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Sorry, Alan Grant And Ellie Sattler Were NOT A Couple In Jurassic Park

You all know the story: Paleontologist Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and paleobotanist Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) are sent by wealthy idiot John Hammond to visit Jurassic Park in Spielberg's film. Once things go south, Grant and Sattler both manage to escape with their lives. Hooray! You probably think they're a couple, right? The whole thing is super sweet? WRONG. If you watch the film carefully, there's no confirmation of romance between them. These two characters are dinosaur-obsessed work colleagues, close friends, and ultimately platonic. Here's how I know.

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1. In the book, they were never involved


In the original Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton, Sattler and Grant were very plainly not a couple. In fact, Ellie was Alan's graduate student. He was her boss. In the film version, they're on more equal professional footing. And while rumor has it that Spielberg originally DID include dialogue insinuating a romance between the two (there was even an onscreen kiss filmed!) he removed all that from the theatrical cut of the movie, perhaps to leave things more ambiguous and to make room for debates such as this one.

2. They are co-workers and bro-workers


When we first meet Alan and Ellie, they're working on uncovering some dinosaur bones (those of a velociraptor, to be precise... foreshadowing). You might think you can dispel my argument right here and now by pointing out how Ellie puts her arm around Alan tenderly, and how when he puts his arm around her, he grazes her butt.

Nope. They're just extremely buddy-buddy and comfortable with each other. She looks at him as kind of an older brother. And when you're pulling your arm down from someone's shoulder whilst simultaneously walking, it's pretty easy to accidentally swipe their bum. I've done it myself. Anyway, besties often walk hand-in-hand or even jokingly, playfully call each other "honey." These two are BFF goals.

3. They're not necessarily living together


We see them both in a trailer toward the film's beginning; but this looks to be a sort of messy and mobile paleontology workspace, not a lovenest. Yes, they were mutually saving some champagne in the fridge (which Hammond rudely cracks open when he first arrives), but that's probably not to celebrate anything sexy. They're both dino-addicts who are livin' the dream and excavating fossils, so I'm sure they were planning on opening the champs after getting their next dig funded or finding an especially cool new man-eating specimen or something.

4. He hates kids, she loves 'em

We first learn of Dr. Grant's kid allergy when he attempts to terrify this annoying little boy, who doesn't think raptors are anything to write home about. Afterward, Alan says to Ellie, "Kids! You want to have one of those?" to which Ellie replies, "I don't want that kid, but a breed of child, Dr. Grant, could be intriguing." I mean, if these two were seriously dating, Alan would obviously already know whether Ellie wanted kids (they're not that young) and they would definitely have come to some sort of agreement/arrangement about having them.

5. She wants him to be more paternal


Why does Ellie care so much if he likes kids? Because she's a nurturing, sweet person who knows his tendencies toward isolation. Alan is the type who holes himself up somewhere and focuses on work, work, work. He isn't great at socializing, so Ellie wants to help him out. Challenge him, take him outside of himself, open up his world. She sees how shitty he is at relating to Raptor Kid, so she's kind of teasing and testing him by forcing his interactions with Dr. Hammond's clingy grandchildren. And in the end, he becomes a richer, more patient man because he learns to care for those small bratty people.

6. He doesn't want Ian dating her

This one is pretty obvious: Alan tells cynical mathematician Ian Malcolm not to go for it with Ellie because he suspects Ian is a douche. He's being protective of his friend. Why shouldn't Alan like Ian, you ask? Well, they're very different, and I suspect Alan is a bit threatened by Ian's lighthearted approach to things, his casual and rebellious attitude. They're not romantic competitors so much as intellectual ones. Grant is stoic, brawny, old-fashioned, whereas Malcolm says things like, "I'm always on the lookout for a future ex-Mrs. Malcolm." Not exactly a traditional guy you'd recommend to your nice female pal.

7. Ian is way sexier


Look at Ellie's face here. She's pretty into what Ian Malcolm (played by the charismatic Jeff Goldblum) is doing. She flirts with him directly in front of Alan. And who among us could resist his bad boy charm? Dr. Grant looks pretty stodgy by comparison.

8. She marries someone else


In Jurassic Park III, Ellie and Alan meet up once again, years later, and she introduces him to her husband and two children (she's holding one of them here). Sorry, fanboys and girls. They don't end up together. Which is totally cool, because women need male friends/colleagues who respect them and their work, and that is exactly the kind of relationship these two have. Trust and admiration, but no sex.

9. She's a strong independent woman who don't need no man

Let's be real: Ellie goes to Jurassic Park because she lives and breathes dinosaurs, not because she's following her bae around. She's brave and resourceful and she survives. When Ian considers the bizarre evolutionary trajectory that led them here with his whole, "God creates dinosaurs. God destroys dinosaurs. God creates man. Man destroys God. Man creates dinosaurs...." spiel, Ellie finishes it off with this iconic line (possibly the best in the entire movie). She sounds fine with dinosaurs eating all the men. She almost welcomes it. Girl power, baby.

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