56 of 61 people found the following review helpful
on June 17, 2002
This film did more for a return to monogomy than any social diseases! I've just re-watched this flick, and it's just as effective as when I first viewed it. Picture a younger Baby Jane Hudson combined with Jaws, and that's pretty much "Alex", Glenn Closes' woman scorned. Michael Douglas, as the typical, successful, arrogant, mid-'80's Yuppie, who, though perfectly nested in a seemingly great marriage to gorgeous, giving, Anne Archer, has to prove he's still a desirable stud by having a "casual" (WRONG!!) fling with Closes' "Alex", a sexy, also seemingly sophisticated associate of his. She initially gives the impression she wants the same thing as he, a "no strings attached" sex-fest, but, after a 24 hour marathon, while wifey is out of town, it begins to become apparent that Alex is becoming just a teensy bit possessive, and when Douglas, as diplomatically as possible, tries to explain to her that he's happily married, and it's dumpster time, Miss Alex IS NOT buying it. The ensuing harassment of he and his family, which starts with pranks from Alex to express her displeasure, turns into a horror-ride that will have your emotions tap dancing faster than Ann Miller!! Some people feel the need to rationalize the entirety of a film, "why'd she do that", that wouldn't happen", etc... not me. With a film like this, it either entertained me, or didn't. Well, this one certainly did. I found all the acting excellant, and the situation not all that unbelievable. Though "over the top", it is a non-stop ride of suspense as Douglas' nightmare (and life) un-folds. I recall there were some copy-cat flicks made shortly after this came out, trying to duplicate what this film has. Well, they didn't succeed, and were soon forgotten. I feel that this film, with its great cast , production, intelligent script, and direction, will not be topped for films of it's kind, and will stand the test of time. It pushes ALL the buttons.
38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on March 31, 2004
I always thought this film was totally unrealistic, just WAY too over the top in its presentation of the Alex Forrest character. Her initial little quirks, her escalating manipulation, her ultimate eruption into wholesale psychosis -- I lalways thought, "Oh pshaw, this is a cartoon! This is a movie-writer's concoction!"
And then: It happened to me (though not exactly the same circumstances... we both were single). I met a genuine borderline personality disorder, and that person behaved EXACTLY like Alex Forrest (though stopping short of rabbit boiling and knife violence). I watched the film again later, and was astounded at how well the details of borderline personality disorder were captured, the self-delusion, the emotional coercion, the complete disintegration of logic and final loss of control.
This is a great movie. And believe me, there really are people with all the tools (or lack thereof) necessary for becoming Alex Forrest in real life.
55 of 66 people found the following review helpful
on November 30, 2003
Let's face it: we're guys. Wandering eyes. A perceptive inclination to gander at a short skirt, a hint of cleavage, a heart-pounding hip wiggle. I ran smack dab into a door the last time I gawked, but consider myself darn lucky compared to Michael Douglas' character in FATAL ATTRACTION--a white-knuckled "don't-let-this-happen-to-you" thriller that vividly demonstrates what can happen to a guy when he lets other parts of his anatomy do his thinking for him.
Manhattan lawyer Dan Gallagher (Douglas) has it all: successful career, attractive wife, loving daughter. So why not have an extramarital fling with a woman he met at a party while the family is out of town? Sure. Just a one-night stand. No harm, no foul. But there's something very "foul" about Dan's partner in crime, because blonde Alex Forrest (Glenn Close) may have all the right moves in the sack, but she also has an elevator that doesn't go all the way to the top. So when Dan wants to shake hands and part company, Alex will have none of it, and the table is set for a one-way ticket to Looney Land.
Let the stalking. . .the suspense. . .the thrills and chills. . .begin. The bathroom scene, in which Dan's frazzled wife Beth (Anne Archer) wipes the steam off the mirror, is worth the price of purchase of this video alone.
Director Adrian Lyne (as usual) delivers a gripping, antacid-popping story. The only positive in FATAL ATTRACTION was the fact all this bad stuff happened to an attorney. Like, how sad. I'd like to write more, but I hear the wife calling--something about all the hair in the sink. Don't want to get her riled.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on November 17, 2005
Although it may seem hard to believe for many of today's viewers, 1987's "Fatal Attraction" was considered to be quite a breakthrough upon its release. There was even a lot of trouble in getting it off the ground because it was considered too risque and uncommercial.
