Greetings, bloggers! I’ve been watching a fair few thrillers as of late. Among these thrillers is the 1987 Adrian Lyne film, “Fatal Attraction”. As usual, I’ll be critiquing the plot of the movie, as well as the actors’ performances, my favourite and least favourite scenes, and whether or not it’s worth checking out. Without further delay, here’s “Fatal Attraction”!
The Plot in a Nutshell: Dan Gallagher (Michael Douglas) is a happily married lawyer based in New York City with his loving wife Beth (Anne Archer) and cute daughter Ellen (Ellen Hamilton Latzen). He should have little to no reason to engage in a meaningless one night stand, right? This isn’t the case, as his head is soon turned by Alex Forrest (Glenn Close), a comely publishing editor when Beth and Ellen are out of town, which leads to them sleeping together. However, Dan instantly regrets his impromptu fling, and lets down Alex brusquely, who wishes for it to continue.
This turns out to be something that he’ll regret in retrospect, since Alex turns out to be scarily psychotic, even going as far to attempt suicide when Dan reveals his intentions to put their whole one night stand behind him. She soon begins stalking Dan and his family , becoming chummy with Beth and threatening to unveil the affair. This leaves Dan fearful over what lengths Alex will go to snag her man, including kidnapping Ellen, but it soon transpires that not even Ellen’s pet bunny is safe from Alex’s wrath…
Character/Actor Observations: In my opinion, the main cast members absolutely nail their respective characters, especially Glenn Close, who is utterly compelling as the insane, scorned Alex. She has a superb foil in Anne Archer, who portrays the cuckolded, unsuspecting wife to a tee. Meanwhile, Michael Douglas delivers as a man who made a reckless decision in the spur of the moment, and must repent for his actions.
My Favourite Scene(s) in “Fatal Attraction”: The scene which comes to my mind when envisaging this film is the infamous “Bunny Boiler” scene, where Beth finds a nasty surprise awaiting her on the stove, courtesy of Alex. It helps to show us, the viewer, that things have just gotten really serious. It’s because of this scene that the term “Bunny Boiler” has gone down in history to be synonymous in pop culture with a cheating spouse, or a stalker.
My Least Favourite Scene(s) in “Fatal Attraction”: There wasn’t many scenes which I detested in the film. However, the sequence in which Alex kidnaps Ellen from her school is chilling. While it’s not bad by any means, the scene can really hit home to any parents in the audience, in that the idea of a child going off with a stranger just because they appeared to be nice could happen at any moment. Granted, Ellen doesn’t even realize that she’s being kidnapped, but it’s still a chilling, realistic sequence.
Actors Before they were Famous: This one’s for fans for the NBC sitcom, “30 Rock”. At the opening of the movie, we briefly see a teenage girl babysitting for the Gallaghers. This is Jane Krakowski, who would later be known for her role as diva Jenna Maroney on the sketch comedy.
Miscellaneous Trivia: It’s speculated that Alex has Borderline Personality Disorder, as many of the traits associated with that disorder are symptoms she exhibits throughout the movie, which include the common traits of fear of abandonment, mood swings and self harm. However, according to Glenn Close, when she read the script, she didn’t feel as though Alex had any known psychological disorder that she knew of. Close also states that to this day, passersby approach her on the street and remark “Thank you, you saved my marriage”!
My Take on “Fatal Attraction”: “Fatal Attraction” is a movie which still has the capacity to be genuinely shocking and suspenseful, even after almost 30 following the movie’s initial release. I present it with 3 and a half stars out of five, as it’s riveting and fast-paced, and you care about what happens to the characters, despite the fact that they make rash decisions at times.
Recommendations: If you enjoyed “Fatal Attraction” and wish to view other titles similar to it, then I’d suggest the gripping “Gone Girl”, starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike. For a version of “Fatal Attraction” set in high school, check out 2002’s “Swimfan”, with Jesse Bradford, Erika Christensen and Shiri Appleby.