Jack Dawson Was A 20th Century Fuckboy: An Honest Retelling Of ‘Titanic’

Get ready to feel old: Titanic, the movie that launched both every 90s girl’s crush on Leonardo DiCaprio and our fear of cruise ships, came out 21 years ago today. Titanic was monumental for so many reasons, and I’m not talking about the fact that it grossed close to $2 billion. First off, I believe it was the movie Titanic, and not the recent string of celebrity engagements, that launched the colored diamond trend. As a kid, there was nothing I wanted more than a gaudy blue heart necklace that looked like it came straight out of my Pretty Pretty Princess game, even though this movie supposedly had a budget of $200 million. Thankfully, I’ve since developed some taste. Also, Titanic most likely served as my first sex ed lesson, even if I inferred that “sex” meant making out with your clothes off. In any case, in honor of Titanic officially being old enough to drink, here’s an honest, but brief, retelling of this classic movie.

Titanic is all about a cruise full of rich British people coming to America to spread teatime and eccentric hats, or so we assume. And though this cruise also brought some poor people, that problem was solved when they hit an iceberg and oops, we only brought enough lifeboats for the rich people! I’m sure the GOP looks to this historical incident when devising their healthcare plan.

1912 Paul Ryan: Should we get life vests for the poor people?
1912 Mitch McConnell: We’re giving them a string quartet to play while they drown, what more could they want?

Although centered around a historical event, the James Cameron movie focuses on the love story of two passengers, Jack and Rose, who I only learned many years later were a fictional couple. Let’s talk about Rose. She’s is 17 when she boards the Titanic. 17. At age 17, I would have just been grateful that my parents took me out of the country on their dime. Rose, however, manages to completely f*ck up her life in the course of a few days.


Rose meets Jack in the way all love stories begin: on the stern of the boat in the dead of night during a suicide attempt. Rose is so upset at the prospect of marrying some rich douche that she considers ending it all. See what I said about her being 17 and melodramatic? I’m 27 and I’m actively looking for a rich asshole to make me his wife. Anyway, Jack finds her, and is basically like, “Ugh can you not kill yourself rn? This would really put a damper on my vacation.” He convinces her not to jump—maybe if he had lived he’d have become a hostage negotiator. Later, Rose joins Jack at a party in *gasp* third class, and it’s surprisingly lit. It’s kind of like when you deign to go to a house party in Bushwick and there ends up being really good drugs.

Some time around the two hour mark, Rose’s inner hoe emerges, inviting Jack to her room so he can draw her, naked, wearing only the necklace Cal gave her. Let’s pay homage to this iconic line:

Rose: Jack, I want you to draw me like one of your French girls. Wearing this [glances at necklace].
Jack, internally: K, whatever.
Rose: Wearing *only* this.

Carmelo Anthony

After doing the 1912 version of sending nudes, Rose and Jack decide to smash in the back of a Model T. Just teenager things! More importantly, did anyone else try to recreate that steamy handprint sliding down a wall on every rainy car ride of their adolescence? Just me? Moving on.

Next, these two clowns essentially leave a notarized letter saying “Rose and Jack f*cked on April 14, 1912.” I mean, what is this, amateur hour??? This was 1912 we’re talking about! There were no webcams. No cell phones. All you had to do to get away with sh*t was just not have your fiancé walk in on you the moment you were actively hooking up with someone else. Idiots. After finding out, Cal frames Jack for theft and gets him handcuffed to a pipe in the bottom of the ship. (Kinky.)

While this is all going down, the ship starts sinking. Rose is LITERALLY about to get on a lifeboat with her mom and all the other rich people, about to save her own ass, and then is like “no wait I can’t get off this LITERAL SINKING SHIP without this guy I’ve known for all of two days.” She finds Jack, rescues him (plot hole: how was a spoiled rich girl so good with an axe?) and they literally ride one half of the sinking Titanic into the frigid ocean. It’s a pretty good metaphor for my love life, actually. But in any case, you know how it ends: Rose finds a door, hogs said door, and Jack dies of hypothermia. Seems strange that you would claim to love a guy so much that you would take his last name in his death, but not even let him get a few minutes on the door in order to save his life.


Anyway, R and J’s five-day affair has since been named the most romantic movie of like, life. But it’s interesting to me that everyone seems to think that Jack is perfect because he’s really hot, good in bed, and a nice guy with a soul. Au contraire, don’t be fooled by his ratty clothes and artsy charcoal sketches. Jack is your typical f*ckboy disguised in bohemian garb. If Jack Dawson were alive today, he would be the type of guy who brags about living in Bed Stuy but is actually living in one of those brand-new lofts that his parents pay the rent on, and yet he still calls you materialistic for having an iPhone.

Like, ever notice how Jack constantly calls Rose out for a being spoiled, makes her jealous of his hot Paris prostitutes, and conveniently gets it in by day four? I get that they were distracted by the iceberg after their really classy car tryst, but I can assure you, he wasn’t THAT into her after she gave it up. Take this post-coital exchange, for instance, right before the iceberg hits:

Rose: When the ship docks, I’m getting off with you.
Jack: This is crazy.
Rose: I know. It doesn’t make any sense. That’s why I trust it. *Cue making out*

See how he doesn’t really answer because he never actually invited her to come? Yeah, he was clearly planning to ghost the second that ship docked. Too bad he ended up ghosting in the literal sense…


Take this other example of his undying shadiness, and I mean that in the literal sense because this occurs as he’s about to actually die.

Rose: I love you, Jack.
Jack: Don’t you do that, don’t say your goodbyes. Not yet, do you understand me?

Jack’s breathing is labored at this point, and he’s still beating around the bush. It’s kind of an inspiration to the f*ckboy cause that he remained this committed to being noncommittal—even in the face of death!! If Jack had somehow miraculously survived, delusional-ass Rose would’ve been on the chase for years. The bro was 20, for god’s sake! She was 17! This is really some Romeo & Juliet sh*t. Like, I know she’s probs a virgin and doesn’t have a good baseline, but how good was the pipe that you were going to alter your entire life’s course for it???

And come on, you dropped the Heart of the Ocean necklace off the dock? Are you dumb?! Do you know how many Birkins you can buy with that thing? Probably one, but still.

Crazy Cakes also told the guy at the end of the movie that her name was Rose Dawson. Did she really think this was like, a lifetime thing? This would be like if you changed your Facebook relationship status after hooking up with a guy on vacation. I’d bet a third class ticket on the Titanic that Jack’s dying thoughts on that icy Atlantic night went something like: “F*ck, this is some lose-lose sh*t, it’s either die now or move in for life with a girl I banged once on Spring Break. This is what I get for hooking up with a virgin instead of my usual Parisian prostitutes.”

Don’t agree? Mad I ruined your favorite romance? Whatever, I’ve done it before, this is essentially my M.O. now. Not to mention, Rose literally gets married and has a bunch of kids with some other dude later in life, so CLEARLY her relationship with Jack was not that deep. I guess you could say that she does… in fact… let go.

Images: Giphy (4)