers (They killed the wrong girl). But there is one movie that I sat through, and after years of reflection have decided offends me on a much deeper level than those other guys. That movie, is Titanic.
The film, written and directed by James Cameron, came out in 1997. It was a smash at the box office. My dad always describes it by saying there were ‘lines of white women going around the block’. While some part of me understands the mushy-mush allure this film may have had, every part of me hates it.
For sake of not taking up two years picking apart every freaking word in this godforsaken movie, I’ll just focus on a few things that really piss me off. And then I’ll give it a couple of praises, but there movie isn’t all bad.
The biggest thing that stands out: There was definitely room for two fucking people on the piece of debris (spoiler alert: the boat sinks). There are about a million beautiful ways they could have killed Leo, but hanging him off a giant piece of debris where the best logical option would be to huddle together and share heat just sort of ruins my life every time I think about it. It’s not like is was dry wood. It was part of the hull of a ship. or even part of the deck. i.e. it’s made to float and it’s made to carry weight.
But Jack had to die because that made it a tragedy. Because the actually story of the Titanic, apparently, wasn’t already a tragedy.
Now. For the actual story. Here’s what one person had to say about it:
“The story could not have been written better…The juxtaposition of rich and poor, the gender roles played out unto death (women first), the stoicism and nobility of a bygone age, the magnificence of the great ship matched in scale only by the folly of the men who drove her hell-bent through the darkness. And above all the lesson: that life is uncertain, the future unknowable…the unthinkable possible.”
Yeah, that’s was James Cameron. James Cameron the writer. I will admit, my hatred of this movie might be due largely to my hatred of him, but there is way more to it.
The story very well could have been written better. The ‘juxtaposition of rich and poor’ was more of a ‘toss poor guy in with rich people and see what happens’. Jack is in the only poor person who really has a part in the entire movie. The mother while the boat was sinking? Who still read there children a bed time story because she knew they wouldn’t get on a boat? What’s her story? There could have been way more contrast to show way more emotional material beyond the whole lovers dying thing. The viewers care about that woman immediately. Image what he could have done with that.
There are so many stories about the actual ship and the actual stories of people on that ship, there was a true historical movie to be found. Instead, we got this sort of tragic love story. Which also could have been great. But the entire plot is paint by numbers. Allow me to break it down for you.
A girl is already engaged to an asshole an then she meets this nice poor fellow who saves her life, so her asshole fiance invites him to dinner where they start becoming friends and then she starts to break the class lines by going to party in third class. She realizes Jack is a whole lot better than Cal and then Jack is a starving artist and then they have sex. So their in love now and then the fiancee is an asshole (yet slightly justified if you really think about it) and get’s Jack arrested. After the boat hits the iceberg. And then there is one really great ‘wow the shit really hit the fan’ sequence when the boat actually sinks. Then the lovers are separated by tragedy and somehow the one left is better for it.
This wasn’t the first time we got this story, and it certainly wasn’t the last. I guess we’ve come to the root of my issue with this movie. Everyone calls the story the most beautiful and groundbreaking love story ever, when it’s not. It’s safe and not unlike the other love stories out there. It’s not necessarily a bad movie, it’s just not nearly as good as people say, but it could have been as good as people say. And that pisses me off.
I hate James Cameron. But not because he’s an asshole or because i think he’s a bad filmmaker. On the contrary. He’s one of the best visual filmmakers out there. His films are beautiful to look at. But his scripts? His scripts don’t take the chances that he does visually, they don’t display the same beauty and effort and there’s this awful disconnect and it actually legitimately makes me angry.
What’s worse? This movie won best picture. I’m not saying it didn’t deserve awards. Again, it was beautiful to look at. But the story was not even comparable in greatness to L.A. Confidential or Amistad. Dear lord, don’t get me started on Amistad.
There you have it. My least favorite movie. Please, feel free to share your opinion. Or get me started on Amistad. Good day.