I finally realized why I’ve had such a striking sense of deja vu each time I see the Australia trailer on television. It’s not simply the fact that I’ve been seeing trailers for this film for what feels like at least eight months by now, but it’s because, according to the trailer getting airtime now, I’ve already seen the movie.

I saw it eleven years ago. It was called Titanic.

I know, I know. It’s clearly not the same film. Baz Luhrman now, James Cameron there (upgrade). Nicole Kidman rather than Kate Winslet (huge downgrade. I love KW). Hugh Jackman instead of Leonardo DiCaprio (upgrade given by my present self, downgrade given by my 1997 self, who loved herself some Leo). Based on the Darwin bombing, based on the sinking of an unsinkable ship.

But here’s the thing: Baz or whomever was in charge of the trailer editing clearly banked on the fact that I and about $600 million worth of other people were suckered into the whole Titanic business. The trailer makes it perfectly clear. Why? Let’s break it all down, shall we?

AUSTRALIA: Nicole Kidman is wearing a silly hat and looking all high and mighty as she arrives in a new land. As she totters about, Hugh Jackman, rough-hewn man of Australia in his weathered man of the earth clothing, is getting into a fight. They are, trailer tells us, “two people…from two different worlds.” Hugh Jackman saucily grins at Kidman. “Welcome to Australia.”

Titanic Counterpoint: Kate Winslet is wearing a silly hat and looking disdainfully at the Titanic as she prepares to board in Southampton. As she totters about, trying to ignore Billy Zane (wisely so, as he was at his most charming in Zoolander, a film still four years away), Leonardo DiCaprio, scrappy American in his weathered man of the earth clothing, is thisclose to getting his ass kicked during a poker game. Both Winslet and DiCaprio board Titanic in different classes. They are two people from two different worlds, as the Irish Guy tells Leonardo. “Oh, forget it, boy-o. You’ll never get next to the likes of her.” And yet he does when he carefully (and with the slightest bit of sauciness) tells Kate Winslet that she’s not going to jump off the back of the Titanic only 45 minutes into a 3-hour-plus movie.

AUSTRALIA: Cue the sweeping shot of the Australian desert. Hugh Jackman tells Nicole Kidman as they are driving in a car that she would be more comfortable if she wore “something a little less…constricting.” An indignant Nicole Kidman tells him to keep his eyes on the road. After an awkward moment involving a tent, Nicole realizes that there might just be a good heart inside Hugh Jackman’s rugged chest. Sexual tension!

Titanic Counterpoint: Cue the sweeping shot of the Titanic as it crosses the Atlantic. Leonardo DiCaprio asks Kate Winslet about Billy Zane and whether or not she loves him. An indignant Kate Winslet tells him to keep himself in order, reminding him that he is a third-class passenger on this ship. After an awkward moment involving her first refusal to never let go of his hand (oops, spoiler), Kate grabs Leonardo’s sketchbook, looks through, and realizes that there is the heart of a poet inside Leonardo’s…well, his chest. Sexual tension!

AUSTRALIA: Sweeping shots continue before Nicole Kidman tells Hugh that she is “as capable as any man. Bring the horse!” Hugh Jackman replies. “You can’t be serious.”

Titanic Counterpoint: Kate Winslet tries to spit off the side of the Titanic. Leonardo DiCaprio looks at her with an expression that clearly says, “You can’t be serious. That wasn’t spitting, Kate.”

AUSTRALIA: Nicole Kidman rocks the horseplay, laughs with Hugh and then drinks as she’s all sweaty, proving indeed that women know how to hold their liquor.

Titanic Counterpoint: Kate Winslet proves that she can party with the steerage folks, laughs with Leonardo, stands on pointe and then drinks as she’s all sweaty, disputing the myth held by Leo. “What? You think a first-class girl can’t drink?”

AUSTRALIA: “Their love…defied the rules.”

Titanic Counterpoint: Their love…really pissed off Billy Zane and broke some serious societal rules.

AUSTRALIA: Just as Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman are getting close (and have time for what looks like a couple of love scenes), disaster strikes, in the form of Japanese planes. Long reaction shots of the planes flying in.

Titanic Counterpoint: Just as Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio have finished up in the car that was conveniently waiting in the ship’s hatch, disaster strikes, in the form of an iceberg. Long reaction shots of the berg approaching and the ship trying to turn in time.

AUSTRALIA: Bombs drop, people start dying.

Titanic Counterpoint: Berg hits, people start drowning.

AUSTRALIA: Hugh Jackman appears clean-shaven, hair slicked back, in a tux. Boy from the wrong side of Australia knows how to clean up nicely.

Titanic Counterpoint: Leonardo DiCaprio appears, hair slicked back, in a tux. Boy from the wrong level of the ship knows how to clean up nicely.

AUSTRALIA: Hugh Jackman hits people, Nicole Kidman hits people.

Titanic Counterpoint: Leonardo DiCaprio hits people, Kate Winslet hits people, Kate Winslet flips off the creepy valet guy.

AUSTRALIA: Nicole Kidman to Hugh Jackman: “We can’t let them win.”

Titanic Counterpoint: Winslet to Leonardo DiCaprio: “I’ll never let go, Jack!”

All I’m saying is that if you don’t want to head to the theaters this holiday season to see Australia, I’ll fill you in on what happens: Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman wind up drifting in the Pacific, with only one piece of wood to keep them dry. Although it’s big enough for both of them, Hugh Jackman gallantly offers her the board and Nicole is way too selfish to give up any space for him. They hold hands, they pledge their undying love and then Hugh gets eaten by a shark and dragged to the bottom of the ocean, just because Nicole is worried about the board tipping over. But such a waste of beautiful bronzed manflesh is justified by the fact that Nicole Kidman promises to always remember him and one day tell the story of their love to a jewel-hunting group of “scientists.” What she doesn’t tell Hugh before Jaws arrives is that she’s going to throw the diamond into the ocean, thus keeping their love pure for the rest of time.

FIN.

This post dedicated to The Jay, President and Founder of the Reese Witherspoon Fan Club. And here’s a big VV thank you to Boston.com for the link love!

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