Clash of the Titanic
Snide Remarks #26
"Clash of the Titanic"
by Eric D. Snider
Published in The Daily Universe on February 9, 1998
Many of you have seen the film "Titanic," which is about a great big boat that sank like a thousand years ago that for some reason everyone is just now getting worked up about. Some of you -- I am speaking to the women here -- have seen this movie several times. And I would like to know why. Have the principles of film-making not been adequately explained to you, so you think there's a chance the movie will end differently if you see it again? Do you think this is a "Choose Your Own Adventure" movie? Because it's not. No matter how many times you see it, the boat is going to sink, and the same people are going to die, including the guy who falls and whacks his noggin on the railing on the way down.
I think this movie is entirely too long. The actual sinking of the Titanic took only four hours; the movie is easily three times that long. (Note to reader: From the following choices, select the "this-movie-is-too-long" line you like best and go with it.) Savings bonds have matured in less time than it takes to watch this movie. Many marriages do not last as long as this movie. I had to shave twice during this movie. Three Eastern European nations (Izikikstan, Checher, and Zknkkmnzxxk) were formed while I was watching this movie.
As a public service, then, I am offering my much-shortened screenplay which some ambitious film-maker can feel free to use as the script for a shorter version of "Titanic." All I want in return is a lot of money.
KATE WINSLET: Why, this is a fancy boat, isn't it?
KATE'S WEASELLY FIANCE: Yes it certainly is. Here is the art you asked for. It is by an artist named "Picasso." I am certain he will amount to nothing.
KATE: Ha ha ha. That is very funny to our '90s audience, because of course Picasso later amounted to quite a bit, after this boat sank.
LEONARDO DICAPRIO: Hello, I'm Leonardo DiCaprio. Perhaps you have seen the many Internet sites dedicated to the worship of me. You are very pretty.
KATE: Thank you. So are you.
LEONARDO: I know. Prettier than you, in fact. I am going to put on my "brooding" face now, to ensure that women will keep coming back again and again to see this movie. Later, my white shirt will be soaking wet.
KATE: While you're doing that, I will concentrate on standing here and looking pretty, to keep the men in the audience interested until the boat sinks and people start dying.
WEASELLY FIANCE: Excuse me. I do not like you, Leonardo, even though you saved my fiancee's life. I am going to sneer at you and treat you like dirt because you're poor, and then I'll probably be physically abusive to my fiancee, and then, just to make sure the audience really hates me, and to make sure my character is entirely one-dimensional, perhaps I'll throw an elderly person into the water.
AUDIENCE: Boo! We hate you! Even though all real people have at least a few admirable qualities, we have not been shown any of yours, and plus, you're trying to come between Leonardo and Kate, and so therefore we hate you! Boo! (Even though technically it is Leonardo who is coming between you and Kate. But Leonardo is handsomer than you, even though he is only 13, so we are on his side. Boo!)
* * *
LEONARDO: I'm glad we snuck away like this so that you could cheat on your fiance.
KATE: So am I. Even though I am engaged to him and have made a commitment to marry him, that is no reason why you and I cannot climb into the backseat of a car and steam up the windows together. The fact that I am the heroine of the movie will no doubt help the cattle-like audience forgive me of this, though they would probably be VERY angry indeed if my fiance were to do the same thing to me.
AUDIENCE: Darn straight we would! Moo! We mean, Boo!
LEONARDO: I agree. First I would like to draw you, though, so of course you will have to take off all your clothes.
KATE: But can a movie with five minutes of continuous nudity be at all successful in, say, Provo, Utah, where the audiences might not stand for that sort of thing?
LEONARDO: I would be willing to bet that for the first three weeks the film is in release, every single showing at Wynnsong Theater in Provo will sell out.
NARRATOR: According to Wynnsong manager Matt Palmer, that is exactly what happened.
KATE: All right, then. (sound of clothes hitting the floor)
* * *
FIRST MATE: Captain, we're about to hit an iceberg.
CAPTAIN: Great, I could use some ice for my drink. (sound of drinking)
ICEBERG: (hits boat)
FIRST MATE: That can't be good.
CAPTAIN: Bottoms up!
FIRST MATE: That was irony, you fools.
AUDIENCE: Baa! Moo! Where's Leonardo?
* * *
LEONARDO: I have been informed that this boat is sinking.
KATE: That is terrible.
LEONARDO: Would you like to engage in some more immoral-but-justified behavior?
WEASELLY FIANCE: Excuse me, I --
AUDIENCE: Boo! Boo!
WEASELLY FIANCE: (aside) I'm getting the raw end of the deal here. (to Leonardo) Listen, Leonardo, to cement my morally-dubious-yet-somehow-less-annoying-than-you personality, I am going to handcuff you to this pipe, here in a room that will soon be filling with water, due to the fact that we are sinking, which I believe has been mentioned previously.
LEONARDO: Why don't you just shoot me?
WEASELLY FIANCE: Because then you wouldn't be able to escape and save Kate from me. Of course, you're going to die anyway--
AUDIENCE: Don't spoil it for us! Boo!
LEONARDO: He's right, though. I am doomed.
AUDIENCE: Aww, look how cute he is when he's doomed.
WEASELLY FIANCE: I hate you people.
* * *
150-YEAR-OLD KATE: And that's when Leonardo rescued me from my evil fiance and helped me float on a board in the water. Of course, if it hadn't been for having to rescue HIM, I could have gotten on an actual lifeboat, and not frozen my legs nearly off. Anyway, he's pretty much dead now, and I'm well over a thousand years old, and who's making my supper? I need a bath. Turn down that Enya music, it's making my ears hurt. You kids today, with your loud music. Why, when I was -- hey! Don't you walk away from me, Mr. Snooty-Patootie! I'd turn you over my knee, if I had one. I'll beat you in the head with this huge diamond! Come back here!
(Fade to black; roll credits; play annoying Celine Dion song.)
Copyright © Eric D. Snider.
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