Twenty years ago, the movie Titanic took America's hearts by storm. The tearjerker, directed by James Cameron – a director so notoriously short-tempered, fantasy author Orson Scott Card called him "hell on wheels," and lead actress Kate Winslet promised not to work with him again unless it was for "a lot of money" – grossed nearly two billion dollars at the box office. In fact, it held the title for highest grossing movie of all time for just over 12 years, until it was eclipsed by another Cameron film, Avatar.
The point here is, Cameron is an amazing director, but he's
kind of a massive prick.
Despite this, Cameron is great at romances. Well, he's great at lots of types of films – see Avatar, Terminator, True Lies – but Titanic was his masterpiece, his pièce de résistance.
Titanic tells the story of aristocratic Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet), who boards the eponymously-named vessel with her mother and boorish fiancé. Rose’s family hopes her marriage will restore their fortunes, but Rose isn’t really into her douchey fiancé.
When she considers suicide by jumping off the ship's stern, in steps Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio), a penniless artist.
Jack is completely wrong for Rose (Upstairs, Downstairs, anyone?), but despite the opposition of everyone around them, the star-crossed lovers fall in love, because star-crossed lovers gonna do what star-crossed lovers gonna do.
Only problem is – well, there's lots of problems with their relationship (young love, issues of class and money) – they're on the Titanic.
Remember the Titanic, the mega-ship that famously sank once it hit an iceberg, taking 1,503 people with it? Well, that’s the ship upon which the young lovers consummate their sweet, sweet love, courtesy of glowing James Cameron camera angles.
Spoiler alert, but that basically means one of them dies.
By one of them, we mean Jack, who tragically freezes to death in the water while allowing Rose to stay on a wooden door they salvaged. The irony here is that she’s rescued about an hour later.
Over the years, one fact about the movie has been a flashpoint for over two decades of debate.
Why did Jack have to die? Although some people have insisted the door was only buoyant enough for one, there’s more than enough space for the both of them to lie on it. Rose could have literally just scooted over, and problem solved.
It’s been such a point of contention that publications like the Huffington Post have published whole articles with diagrams about how both of them could have easily fit on the wooden door. But, c’est la vie.
Now, finally, after years of being stalked and tormented about this door conundrum, Cameron has finally given Titanic stans the definitive answer they’ve been craving…