The idea of "classic Hollywood narration" derives from The Classical Hollywood Cinema (1985), by David Bordwell, Janet Staiger, and Kristin Thompson.

          "Classic Hollywood narration focuses on an individual or small group of individuals who early on encounter discrete and specific goals that are either clearly attained or clearly unattained by the film's end. The goals tend to exist in two spheres, and their pursuit is developed along parallel and often interdependent plot lines. One sphere is private, generally a heterosexual romance; the second is public--a career advance, the obliteration of an enemy, a mission, a discovery, and the like."

(William Luhr, “Tracking The Maltese Falcon: Classical Hollywood Narration and Sam Spade,” in Close Viewings: an Anthology of New Film Criticism, ed. Peter Lehman [1990], 7-8)


Compare Graeme Turner, Film as Social Practice (2nd. Ed., 1993), pp. 80-81:

Even now, within most mainstream Hollywood productions, audiences expect to encounter a plot centered around a main character played by a star; driven by a consistent set of cause and effect relationships; employing a double plot structure which links a heterosexual romance with another sphere of action (adventure, business, crime, for instance); and which uses the romantic clinch as the sign of narrative closure. Departures from such conventions within contemporary Hollywood cinema are usually seen as especially realistic and 'confronting,'. . . as especially 'arty,' . . .or as fantasy.


Compare Maltby, Hollywood Cinema (2nd ed., 2003), p. 12:

Like most Hollywood movies, Titanic contains two distinct plots, a love story and, in this case, an account of the disaster. These two plots are as connected to each other as any individual viewer requires. Chronologically, they are almost completely separate. The love story reaches its climax and resolution 100 minutes into the movie's 194-minute running time, when Rose (Kate Winslet) tells Jack (DiCaprio) that she intends to leave the ship with him. Immediately afterwards, the ship hits the iceberg and the spectacular action movie begins. This coincidence allows viewers to connect the two sequences of events if they choose to do so: Rose, who has described the Titanic as "a slave ship, taking me back to America in chains," rejects the luxurious repression the ship represents, and by her act of free will dooms the ship. For those viewers who choose such an interpretation, the story "moves from Rose's sexual objectification and her suicidal frame of mind (in which she turns her anger against herself) to her sexual liberation and the externalization of her aggressive impulses in the spectacle of the ship's destruction."

          In his book on Titanic, David Lubin suggests that the simultaneity of the kiss and the crash "adhere to the governing rule of historical fiction, which is that public and historically significant events are best understood by taking measure of the private and personal struggles of fictitious characters put forth as ordinary people whose lives happen to be directly affected by those events."17 We witness the disaster from the perspective of Rose, Jack, and the other characters we have met in following their love story.