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Fatal Attraction
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Fatal Attraction More at IMDbPro »

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A warning to cheaters

Author: funkie_sparkels from Brisbane, Australia
13 January 2011

I saw this last night for the first time, having heard so much about it, and I definitely think the talk was justified. The performances were great, and the characters were developed enough so the audience could feel something for them. It also has perfectly placed suspense, and it's a moral tale. Everyone here knows the plot - a happily married lawyer played by Douglas spends a steamy weekend with Close's character, Alex, who becomes obsessed with him and won't let him go. Although Alex takes things to the extreme with this obsession, she does make a valid point - if Dan was so happy with his wife and child, what was he doing with her? If he didn't want to lose his family, maybe he should've thought of them before sleeping with her in the first place. Dan also makes the valid point that Alex knew he was married and he made no promises to her. But saying that before sex is one thing, and afterward is another. Yes, Alex was just as much a part of the affair as Dan, but he had a lot more to lose: his family.

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A Classic

Author: jeannel2003-618-511281 from United States
1 August 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is the movie that set the pace for the "other woman" genre. It broke the mold for stories of love triangles involving married men. The subject matter is daring for any era or generation, and is delivered expertly by Michael Douglas, Glenn Close and Ann Archer, who give electrifying performances.

The movie puts into sharp relief the all-too-familiar theme of the cheating husband of the long-suffering and faithful wife with the glamorous and exciting single career woman. But instead of the other woman clinging to the doomed affair by living on the periphery of the man's life, Glenn Close's character, Alex, inserts herself into the life of her new married lover, Dan, with a vengeance - literally - wreaking havoc at a level that is terrifying and thrilling. Suspense builds as Dan realizes that he has opened a Pandora's Box and tries to hide his indiscretion from his wife, Beth, whom he loves, and struggles to defend himself against the fury of the woman he has scorned. The unfolding of the story is breathtaking, and the denouement is shocking.

The movie reminds me of "Rosemary's Baby" in the way the writer and director weave everyday, normal activities with the doom that is building for Dan and his family. And, as in "Rosemary's Baby," an unstoppable chain of events has been launched, in Dan's case by his "fatal attraction" to a beautiful but unstable woman who is determined to possess him or destroy his family.

Because of its nearly flawless execution and impact, Fatal Attraction is a not-to-be-missed classic. I say "nearly flawless" because the one miscalculation was the dog; what self-respecting dog does not sense and intruder in the house?

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A Hollywood Slasher

Author: Shamus523 from Rochester, NY
21 February 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Contains Spoiler I remember when I first saw "Fatal Attraction." I was twelve and it was on HBO late at night. I watched it for only one reason, the same reason all adolescent boys watch HBO at midnight, sex. That being the case I turned it off after about an hour. Had I had the option the second time around I think I might have made the same choice. Don't get me wrong, it isn't a bad movie, and I absoutley loved the clip form "You Can't Do That On Television", but this isn't the type of movie that typically appeals to me. Please don't take me for a biggot, although I may very well be one, but I am tired of hearing about the modern emancipated woman.

"Fatal Attraction", for the most part, fed off that idea. The story is fairly intriguing, Alex (Glenn Close) becomes obsessed with a married man (Michael Douglas) after they have a one night stand. I might have enjoyed the movie, if not for the ending. It was far too typical of Hollywood. They take a movie that has the potential to make the audience think and they turn it into a slasher. Glenn Close goes on a jealous rampage because she can't have what she wants, and what does she get? A nice big hole in her chest. The original ending would have worked much better. In it Glenn Close is found dead and Michael Douglas is arrested for her murder only to be found innocent because his wife discovers what amounts to a suicide note on tape. It gave the entire movie a more human feel, as if this situation could happen to anyone. Stick a fork in me, cause I'm done!

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Adrian Lyne's bunny-boiling blockbuster.

Author: BA_Harrison from Hampshire, England
2 March 2014

New York lawyer Dan Gallagher (Michael Douglas) takes advantage of the fact that his wife Beth (Anne Archer) and daughter Ellen (Ellen Hamilton Latzen) are upstate for the weekend by bedding feisty blonde co-worker Alex Forrest (Glenn Close). When his family returns home, Dan would prefer to forget all about his extra-marital activities, but Alex isn't about to let him do so…

A taut, well directed, superbly acted cautionary Hollywood tale that warns of the potentially disastrous consequences of infidelity and casual sex (some say the film is a parable about AIDS), Fatal Attraction was a hugely popular phenomenon back in '87, spawning numerous imitators and even coining the now common phrase 'bunny boiler'. Although it shouldn't be all that easy to be sympathetic with Dan Gallagher, a selfish fool who risks ruining the lives of those he loves for a meaningless one-night-stand with a crazed psycho, director Lyne manipulates his audience's emotions so expertly that, by the end of the film, the viewer is firmly on his side, urging him on as he fights obsessive bitch Alex to the bitter end.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

The Story Of Michael Douglas's Life I Expect...

