Five Ways Something Ruined My LifeFive Ways ‘Jurassic Park' Ruined My LifeErin Mallory Long

Long before I saw Dawson’s Creek and knew to be obsessed with Steven Spielberg, I saw Jurassic Park and was obsessed with Steven Speilberg. (Okay, I guess I loved Hook, too, but the point is that I wasn’t AWARE of these so-called “movie directors” until I was a little older.) My brother and I would spend most summers at my grandparents’ place on a lake so I would miss out on summer movies. As I got older I’d be like, “Hey, I want to see that, too!” and then one of my parents would just take me to see whatever movie I had missed. The summer before, it was Batman Returns with my mom (man, did she NOT enjoy watching the Penguin eat those fish), and then in 1993 it was Jurassic Park with my dad.

Not to go all Dawson Leery on you or anything, but when I saw Jurassic Park, something changed for me. I just remember being so in AWE of everything that was happening on screen and just completely in the moment. I was basically convinced dinosaurs had come back to life and as a huge fan of The Land Before Time and the museum exhibit “Dinosaurs Alive!”, I could not be happier.

But, with everything that I love, it ruined my life. Here’s how:

1. I’m Head-Over-Heels In Love With Jeff Goldblum

I had a lot of weird crushes as a youth and young adult (that have all continued into adulthood for the most part). My mom finds my crush on Michael Douglas the MOST disturbing (I mean, American President or even Fatal Attraction? Come on!), but I’m not sure how obvious my other crushes on non-teen idols were when I was younger. Though I do remember watching Jurassic Park and knowing that I was going to marry Dr. Ian Malcolm.

Swoon.

I mean, the man is a chaotician. How cool is that? And he’s always in black, so you know he’s cool. Plus, he spends the whole time hitting on Laura Dern (which is obviously who I wanted to be in Jurassic Park), so it was pretty perfect. Fourth grade was also when my love of science and learning was probably at its peak (NYS Science Test, anyone? Yeah, I got a 100%, whatever) so anyone who could share my love of science was who I wanted to be around. And it didn’t matter to me that he said things like “I’m always on the lookout for the future ex-Mrs. Malcolm.” I was okay with that and that’s probably a disturbing look into my psyche.

One of my biggest regrets in life is that when I finally “met” Jeff Goldblum (after seeing him in The Pillowman on Broadway), I didn’t tell him how much I love Jurassic Park or Independence Day.

That fact used to be part of my bio on MySpace, so you know it’s sincere.

2. Think Being A Know-It-All Is Cool

Okay, so I saw Jurassic Park in fourth grade, right? Well, I don’t know about you, but part of MY fourth grade curriculum was dinosaurs. So this was right after we finished a whole unit on dinosaurs. I also, at this time, was really into sharing my knowledge with anyone who would listen. This is a trait that runs in my family, since my brother spent a whole trip to the Grand Canyon at 3 years old telling everyone the wingspan of various bats.

But anyway, I was so stoked that I knew so much about dinosaurs and then got to see a movie ABOUT dinosaurs that I was shocked when the majority of the dinosaurs were not even from the Jurassic time period! What a crock! I mean, everyone knows the T. Rex is from the late Cretaceous period. Duh.

I also was surprised that none of my super intelligent scientist buddies within the movie ever pointed this out. Like, come on, guys, I know you’re trying to stay alive and not get eaten, but maybe find a minute to point out to the old Scottish guy that his park has a completely erroneous name.

3. Made Me Extremely Distrustful of Port-A-Potties

I mean, who DOES trust a port-a-potty, am I right? But seriously, every time I get in one, I just think about how it’d be an awful place to hide from something trying to kill you. Now, I guess in Jurassic Park it’s really an outhouse, but I don’t think I’ve ever been in a proper outhouse, so this is the closest I can get to it.

I mean, poor Mr. Gennaro. He was just so afraid of the T.Rex that he abandoned the kids and ran into . . . the toilet. I mean, luckily he wasn’t using the toilet, I guess. But it’s still a pretty terrible way to die. I certainly don’t want to be eaten by a T.Rex.

He just can’t catch a break. Even Hammond (aka the “brains” behind Jurassic Park, who presumably hired him) doesn’t like the lawyer dude. Though this is such a good line “You were meant to come down here and defend me against these characters, and the only one I’ve got on my side is the blood-sucking lawyer!” The ’90s truly was the golden age of lawyer jokes.

But seriously, stay away from port-a-pottys.

WHY DID YOU THINK HIDING HERE WOULD WORK?!

4. Have Some Amber Jewelry That I Still Want to Crack Open to Steal Dino DNA

I mean, I don’t know about you, but I want a pet dinosaur.

I’m not crazy, I’d totally just get a little one. Like maybe a flying one like Petrie from Land Before Time? So when I saw Jurassic Park I thought to myself, why can’t I do that?

Right? This looks SO easy!

Seems pretty simple: grab some amber, extract some dino DNA, combine it with frog DNA and blamm-o, you’ve got yourself a dinosaur. I have some amber jewelry that was my grandmother’s and I painstakingly checked every piece for a mosquito that I could use to make dinosaurs.

No such luck.

Nope! No fossilized mosquitos in here!

5. Completely Contradicts My Belief That B.D. Wong Is Always Right

Here’s my issue: B.D. Wong is always right.

