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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Fatal Attraction (1987)

#2 - 1987 Box Office: Gross $156,645,693

A look that led to an evening
Adrian Lyne directs this thriller about infidelity.  Dan Gallagher (Michael Douglas) is a New York lawyer with a wife (Anne Archer) and young daughter.  When the girls leave for the weekend, he has a short affair with Alex Forrest (Glenn Close), whom he met at a work party.  However, Alex doesn't want the affair to end when Dan's family returns.  She slits her wrists, tries to buy his affection with opera tickets, stalks his family and even kidnaps his daughter for a day out at an amusement park.  Dan moves out of the city, changes his number and tries to ignore Alex, but sometimes affection becomes obsession and you can't outrun crazy.
Trivia (mostly courtesy of the IMDb)
  • Spent eight consecutive weeks #1 at the Box Office, eventually being knocked to #2 by The Running Man
  • Glenn Close still has the knife she used in the movie hanging in her kitchen
  • Alex Forrest suffers from an obsessive condition known as de Cl√©rambault's syndrome
  • Maurice Jarre's score doesn't kick in until almost a half-hour into the film
  • After poor audience reaction to the original ending, in which Alex kills herself but frames Dan for her murder, it was decided that the ending would be re-shot
  • During the re-shoot, Close suffered a concussion from one of the takes when her head smashed against a mirror.  When treated at the hospital, she discovered she was several weeks pregnant
  • At the beginning of the film, Dan & Beth's daughter Ellen (Ellen Hamilton Latzen) is watching "You Can't Do That On Televsion"
You must have to be discreet
The film starts out interesting—here's a story about some very extreme consequences of a one-night stand.  Written in the mid-'80s, it's hard not to imagine this as a parable against the AIDS epidemic. However, as the film reaches its third act, it becomes more of a horror story rather than a psychological warning against sleeping around.  The villain actually (SPOILER) pulls a Jason/Freddy/Michael and comes back for one last scare!  I think the original ending (talked about above) sounds more intriguing to me.  Why should Dan not have to pay for his infidelity? Also, Archer is excellent with what little she's given to do.  I really longed for more scenes between Dan and his wife discussing what happened, but the film is too busy rushing toward its ridiculous ending.

Ponch's Rating:

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