"Fatal Attraction" was built up from a short film by screenwriter James Dearden, and the plot is admittedly pretty basic and straightforward. Michael Douglas plays Dan Gallagher, a lawyer who's been married for 9 years to his wife Beth, played by Anne Archer. Dan crosses paths with the Glenn Close character Alex Forrest for the first time at a business meeting. Instantly attracted to her, he introduces himself to her, and when Beth goes on a weekend vacation... Well, you can see where this is ultimately heading.
Don't get the wrong idea though thinking that "Fatal Attraction" is an airheadedly assembled movie. The premise may be simple, and the movie does kinda fall apart near the end, but apart from this, the scripting is masterful, the performances from Douglas and Close are intense and spellbinding, and Adrian Lyne's phenomenal, no-holds-barred directing keeps the suspense level ultra-high and the atmosphere just right throughout. The movie also sucks you with in how realistic most of it feels--just check out the one-on-one dinner scene early on in the movie where Dan tells Alex that his wife is out of town--Douglas and Close absolutely go to town with this brilliantly-realized, compulsively watchable scene.
Many viewers have complained that the movie doesn't zero in enough on why Dan would cheat on his wife in the first place. However, the movie does make it clear that Dan is somehow feeling unsatisfied in his marriage. There's a very sly scene early in the movie where Beth is seen in bed with their 6-year-old daughter Ellen, forcing Dan to sleep elsewhere. Presumably Ellen is scared or just can't sleep, and yet when Beth informs Dan it'll just be for that one night, you can detect a sense of disgust from Dan--clearly, Dan's feeling unsatisfied in his marriage.
The ending of the movie that was used for its theatrical release is highly debatable, and how you feel about it depends on the kind of person you are. If you're the kind who feels that a man cheating on his wife is inevitable and bound to happen once or twice, then the movie's official ending will probably be satisfying to you; the producers seemed to feel that this is how the majority of the public feels, hence their decision to end the movie this way and make it more "accessible". However, if you find cheating to be flat out inexcusable, you'll probably find it to be an incomplete, unresolved movie. I see where the producers were coming from, but I feel they could have done better. Alex Forrest is a deeply disturbed individual who undoubtedly has been sexually abused before her encounter with Dan, but that certainly doesn't make her psychotic behavior acceptable. At the same time though, no one on the right mind is going to find Dan Gallagher to be a very likable man--he really is despicably selfish and deserves to suffer some for his actions. It's a shame that the movie doesn't dig deeper into the marital issues of Dan and Beth, and also that it doesn't reveal more about what goes through Dan's mind regarding his actions, including having apparently gotten Alex pregnant.
Ultimately, "Fatal Attraction" is flawed, but it sure is extremely entertaining and suspenseful, keeping you on the edge of your seat throughout, AND it sparked debate among its viewers about serious matters. All that said, "Fatal Attraction" deserves to be hailed as, at least, a near-classic.
The "Special Collector's Edition" DVD of "Fatal Attraction" is definitely THE version to have, containing tremendous bonus material that makes the whole experience even more worthwhile. For one thing, you get to see the original ending of the movie before it was changed for theatrical release. This original ending may not have the blood and guts of what was ultimately used for the movie, but it's extremely gripping and puts a whole new spin on things, and it's actually more effective and satisfying--it's a shame, on an artistic level, that it wasn't used for the movie. There's also a nicely done, highly informative featurette containing interview material from Douglas, Close, Archer, Lyne, and the producers Stanley R. Jaffe and Sherry Lansing.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on May 9, 2003
With a hefty six Academy Award Nominations under its belt, Fatal Attraction is one of the most effective and intriguing thrillers ever made to date. Becoming a big hit in 1987 and years to come, Fatal Attraction crossed boundaries that film did not dare to cross in earlier years and caused this to be one of the most talked about films ever. With Adrian Lyne fresh of the FLASHDACE success, the direction makes this first so much better and more of a eye feast with everthing placed so logically. Many thrillers now have hints of ideas used in Fatal Attraction in them. Fatal Attraction was more than just a groundbreaking box-office hit.
Michael Douglas (giving an amazing performance) stars as Dan, a man married to a wonderful wife and father to a joyous daughter, who has dinner with a woman after a job meeting on the weekend when his wife goes to look at a new house. The woman, a stylish and sexy Glenn Close (who gives a nail-bittingly astonishing performance) whose character's name is Alex, first sees Dan at a book party when they have a quick chat together at the bar. When at dinner Alex begins to bring up the idea that they are two lonely adults both looking for some fun, and the next thing we know they are in the apartment.
