Based on the real-life tragedy of the RMS Titanic in 1912, Titanic tells a fictional story led by fictional characters, although, through them, the audience met some characters based on real-life passengers of the ship. Titanic, then, follows first-class passenger Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet) and third-class passenger Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio), who over the course of four days meet, get to know each other, fall in love, and defend their romance from those who look down upon them. Rose and Jack represent two very different worlds, and through each one of them, the audience gets a glimpse at their lifestyles, struggles, and the people closest to them, of which some were very important to them and were simply ignored as the story progressed.
While telling the story of the tragic romance between Rose and Jack, Titanic ended up hurting some of its minor characters, but perhaps the biggest failure was against Fabrizio (Danny Nucci), Jack’s friend who even though wasn’t key in Rose and Jack’s story definitely deserved better.
The differences between Rose and Jack’s lifestyles are shown in their very first scenes. Young Rose arrives in a fancy car, wearing expensive clothes, and accompanied by her fiancé, Cal Hockley (Billy Zane), and her mother, Ruth (Frances Fisher), while Jack is seen at a bar, playing poker against two Swedish men who bet their Titanic tickets. Fabrizio was Jack’s best friend and was Jack’s partner at the poker game that led them to win the tickets and board the Titanic. Jack’s backstory is unknown, so it’s unclear how long he and Fabrizio had been friends, but they surely were very close as they went to lengths to get on the Titanic. Once on board the ship, Jack and Fabrizio walked around and ended up starring in the famous “king of the world” scene, but once Jack met Rose, Fabrizio was pushed aside. He was present at the third-class party that Jack and Rose attended after having dinner with the first-class passengers, and after that, Titanic completely forgot about Jack and Fabrizio’s friendship.
To make it all worse, the last time Jack and Fabrizio saw each other was while the Titanic was sinking and third-class passengers were trapped. Jack gave Fabrizio a quick hug and, with the help of Tommy, they managed to free the passengers, and they parted ways again. Fabrizio and Tommy stayed together while Jack and Rose went through their own drama with Cal and the Heart of the Ocean, while Tommy was shot by First Officer Murdoch and Fabrizio was later killed when one of the ship’s funnels broke and crashed into the water, crushing him to death. Titanic presented Jack and Fabrizio as best friends and quickly forgot about their relationship, which can be easily justified by Titanic being told by old Rose, though there’s also the belief that Jack and Fabrizio weren’t that close. Exploring the friendship between Jack and Fabrizio in Titanic would have allowed the audience to get to know Jack a bit more beyond his relationship with Rose, but the writers totally missed that chance.