Fatal Attraction (1987) (R)
This review contains some SPOILERS!
"Fatal Attraction" is what I would call a popcorn movie. There's nothing too special about it—it doesn't have a lot of brains, it doesn't have a lot of heart, even for being a thriller it doesn't have a lot of scares—but it is entertaining if but for one thing and one thing only...Glenn Close.
Alex Forrest is considered one of the best movie villains of all time simply for the nightmare that all men have—what if a one-night-stand turned into a horror show? In fact, Alex Forrest is such a well designed and mastered character that she lands at #7 on AFI's list of best villains. Only six people top her and it's hard to think of a more distinguished group of bad guys to be just beneath: Mr. Potter from "It's a Wonderful Life", Nurse Ratched from "One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest", The Wicked Witch of the West from "The Wizard of Oz", Darth Vader from "Star Wars", Norman Bates from "Psycho" and Dr. Hannibal Lecter from "The Silence of the Lambs". Beneath Alex Forrest on this list lie several iconic villains including the shark from "Jaws" and Jack Torrance from "The Shinning". It just goes to show that a woman gone wrong can be the most frightening thing in the world.
Let's be honest—"Fatal Attraction" is somewhat misogynistic. It portrays a woman who can't handle not having sole control over a man's life, so what does she do about it? Go see a therapist and cry for two days? No, she stalks him and kills his family's pets. That sounds logically doesn't it? The character, though (as previously stated) well-designed seems to be a reflection of a man's world. Wouldn't it be nice not to take responsibility for your actions by simply having the woman be crazy?
"Fatal Attraction" skips around some big holes. Why doesn't the wife throw a bigger fit? Why is there a happy ending? Why can't he just find a way to get it across that he's not into her anymore? Oh, right! She's crazy!
It's seems convenient but that's the way the film goes.
Now let's put all that aside. Okay so they skipped around the realistic way of how a family would handle the situation even if the woman was crazy, but let's just let it play out.
Dan Gallager is a happy man, he's got the job, the wife, and the kid. But when his wife goes away for the weekend he falls into the seductive nails of Alex Forrest who is just too eager to snatch him up. It's love for her, he fills the hole that she has inside her. When Dan realizes that he's made a mistake and tried to break it off with Alex she gives one of the most quoted lines from the movie "I'm not going to be ignored, Dan!"
Then it's off to kill the pets and kidnap the daughter and pour acid on the car.
The weakest part of the movie is Michael Douglas as Dan Gallager. He really doesn't carry like he should. Glenn Close as Alex however is deliciously evil and iconic in her star-making role.
I can overlook the fact that "Fatal Attraction" puts women down because, even though this one is a little more personal, there have been plenty of scummy men characters in movies as well. "Fatal Attraction" is just trying to entertain, which is does.
It's not the best movie ever but it creates great tension and is a thoroughly 80s movie.
This just makes me so happy that things have been invented since the time of "Fatal Attraction" like caller-id and alarm systems.
Gotta love background checks.
Score: 3 stars out of 4
Posted by Micah Jones