But Jeff Goldblum is ALSO always right.

How can they both be right??

So then, in Jurassic Park when they don’t agree, I don’t know what to do with my life! It’s like, they can’t BOTH be right. But I also refuse to think either of them is wrong. So that hatching scene where B.D. explains that all the dinosaurs are girls and Jeff Goldblum is like, uh, hello, you can’t control nature is SO STRESSFUL to me. Probably the most stressful scene of all. (Okay, well, maybe not, but it’s still pretty stressful.)

Obviously I love SVU so it’s crossed over to there as well. I’m always like, “Duh, just listen to B.D. Wong, he’s always right.” I think if I ever met him in real life I would just ask him for medical advice and listen to everything he said and he’d be like, “What are you talking about? Do you now understand acting?” And I would be all, “Of course I do, Dr. Huang!”

Also, this is the best exchange ever:

Henry Wu: You’re implying that a group composed entirely of female animals will… breed?
Dr. Ian Malcolm: No, I’m simply saying that life, uh . . . finds a way.

Also, in band, we always played medleys that included the music from Jurassic Park. It was amazing.

(all images mine or from my DVD)

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  1. Oh Jurassic Park. That movie changed my life. It was the first “adult” movie I watched at the theaters (I was 8). I spent half of that movie sitting on my mom’s lap, half scared to death, half exhilarated by the whole experience. Instead of being Laura Dern, I wanted to be Lex. I dreamed of being Lex in Jurassic Park. Apparently being attacked by a T-Rex, sneezed on by a brachiosaurus, and stalked and chased by a Velociraptor is every girls dream. I knew every line of that movie and I would even act out the kitchen part with my cousin. Obviously after it came out there was Dino-mania everywhere so there were always dinosaur books, and they even opened a super cool dino expo. I became obsessed with dinosaurs and decided I wanted to be a paleontologist when I grew up (in hopes that someone would somehow invite me to a park full of dinosaurs). I watched that movie again after like 10 years of not watching it, I still knew the lines… I still wanted to be Lex. So sad.

  2. You’ve got to hand it to the kids in the movie though. Not a lot of people were used to acting with CGI effects back then (you know acting scared over something that wouldn’t be added into the movie until later through a computer). However it was soooo sooooo cool that they really did have a lot of animatronics and not just computer generated effects. Dr. Grant is the best! “Lexie…..you’re choking me!” Oh and Lexie’s “He…He….HE LEFT US!” Best part is when the kids are chowing down on the buffet food and you just see the jello starting to shake on Lexie’s spoon because she see’s the raptors shadows heading their way. So eerie.

    Oh and of course the ever so clever “Hold onto your butts” quote from Samuel L. himself. Classic Sam.

  3. Thank you for validating my love of Jeff Goldblum at a young age!! I also fell for him Jurassic Park. That crush was slightly diminished by watching him in ‘The Fly’ though :( I think this has to be my favorite line of his… Dr. Grant- ‘It looks like we’re out of a job.’ Ian Malcom- ‘ Don’t you mean extinct?’

    • Such a good line. I’ve actually never seen The Fly. But I mean, Independence Day…just made me love him more.

  4. Oh man, you hit it on the head. I remember falling head over heels in love with Jeff Goldblum when I was a wee ten-year-old watching Jurassic Park. The crush still rages on today.

    I’ve been on a massive JP kick lately. This article was very well-timed :) thanks!

    ps: Dinosaurs rule.

    • I saw Jeff Goldblum in a bar last summer and was with my husband (among other people) and literally “jokingly” took off my wedding ring and pretended I was going to go talk to him. All in good fun. But I did make him make eye contact with me and it was pretty amazing.

  5. I will forever love Goldlum as well. Those theories! “dinosaurs had their shot and… uhh.. nature SELECTED them for extinction.” Must say, Dr. Alan Grant has grown un me as well. I was also in 4th grade when this came out and had a younger brother just like joseph mazzello. We TOTALLY wanted to BE those kids- because, YEAH ok, they were in a hairy situation- but imagine the adventure! hiding from raptors, sleeping in trees- fending off a TREX with sunroof glass and shrieks! Yes, please (the one downside is that they never got to finish the feast).

    Re: Newman. I always felt bad for him because he was overweight and wore glasses. Poor guy. POOR GUY?? What am I thinking, he is the VILLAIN!!

  6. Jurassic park ruined my life too: I’ve got ” velociraptor phobia”; when I was a child I thought velociraptors would be able to find me if I didn’t sleep in fetal position (I got over it eventually) . If someone tells me there is a velociraptor in my closet, I start getting really anxious; I know it’s stupid and velociraptors are extinct , and there is no way one could crawl into my closet xD
    I don’t know if other people have velociraptor phobia, may be it should have a funny medical name of it’s own.

    • I mean, those things are TERRIFYING. I love the beginning when he scares the little boy with the claw. Clever girl.

  7. this is my most favorite article ive ever seen on here. jurassic park also came out when i was in fourth grade and i swear ive seen it hundreds of times. yeah, i hum the theme song constantly. i still think the special effects are some of the best ever (they look so real!). and i too had/have an unnatural love for jeff goldblum (side note, ive also been in love with kevin bacon since about the 4th grade too. thats kind of wierd.)