After this one-night stand, Dan returns home to a call that his wife is staying another night because she could not go see the house. With another night of no wife, Dan gets a call from Alex who persudes Dan to spend another night with her. After contemplating another night of doing his relationship wrong, Dan goes back to Alex. Later in the film, Dan tries to shrug Alex away from him, but Alex will not feel like a "slut that Dan can bang when he feels". Now the terror begins. A loving father and a loving husband who has an affair tries to get back into a normal family life but the thought of Alex always searching for him and the thought of her being able to tell his wife whenever she gets in a bad mood, frightens him.
With chills and intrigument galore, Fatal Attraction turns into a mindblowing plot twister. The cast is fantastic, with career roles for both Michael Douglas and Glenn Close. Director Adrian Lyne shows an understanding of how to turn the visual screws with his camera movement and angles. Fatal Attraction turned out to be steep competition for all films and thrillers made in the years following. With both critical and movie-goer praise, this film seemed to impress all who watched.
The DVD includes over three hours of bonus material that includes the following: Commentary Track, Featurette, Rehearsal Footage of both Michael Douglas and Glenn Close, Alternate Ending, and the Theatrical Trailer. Whether you've seen this film or plan on seeing it, you will agree with me that this film is an ultimate thriller.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
"Fatal Attraction" has been a personal favorite of mine since I first saw it many years ago. I just revisited the film last night after my friend stated that he had never seen it. I told him that it was a travesty this film had never danced across his psyche, so I whipped it out of my collection and we watched away. Once the motion picture ceased, I decided I needed to review it.
This movie is so iconic for myriad reasons; I am not even sure where to start. This 1987 film was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actress. I still feel disenchanted that Glenn Close did not win for Best Actress; her performance was impeccable, uncannily holistic and down right insidious. I say this without malice towards Cher, who won the Oscar for Best Actress for "Moonstruck", which was also an amazing film and yes Cher was wonderful. As a matter of fact, "Fatal Attraction" lost in all six categories, which is unfortunate. Nevertheless, the Academy Awards are one part accreditation and one part popularity contest.
"Fatal Attraction" is about a New York Lawyer named Dan Gallagher (Michael Douglas), who has a weekend affair with Alex Forest (Glenn Close) when his wife (Anne Archer) and daughter are gone for the weekend. Dan views the affair as a fling and does his best to cut ties with Alex, but she is not having it and refuses to be "ignored". Alex becomes obsessed with Dan and harasses him, stalks him and makes his life a living hell.
There are some other minor elements to the film, but basically this is the meat and potatoes of the movie. Honestly the story is rather simplistic, which could leave it open to being a rather dull film. However the directing, editing, mood, acting and imagery make this movie one disturbing and malefic viewing experience.
I want to address the imagery and/or symbolism present in this movie. I never noticed until my viewing last night how much water played a part in this film. From the multiple times it rained in the movie to scenes that revolved around the sink and the zenith of the film in the bathtub. I also like how the color white is depicted in this movie, the opposite of pure. As for the acting well it is candid and gritty. Douglas is basically your everyday man who made a very stupid choice. I firmly believe that if "Wall Street" hadn't been released the same year Douglas would have been nominated for this movie. I have already shared my thoughts on Close; she scared the hell out of me. Actually, Archer was also nominated for Best Actress, so her performance is on point too.
This DVD edition has a plethora of features included commentary, interviews with cast & crew and the original ending. The original ending is very, very interesting and is the icing on the cake to this DVD. The film is presented in letterbox/widescreen and the audio is nice and crisp, overall a great purchase.
"Fatal Attraction" has been criticized for being guilty of misogyny. Mainly due to the fact that the character of Alex is an independent and successful woman, yet is totally dependent on a shallow relationship and is psychotic. I would say that the character of Alex Forest is a text book paradigm of borderline personality disorder. Therefore, it would make her presentation more of a character study than an anti-feminist movement. Not to mention this character isn't representing all women, just one. As for Dan, he isn't guilt free, he made some poor decisions but I truly believe he pays for it with the outcomes of his choices. As for the poor bunny...
