WHEN: 7:45am EST, March 23rd, 2013
WHERE: In my apartment in Portland, ME
FORMAT: DVD on a 24” Philips CRT television
PHYSICAL AND MENTAL STATE: Groggy, had just woken up.
DOCTORS IN LOVE:
As I watched the first several minutes of Jurassic Park unfold before me early on this Saturday morning, I took note of the relationship between Doctors Grant and Sattler. Grant was bumbling around, messing up computers, and threatening kids with sharp objects. Sattler just looked on with loving amusement, and maybe a little embarrassment. Grant may be a dusty mean grump, but he’s her dusty mean grump.
What a cozy little relationship they have. They share a love of paleontology, a cute little trailer, and a cardboard cutout of a cat.
He’s curmudgeonly. She’s bubbly. The cat’s two-dimensional. They’re all adorable.
But might there be a problem here that we’re overlooking? Something just waiting to come between them. Something disastrous lurking in their hearts…
Behold the Menace.
She wants ‘em. He doesn’t. Unless they can reconcile this, there may be some rough times ahead. To make matters worse, their opinions are both very strong on this matter. Grant growls at every kid he sees, even friendly ones who dress like him and want to discuss dinosaur literature. And Sattler… well, time to make a little list:
- States that she could be intrigued by “a breed of child-Alan-Grant.”
- Mocks Grant’s lack of interest in having children, in front of Hammond.
- Gets upset when the tour doesn’t allow her to get a good look at the unfertilized eggs.
- Conspires to trap Grant in a car with children.
I’d say she’s interested in having kids.
From this angle, even the cardboard cat comes into question. Could it in fact be a surrogate child? The only object of care and affection that Grant and the badlands of Montana will afford her?
Actually, that would make this quite sad.
WHAT’S GRANT’S DEAL?:
Who knows why Grant doesn’t like kids? Maybe he has a fear of commitment. Maybe he just likes peace and quiet. Maybe a kid murdered his parents. In the end, the why is unimportant. There’s no rule saying that Grant has to like kids. That being said, he probably isn’t dealing with this problem in the most productive way. He’s rude, confrontational, and, ironically enough, childish.
At no point does he engage in a thoughtful conversation about the matter. He’s more likely to sit next to his DustBuster and pout.
Now this part of the picture is sad too.
Their relationship is no-doubt doomed. If only someone would come to their rescue. Why, if it isn’t Mr. Hammond!
Lit from behind, like an angel.
Hammond arrives, symbolically opens the bottle of champagne they had been saving for a special occasion (an engagement that will never come perhaps?) and offers them a trip to a magical island. They don’t know it yet, but once there, Grant will endure a trial. He will be put face-to-face with the children he finds so distasteful. He will lead them through a world of dinosaurs (the greatest passion in his own life) and in doing so he will learn to love them, or at the very least learn to love frightening them by faking his own electrocution.
Finally, the film ends with Sattler and Grant flying away in the helicopter. Grant holds the children in his arms and looks over to Sattler, as if to say…
“I like kids now. WE GOOD?”
And they are. THE END. Or not. It doesn’t really matter. That story-line has been neatly wrapped up, but who knows where their lives will take them? People are complicated, there’s no telling what other issues they might have that we never get to see. Who do I think I am to make all these assumptions about them, just from watching them run away from dinosaurs for two hours? Such presumption.
Tiny Malcolm judges me, for judging them.