Remembering Those Movie Guys: Donald Gennaro from Jurassic Park
Welcome to Remember Those Movie Guys. A weekly series where we blog about those guys in movies you totally remember but also remember nothing about.
So who are we profiling this week? The one and only Donald Gennaro from Jurassic Park. Who? The attorney? Who? The guy who abandoned the kids in the SUV? Who? The guy who got eaten on the toilet by the T-Rex. Oh yeah.
Now, we’re not here to argue about THAT scene. Or even really discuss THAT scene. It’s a classic. Everyone knows it. Cowardly adult abandons children, runs away in fear just trying to protect himself, thinks he finds safety in the sanctity of a unisex bathroom (even a T-Rex has the manners and decency to not disturb someone while they’re shitting, right?), but ultimately gets eaten by the giant, prehistoric lizard.
No. What we are to discuss though is character. To dive deeper into WHO Donald Gennaro is. Not to fantasize about what he tastes like. Or theorize if he was running to the bathroom because he was shitting his pants or if he just thought it was a good hiding place. We want to know who he is. So let’s break that down.
We get our first impression of Donald very early in the film. Like the second scene. He standing on some makeshift raft. In the jungle. Being pulled across some small pond or some shit. But the key thing to mention here is that the man is in a full three piece suit. Decked out head to toe, carrying a briefcase, dressing up as full big boss business boy to go talk to some mustachioed archaeologist in the middle of the fucking humid jungle.
Now from a story and visual perspective, this is funny. Big city lawyer. Total fish out of water. Not knowing what to wear to consult with some dude in the jungle. HAHA. This is silly. And we’re not really supposed to analyze this any further.
BUT if we do overthink this. And that’s what we’re gonna do. We almost have to logically conclude that this man is either A) a fucking moron for dressing like that for that climate or B) that Big Boardroom Business Boy suits are the only articles of clothing he owns. Because this isn’t a man that was kidnapped in the city by some terrorists. He didn’t have a bag put over his head. He wasn’t flown to the jungle with a gun forced up against his temple, and told to go negotiate with some archaeologist. This was a man whose secretary told him his itinerary that morning: “Meeting in the jungle with archaeologist today sir,” and he either thought “I know just what to wear to intimidate this clown” or “Oh shit, my stuff from the LL Bean catalogue hasn’t arrived yet.”
Because it’s not like he didn’t know what “meeting in the jungle” entailed. It wasn’t the jungle just right off of exit 85 Or something. This was a man with multiple connecting flights. Presumably from New York or Los Angeles. Flying all the way down to the most rural parts of South America. And the whole time, he’s thinking he packed and dressed appropriately.
Now, to be fair to Don. He does seem to learn from his stylistic mistake from the beginning of the film. Because when he visits the actual park, he wears a pair of shorts. Still a coat and tie. Still a goofy hat. But shorts to let the boys breathe a bit. So now he’s gone from looking like big business boy in the middle of the jungle, to donning the garb of some British imperialist vacationing to see the natives. A mild improvement. But still ridiculous.
Now what else is there to uncover about Donald that we can’t surmise from just his attire? We’ve already concluded that he’s a bit of a fool. A bit goofy. Not malleable or adaptable in any sense. Probably a total hero in the boardroom because he’s a billionaire’s attorney, but a total nerd otherwise.
He’s clearly elitist. Grubby. Selfish. Only thinking about money. Laughs at the idea of lower class people being able to afford coming to the park. Chastises children for playing with night vision goggles because they’re heavy and therefor expensive. Claims “we” are going to make a fortune off the park when he sees his first dinosaur. So I guess we can assume he’s got a financial stake in the game too. Kudos for that.
One last little bit before we go. There is the one, maybe, throw away line where ole Don asks John Hammond if the scientists he’s looking at are robots. Now, it’s probably just there for comic relief. Because who could be this stupid? I do guess when you’re confronted with the reality that dinosaurs exist again, then your brain can revert back to a state of child-like wonder where all your fantasies could come true. But let’s be real here, the man’s an idiot. And that’s all there is to remember about our boy Donald Gennaro here.
Stay tuned for next week when we remember another movie guy. And until then, go listen to our podcast here:
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