Every single decision made in the alternate ending is the wrong one, from the overly dramatic music to the schmaltzy monologue, with the lunatic laughter of Bill Paxton serving as the cherry on top of this “Oops, all bad choices” sundae. Gloria Stuart looks on like a proud grandma when Brock and Lizzy start dancing (to no music), before looking up toward the sky and seeing a shooting star. If James Cameron wasn’t such a mega-blockbuster director, this scene could have been his calling card to make rom-coms for the Hallmark Channel.
The scene then cuts back to the ending we all saw in theaters, with Old Rose going to sleep and dying in her bed. The power of her reunion with Jack in the afterlife is completely lost following the cheeseball parade that came before, and any emotional response elicited by the film up until that point has since been transformed into eye-rolling annoyance. It’s the cinematic equivalent of finding out the entire movie was just a crummy commercial for Ovaltine, trading the chocolate powdered drink for embarrassing mawkishness.
I certainly hope whoever made the call to not use this ending was given a handsome bonus, and that Cameron rewatches this scene from time to time to keep him humble. “Titanic” narrowly escaped quite possibly the greatest misfire in movie history but at least we can all watch the footage together and laugh as maniacally as Bill Paxton at the ending that almost was.