Look, I generally have no patience for fan theories. I feel like I should get that out of the way up front, so that you realize I might be biased here.
However, I must say that I have recently encountered a fan theory which truly makes me want to rip my hair out of my skull. The theory involves everyone’s favorite three hour boat movie, Titanic, and whether or not Jack Dawson, everyone’s favorite thatch-headed wastrel, was actually real.
Yes. You read that correctly. This abomination of a fan theory suggests that Jack Dawson, one of the MAIN CHARACTERS of Titanic, was actually a figment of Rose’s imagination all along.
The theory apparently originated on Reddit, but was then perpetuated by the Alltime Movies Facebook page and BuzzFeed writer Billy Lorusso.
(Also: it was a door, not a board, BILLY.)
The “theory” operates under the assumption that Jack symbolizes Rose’s liberation from her suffocatingly aristocratic family, and is a personification of her rebellious streak. When Jack saves her from falling overboard, Rose is “actually” saving herself (SMH), and that’s why when Old Rose (that’s what I’m calling her) is confronted by the fact that there’s no record of a Jack Dawson ever existing, she simply responds by saying “No, there wouldn’t be, would there. … He exists now only in my memory.”
GEE, PRETTY FLIMSY LOGIC FOR A FAN THEORY, Y’ALL.
Let’s investigate just a few of the many reasons why this theory is trash, and deserves to be thrown out:
1. Who was Rose talking to during all those walks on the deck? It seems unlikely that Rose just found some drawings of naked French girls lying around. And I feel like the other passengers would surely have noticed her flirting with herself.
2. Who drew the nude portrait? Um, YEAH. Did Rose just enlist her own services, get naked in front of herself and then draw her own portrait using a mirror or something? The portrait is one of the few pieces of physical evidence in this movie that actually corroborates Old Rose’s story! It’s one of the few things we know definitely does exist, and if Jack didn’t draw it, then who the fuck did??
3. Who took her to the underground, third-class party? I feel like Rose wouldn’t have gotten the “invite” unless she had a friend who was staying in steerage. Also, it would be really hard for her to spin around that dance floor all by herself.
4. Was Jack’s friend imaginary, too? Here’s the thing: Jack exists when Rose is not around. He talks to people. LOTS of people! He does things, and those things have consequences! He has several friends that he speaks to, independently of Rose! How could he not be real when he was responsible for getting Fabrizio the ticket onboard the ship?
5. Why did Rose run back into the ship as it was sinking, if Jack wasn’t actually arrested? Seems pretty dumb to run back into a sinking ship unless the love of your life happens to be handcuffed below board!
6. WHO WAS ROSE HAVING SEX WITH? Okay, yeah. All of this aside, WHO WAS FOGGING UP THAT CAR WINDOW?
I’m probably giving this whole thing too much credence to begin with — but it’s highly important to me that, if any fan theories must circulate, they at least be good ones.
Whoever came up with this theory sounds like someone who just watched Fight Club or The Sixth Sense one too many times.