Author: Vivekmaru45 from Kenya
21 January 2014

This has got to be one of the most controversial film to be made. I read somewhere a review saying, "They can't stop talking about this film".

The film deals with a married man Dan Gallagher (Michael Douglas), a successful New York attorney who has a weekend affair with Alexandra "Alex" Forrest (Glenn Close), an editor for a publishing company. After the affair is over, Alex refuses to forget him, first harasses and later stalks him.

The title of the movie is Fatal Attraction. You can immediately put two and two together and know that something quite dangerous and dramatic will occur at a point in the film.

I'm not one to preach, but the character portrayed by Douglas's character is a cad, through and through. This man uses a woman for sex gratification and then dumps her like eating banana and throwing the skin away. My sympathy rather was with Close's character which was of a woman starved for affection, who forms a bond with her man. However she refuses to be dumped and this leads to friction and tension between the two main characters of the film.

The other actress in the film is Anne Archer who played memorable roles in films like: Green Ice (1981), Narrow Margin (1990), Patriot Games (1992) and Clear and Present Danger (1994). She plays Beth Gallagher, Dan's wife. Not to forget the excellent Fred Gwynne(The Munsters, Pet Cemetery) who plays a cameo role in the film.

This film has an alternate ending which appeared on a special edition VHS and LaserDisc release by Paramount in 1992, and was included on the film's DVD release a decade later.

Verdict: As a thriller the film fails(I think the background music effects and score are below par). As a controversial film this one is right there among the best of them. Try to rent this one out before you think about buying it and also remember to rent the DVD with the alternate ending.

Similar themed films: Out Of Africa (1985), American Beauty (1999), Eyes Wide Shut (1999), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008).

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A haunting performance from Glenn Close.

Author: Keith Hale from United States
14 July 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A die hard fan of the TV show Damages, this was a dramatic change in the Glenn Close I know. Her portrayal of the mentally unstable Alex Forrest is hauntingly believable, and it is clear that she did her research and has genuine acting talent. Although Michael Douglas plays a good Dan Gallagher, I think there was potential for some more character where he was concerned. When Dan finally admits to his wife that he has had an affair, I thought there needed to me more to the scene- a bigger connecting of the dots for Anne Archer, and more difficulty in relaying his infidelity by Michael Douglas.

Also, I was certain- CERTAIN that it would be revealed in the end that Alex Forrest was, in fact, not pregnant! That would have been another chilling twist on an already successful thriller. Bravo Glenn Close!

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A Woman Scorned

Author: LeonLouisRicci from United States
11 March 2013

Social commentary by way of Psycho Thriller is what this 1980's mega-hit is all about. It's message is so powerful and so resonant that it made quite an impact both artistically and commercially. But it is really an old story.

It can't be called highly original as there are predecessors, it just seems that timing is everything and this was the time for this type of cultural expose. A well acted and directed movie it has style without being ultra-stylish (like the Director's Jacobs Ladder) and is delivered in a straightforward, tension filled manner.

The Film holds up very well and can be at times quite suspenseful. It does nothing if not require or even force you to take a position on extra-marital affairs and the possible consequences. But after all it really is nothing more than "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned". An ancient truth brought to you with modern titillation and terror.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

One of the better pshyco bitch movies

Author: Nick Damian from Toronto, Ontario
20 September 2010

Pshyco bitch on the loose...

Watch out, she's coming after you.

Well having met one of these myself...actually 2 women something like this, I have some understanding how he must have felt.

What I do not understand is...Glenn Clsoe is so ugly in this film...she looks absolutely horrible...possibly the worst I've ever seen her, yet she is supposed to be so alluring and seductive and sultry? NO WAY...she's hideous...and out of all the women that he met at that social event that day, to meet this woman and immediately fall under her spell, he had to be nuts as she was.

She wasn't sexy, she wasn't charming, she wasn't funny or insightful...she was nasty looking with a body of a skeleton and the charm of a lump of coal...what could he possibly see in her? Was he that desperate? That aside...the rest of the movie was OK...

A better lead actress would have suited the film more...

