Sam: “There is no way we are going on a plane to meet some woman who could be a crazy sick lunatic! Didn’t you see Fatal Attraction?”
Jonah: “No. You wouldn’t let me.”
Sam: “Well I did and it scared the hell out of me. It scared the hell out of every man in America!”
---"Sleepless in Seattle"

A 1987 thriller directed by Adrian Lyne (who also directed “Indecent Proposal” and the more recent version of “Lolita”), "Fatal Attraction" was nominated for best picture at the Oscars that year. The film stars Michael Douglas as Dan Gallagher, Glenn Close as Alex Forrest, and Anne Archer as Beth Gallagher. As Tom Hanks verifies in his swift rant in “Sleepless in Seattle,” this movie pretty much scared the pants off (whoops bad choice of words) many men, especially those who cheat on their spouses.

Plot: A successful businessman and loving father (Douglas’s character) meets Alex (Close), a woman he works with, and the two have a brief but passionate affair. He soon realizes the extreme error of his ways and ends the affair, but Miss Forrest is none too pleased with his decision. Alex soon develops an obsession with Dan, and proceeds to terrorize him and his family.

Well I first saw this film when I was about 14, and enjoyed it, but never considered it one I would watch more than once or twice. I remember Close being described as a woman who oozes sex appeal in the movie, but I could never see that through her odd eye makeup and fluffy hair. She did, however, perform wonderfully well in the film (she never fails in any film I’ve seen of course) and does a terrific job exhibiting the intense, raw emotion of a passionate woman who’s slightly off her rocker, and her slow build of ferocity once her pride (and mind) is shredded. This is one of many films in which Douglas is clawed for by a beautiful-but-psycho woman, and his performance is good. The affair between the two is certainly torrent (Lyne is the torrent-affair-on-screen expert), though one sorta wishes that Dan, who committed the adultery, was punished a bit more somehow. I suppose Alex gave him enough torment though-- unfortunately his family experiences it as well. Eat popcorn during the film if you want, but nix on the rabbit stew.

A few little facts:

Debra Winger and Barbara Hershey both turned down the role of Alex.

Alex wears light colors the first part of the film, and gradually wears darker shades as her depression progresses.

The ending was re-shot after initial test audiences felt Alex wasn’t brought to justice.

The movie brought about a number of other similar films in during the years following, including “Pacific Heights,” and “The Hand that Rocks the Cradle.”

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