Fatal Attraction (1987)


Finally released on DVD, Fatal Attraction proves itself just as deliciously thrilling as when it was first released in 1987.

Glenn Close’s career got its first big boost in 1985′s Jagged Edge, but her role as Fatal‘s Alex Forrest pushed her into stardom. She seems like a nice enough gal at the start — though her hair could use some work, she’s a witty and sexy book editor… just the right kind of gal to lure Michael Douglas’s Dan Gallagher (a lawyer… married) into her bed. But Dan’s crisis of conscience sends him scurrying home to his family in short order, only for Alex to start obsessing over their ‘relationship.’

Barely a half hour into the film, Alex has slit her wrists, and Dan finds himself up the creek. History has well recorded where the movie goes from here.

Director Adrian Lyne (who provides a commentary track on the DVD, among various other enticing extras) was coming off Flashdance and Nine 1/2 Weeks and perfects his soft-focus ‘commercial’ feel here. We feel like we’re watching the perfect urban family story… until things take a sudden turn for the worse.

The movie hinges totally on Close’s acting chops as a psycho, and sure enough she’s got them in spades. On another viewing you’ll thrill over such juicy, foreshadowing dialogue like her attempt to woo a reluctant Dan over for a second tryst. He protests, saying he has to walk the dog at lunch. Alex replies, ‘Bring the dog! I love animals! I’m an excellent cook!’

Irony like that doesn’t make its way into many movies these days — especially not popcorn thrillers like this one. As mentioned above, the DVD has some interesting bonus material, most notably the original ending to the film, which is strikingly difficult than the bathroom showdown on the final cut.