(This classic Dave Barry column was originally published May 31, 1998.)
I finally finished the script for the sequel to the movie ''Titanic.'' I am calling it -- and let the legal record show that I thought of this first -- ``Titanic II: The Sequel.''
I am darned proud of this script. I have been working on it, without sleeping or eating, except for two grilled cheese sandwiches, for the better part of the last 35 minutes. I realize that sounds like a lot of work, but bear in mind that writer/director James Cameron spent nearly twice that long on the script for the original movie, which was titled ``Titanic I: The Original Movie.''
As you know, ''Titanic I'' garnered a record 56 Academy Awards, including Best Major Motion Picture Lasting Longer Than Both O.J. Trials Combined; Most Total Water; Most Realistic Scene Of Bodies Falling Off The End Of A Sinking Ship And Landing On Big Ship Parts With A Dull Clonking Sound; and Most Academy Awards Garnered. The movie has made a huge star out of Leonardo DiCaprio, who has shown the world that he is not just a pretty face; he is a pretty face who, if he had been in my high school, would have spent a lot of time being held upside-down over the toilet by larger boys.
The phenomenal success of ''Titanic I'' also has served as an elegant rebuttal to the critics of writer/director Cameron, although this has not prevented him from going around Hollywood physically hitting these critics on the head with his Oscar statuette. Cameron was especially angry at Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan, who said Cameron's writing was trite and devoid of subtlety; this prompted Cameron to take out a full-page newspaper ad saying, quote, ''Bite me.'' I certainly don't want to take sides in this issue, other than to say that James Cameron is easily the most talented human being in world history including Michelangelo and Shakespeare and all four Beatles combined. I say this out of a sincere desire to have Mr. Cameron pay a hefty sum for my script for ''Titanic II: The Sequel.'' Here it is:
(The movie opens with the Titanic II getting ready to sail. As the ship's horn blasts a mighty departure toot, up runs spunky young Jack Dawson, played by Leonardo DiCaprio. There is seaweed on him.)
JACK: Whew! I just made it!
ROSE: Jack! I thought you had drowned! To death!
JACK: No! Fortunately, the bitter North Atlantic cold was unable to penetrate my protective layer of hair gel! Who are you?
ROSE: I'm Rose! Remember? You gave your life for me in ``Titanic I.''
JACK: But Rose was played by Kate Winslet!
ROSE: She didn't want to be in another movie with you, because your cheekbones are so much higher! So the part went to me, Demi Moore!
(The scene shifts to the ship's bridge.)
CAPTAIN: Ahoy, First Mate! Commence starboard computer animation! Full speed ahead!
FIRST MATE: Sir! We're getting reports of gigantic icebergs directly ahead! Shouldn't we go slow?
CAPTAIN: Don't be silly! What are the chances that we're going to hit another ...
(There is a loud crunching sound. Big pieces of ice come through the window, along with several penguins.)
FIRST MATE: Sir! The computerized sinking animation has commenced! (The scene shifts to the Poop Deck, where the water is rising fast. Jack and Rose are helping women and children into a lifeboat, when an evil villain appears with a gun.)
VILLAIN: Out of the way! I'm taking this lifeboat all for myself!
JACK: It's Kenneth Turan, film critic for the Los Angeles Times!
TURAN: That's right, and I shall stop at nothing to get off this ship, because the dialogue is terrible!
JACK: Is not!
TURAN: Is too!
(They commence fighting.)
THE LATE BURGESS MEREDITH: You can do it, Rock! Watch out for the jab!
JACK: Hey! You're in the wrong sequel!
(This distraction enables Turan, by cheating, to gain the upper hand.)
TURAN: I have gained the upper hand! Whatever that expression means! And now, pretty boy, I'm going to ... OHMIGOD! NOOO! (Turan is torn into raisin-sized pieces by an irate horde of young female Leonardo DiCaprio fans.)
JACK: Whew! That was close! Uh-oh! The ship is almost done sinking!
ROSE: This is it! I hope I don't end up as an old bag in this movie! (As the two lovers start to slip beneath the icy cold computerized waves, they embrace. There is a cracking sound.)
JACK: You broke my ribs!
ROSE: Sorry! I have tremendous upper-body strength since starring in ``G.I. Jane''!
JACK: Don't worry! As long as my cheekbones are OK! (The water slowly closes over them. In the distance, we hear two crew members on a lifeboat, looking for survivors.)
FIRST CREW MEMBER: What's that sound coming from over there?
SECOND CREW MEMBER: It sounds like ... Oh my God! It's Celine Dion!
FIRST CREW MEMBER: Let's get out of here!