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 Star-Crossed 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.