the Thinking Chicks Guide to Movies

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Fatal Attraction (1987)

Reviewed on 2007 October 16

This has a lot of clichés and a couple of hackneyed bits, and one really snicker-inducing chord of music about two-thirds of the way through (email me in private if you miss it; I’ll point it out so you can giggle too). Pair it with a nice carby dinner and it’s still a Friday night guilty pleasure twenty years after it’s release.

Dan Gallagher has seemingly everything: his beautiful wife Beth (Anne Archer), his adorable daughter Ellen (Ellen Hamilton Latzen), and a gorgeous home in New York he can share with his hip and trendy friends. And how did he get all the goodies? With a job that apparently gives him long hours but pays him serious coin to go to upscale literary parties and eat sushi with clients. What more could a puny mortal want?

No, I don’t know either, but apparently, he thinks he’ll find it with Alex Forrest (Glenn Close), a big-haired blonde that likes blood-red nails and leather clothes. Beth is out of town, and Alex is there, and… well, you know the rest. Dan makes it plain to Alex from the beginning that he loves(?) Beth and this is just a fling, but Alex will have none of that. She loves Dan, and she will make him love her. She will, oh yes she will, DO YOU HEAR ME????

Adrian Lyne directed both this potboiler and Jacob’s Ladder, and I’d love to see him helm another scary film. This is more frightening overall than Play Misty For Me — it aged better, and because Evelyn seems almost from the beginning to have a mess of toys in the attic, she is arguably scarier than Alex, and yet it’s not as surprising when she loses it. Close does an amazing job as Alex, as she slowly gets crazier and and more menacing. There’s one bit where she shows such unbelievable chutzpah that the first-time viewer will probably have the same dropped jaw I did. Michael Douglas delivers the goods, and Anne Archer is sympathetic as Beth.

Three chocolate morsels. It may be by-the-numbers, but people are still talking about it today.

Shukti

morsel morsel morsel

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