The 20th anniversary of Titanic is approaching, and people are STILL trying to figure out why Jack was unable to get up on the door with Rose to safety after the ship went down.
James Cameron just did an interview with Vanity Fair about the 20th anniversary and finally gave us an answer. Here’s his full response:
“And the answer is very simple because it says on page 147 [of the script] that Jack dies. Very simple. . . . Obviously it was an artistic choice, the thing was just big enough to hold her, and not big enough to hold him . . . I think it’s all kind of silly, really, that we’re having this discussion 20 years later. But it does show that the film was effective in making Jack so endearing to the audience that it hurts them to see him die. Had he lived, the ending of the film would have been meaningless. . . . The film is about death and separation; he had to die. So whether it was that, or whether a smoke stack fell on him, he was going down. It’s called art, things happen for artistic reasons, not for physics reasons.”
TL;DR: It happened because he wanted it to happen. That’s all we need to know, right?