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

a thriller that Hitchcock would have admired

Author: TheUnknown837-1 from United States
20 July 2010

"Fatal Attraction" is the sort of thriller that Alfred Hitchcock would have admired, and probably would have made had the censors of his time allowed him to do so. It attacks its characters, and its audience, psychologically as well as viscerally, it makes you think about the people in it, it terrifies and haunts you, and it contends with the themes of lust and betrayal. It's a tremendously sweeping psychological thriller with some true tension and some marvelous performances that even still haunts me with its images and situations. And apparently I'm not the only one, for Glenn Close has stated many times that husbands had written her thank-you notes, claiming that her performance in the film saved their marriages. If you're interested in how, read further.

The movie stars Michael Douglas in one of his finest performances as a married lawyer who one weekend, while his wife and daughter are visiting relatives in the country, commits a lusty sin by engaging in an extramarital affair with a sexy but sadistic woman played with astonishing conviction by the great Glenn Close. The one-night stand turns into a nightmare as Close becomes increasingly obsessive and compulsive with Douglas, even to the point of stalking him and his family. Douglas, fearing for his marriage and the lives of his family, scrambles to end his relationship with Close, which turns to the worse.

"Fatal Attraction" is a psychologically solid movie that treats its themes of adultery and lust with conviction and power. That's just one thing I admired. In many other movies, I have grown increasingly tired of seeing pointless sex scenes, preferring it when the filmmakers merely suggest an errotic moment and leave it up to the imaginations of the audience to fill in the void. But her, it's different. The sex scenes, which are visceral and concupiscent, do not turn on the audience, but instead appall them. We don't cheer or become errotic, but drop our jaws and immediately start fearing the worst.

But that's just one tiny element I admired. It's what followed afterward that I really found effective. First of all, we have two very solid characters, developed into rounded-out human beings that we can come to associate ourselves with and, even in the case of the Glenn Close character, who is psychotic and a threat to others as well as herself, care about. At times, we identify more with her than we do with Michael Douglas, who is our protagonist. As we discover later in the movie, Close is as much a victim of this affair as Douglas is. She's not a monster; she's a human being with feelings, who is hurting and being torn apart by the aftereffects of this intended one-night stand.

The aftereffects of the affair become increasingly suspenseful long before any lives are really in danger. As Hitchcock proved to us in his masterpieces, suspense can be achieved even without any lives placed in peril. A lot of tension develops as Douglas fights to keep the affair a secret from his wife and child, and from everybody else if he can manage, and he performs some very sane decisions instead of acting stupid like so many other people do in so many other thrillers. The tension also mounts as development is spawned by the performance of Anne Archer as Douglas's wife.

"Fatal Attraction" was directed by Adrian Lyne and it is a technically smooth movie as well as a brilliant one. The art-direction, the cinematography, the lighting, the misc en scene, everything is fabulous. The movie is great to look at as well as experience. Now some people have complained about the ending, which is considered a cop-out. And if Hitchcock had been allowed to make a movie like this, he probably would have avoided the ending that was the chosen one of two alternatives to end this story. However, though understanding the detractors, I think the end works. It works for me on the same grounds that the even more controversial ending of Francis Ford Coppola's masterpiece "Apocalypse Now" did. The movie as a whole is brilliant, brutal, intense, and wonderfully acted. Michael Douglas should have been nominated for his role and Glenn Close and Anne Archer were well-deserving of their Academy Award nominations, as was everybody else who was mentioned on the rosters that night. It's an iconic thriller that will live on forever.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A simple yet complex psychological thriller

Author: The_Stuff_of_Dreams from United States
24 July 2009

This film is not as simple as it sounds. "A guy has an affair and the woman is a total psycho" is not apt in describing it. Michael Douglas had the affair because of a burst of uncontrollable hormones. Anne Archer, his wife, was adequate emotionally and sexually, so she did not drive him away. Their marriage was a happy one, and it made it all the more tragic as Glenn Close, the obsessive, psychopathic woman who Michael Douglas had an affair with, assaulted it. But that is only one complex detail added to the mix. As the movie progresses, and Glenn Close loses her sexy exterior, she is either emotionally vulnerable or monstrously violent, but always insane. In between, she plays sinister mind games, and they sometimes turn deadly or destructive. These games of hers are the beauty of the thrills of this film: they build up unbearable suspense, and it all unravels explosively in the satisfying climax and haunting denouement. Her psychosis is explained vaguely, making her all the more mysterious and all the more unpredictable. She falls in love with Michael Douglas after only one weekend together for reasons we can understand and for reasons we can never understand, grounding her in reality while, at the same time, she wallows in her dark, confused thoughts. And as she does this, she takes the film to sometimes disturbing, always thrilling levels, and the film itself is an exciting "what if" tale in which a family is put through a test no other can speak of. All because of a mistake no man can deny of considering to make. All because she won't be ignored...

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