In conclusion, this is one of the few movies that really scared me. Why one might ask? Mainly because this can happen, there are women (and men) in the world who are deranged and have a skewed perception on life and relationships. I for one have dated several women who have had some of Alex's traits. "Fatal Attraction" in its purest form is a horror movie, plan and simple. It is creepy, eerie, malevolent and down right spooky. It is as relevant today as it was in 1987, sure some of the fashion and hair is a bit dated, but at the heart of it these pathos are unchanging. I leave readers with this thought, if you truly want to cheat on your significant other, watch this movie first it just might change your mind about having that sordid one night stand...
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 31, 2003
The 1987 thriller gripped audiences with a superb, believably frightening plot about obscession. Michael Douglas plays Dan Gallegher, a yuppy lawyer from Manhattan who is happily married to his wife played by Anne Archer and their little daughter. After they meet at an office party, Alex (Glenn Close) and Dan become sexually attracted to one another. During a weekend, they engage in a steamy extra marital affair. But afterward, Dan makes it clear to Alex he does not want a relationship. He turns his attention back to his priorities- his job, his family.
Kudos to Glen Close for a knock-out performance as the obscessed Alex. From then on, she does everything she can to get Dan back. Phone calls incessantly ringing at his house, attempted suicide, abduction of his young daughter, and towards the end an attempt to kill off his own wife. This film is very graphic, portraying internal violence quite vividly and communicating the idea that an affair can become a nightmare, especially with a maladjusted partner. Maybe it's best not to have an affair at all!
When this film was released, it was one of the first to deal with such intense situations. Many other "thrillers" about fatal attraction would appear in the years to come, such as "Basic Instinct" in 1992 and also starring Michael Douglas, and "Disclosure" also with Michael Douglas (why does Michael Douglas have the habit of co-starring with really dangerous women ?) If you are into femme fatale films, this is the one to have and to add to your collection of steamy but dangerous films about obscession and.....fatal attraction.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
"Fatal Attraction" is a movie that has spawned countless cliches [...] and it's hard to believe that 19 years after it's release people still talk about it. Even more amazing is the fact that this movie was nominated for the Best Picture Oscar. Because of how many look-alike movies there are, it's weird. This movie is one of Adrian Lyne's finest hours, it's right up there with Lolita and Unfaithful. The movie stars Oscar winner Michael Douglas (Best Actor, 'Wall Street') as Dan Gallagher, a successful lawyer with a beautiful wife named Beth (Anne Archer) and a little daughter. Everything is perfect until, one day, Beth and his daughter Ellen go out of town and Dan has a one night stand with Alex Forrest (Glenn Close, TV's 'The Shield'). At least, it's supposed to be a one night stand. Problem is, the second day...Things begin to sour. Suddenly, Alex has a couple of mood swings and attempts suicide; But Dan returns to his normal life. Despite frequent harassment and phone calls at the hands of Alex. There's a twist that occurs in the middle of the film, which makes the movie's protagonist stress even more; But, it's cool.
The rabbit scene is still infamous, if someone doesn't know the name of the movie...That's the way they figure it out. "What's that movie called with the crazy chick and the rabbit?" Anyway, the movie is really good, but I thought the final twist at the end (which you can see coming from a mile away and is used way too much, especially in today's horror films) was a bit much and frankly, pretty unrealistic. A lot of people might argue that this whole movie is unrealistic, but you'd be surprised. Close, Douglas, and Archer deliver fine performances in this film; But, it's pointless to recommend it. You've probably already seen it.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2003
What superb casting. Director Adrian Lyne has crafted a not-your-average stalker/thriller that gathered six Academy Award nominations. The dialogue of this freaky and progressively scarier and scarier film rings absolutely true, and terrific acting keep everything together and viewers on the edge of their seats. It all starts with a quickie, a weekend fling by Michael Douglas. He's over it in a couple of days, but SHE is NOT. She's mad enough to...well, mad enough to boil a bunny, the film's 2nd most gripping scene. Watch it yourself to learn what the MOST gripping scene is.
Yowtch! It's a good one.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2010
A happily married New York City attorney engages in a one- night stand while his wife and child are away. The woman refuses to end the affair and, subsequently terrorizes the attorney and his family. This movie is a classic. The perfect mix between romance and thriller. Michael Douglas and Glen Close simply outstanding. Very thrilling and entertaing movie.