Fridge Brilliance: Norma Desmond's theme, the most famous one of the movie, is the kind of music - exotic, epic, sweeping and grand - that suits the movie she wants to be in, an epic on the scale of Cleopatra or Ben Hur.
Max is a Troper. A former director, he knows all the classic storytelling devices and clichés. He sees Norma and Joe as classic Starcrossed Lovers having some Belligerent Sexual Tension, and works behind the scenes to stir it up and turn it into a real romance. Note the scene where he calls Joe to tell him that Norma has attempted suicide: he doesn't give him any details - doesn't even tell him if she's alive - guaranteeing that he'll come running to her side. He's constantly manipulating circumstances to get them together...because the narrative demands that they do.