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Fatal Attraction (1987)
| Directed by:
||Ellen Hamilton Latzen/Ellen
When his wife and daughter are out of town, successful
lawyer Dan (Douglas) has a consensual sexual jamboree with shaggy blonde
haired editor Alex (Close). But
when the time comes for both of them to part ways, Alex goes "Jason
Voorhees" on his ass and begins to terrorize him and his unsuspecting
family. Poor Dan, all he wanted was a quickie…
What happens when you lock 4
“feministic” females and 3 “assertive” males in a room and
then slap "Fatal Attraction" into the DVD player? MUCHO TROUBLE...that’s what happens. I lost a potential one-night “me love you long
time” because of this flick (I know, I’m such a romantic). Once
the credits rolled, a meaty conversation between both sexes was sparked
and disagreements were plenty. Since both parties couldn’t agree, things
got heated and insults started to fly. Now is that the sign of a solid
movie or what? Here are the themes that were brought up and my oh-so male
perspective on them.
Who should we root for? Alex or
No contest there, I was rooting for Dan. Michael “the man” Douglas
has this "every day" dude quality to him and that allowed me to easily slip
into his character’s shoes for 2 hours. I was right there with him, felt
his pain and frustration in regards to that crazy gal’s actions. Why
would I root for Alex? Sure, I pitied her a bit early on, but I grew to
despise her very fast despite the layers Glenn Close brought to the
character. DAN! DAN! DAN! DAN! DAN! All the way baby...
Is Alex sympathetic?
In my opinion, you bring your own life experiences/baggage to every movie
that you sit through. Now even though adultery had nothing to do with
it, I’ve met and dated women like Alex: weak, pathetic, obsessive and
ultimately psychotic. So I had a lot of personal stuff brewing in my
noggin while watching this slick flick. Yes, I loathed Alex with a passion.
Now don’t get me wrong, Glenn Close gives an amazing performance, making
the role a multi-dimensional, damaged human being versus a one-dimensional
psychopath…but that made
her even scarier and I despised her with all the negative energy that I could
muster. I can’t count the times I yelled out loud: "Fuck her up,
Mike! Get even Mike!" Yeah, those brash exclamations really got me in good graces with my
hardened female acquaintances. No wonder I slept alone that night!
Dan doesn’t get what he
deserves in the end: "What the fuck? Are you out of your fucking mind!"
That’s what came out of my mouth when one of the girls present said that to
me. The man cheated on his wife, yes...that’s wrong but let's not go
overboard here! He’s still a loving husband and a good father. Now in
regards to Alex, Dan came out clean from the get-go and she knew where he
stood (he was married, loved his family…what not). This was supposed to
be a one weekend deal and both parties agreed! Now I know a couple of
dudes who cheat on their girls and they would’ve lied through their
teeth, pretending that they were single just to bag the chick. Cheating is
wrong but at least Dan went about it in an honest way in regards to Alex.
You have to respect that.
As for Dan "paying" for the
actual cheating, ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I think the ordeal that he goes through at
the hands of the "she-bitch from hell" Alex is way more than enough punishment
for his selfish and scrotum-driven act. He put his family in jeopardy, he
went through severe mental torture and he hurt his wife, whom he
obviously loves very much. Call me naïve or an a-hole, but I’m sure he
learned from the experience and I highly doubt that he’ll slap his pecker
where it doesn’t belong ever again.
The ending: Girl: "This is so
Hollywood!" Arrow: "Will you clam up already! I’m trying to watch a
movie!" Now lots of people complain about the ending, they
say it's too “slasher”-like and abandons the psychological
build-up that the film was working on for an hour and a half. They’re
right but I still love the “wham-bam” ending. By the hour mark, I
wanted Alex to get it so bad! Much like Dan, I’d had ENOUGH of her
psychotic, troublemaking ways. Granted, the ending is
one of the less original moments of the picture, but on the other hand, it
satisfied the shite out of me on a gut level! Rub-a-dub-dub in the
bathtub beeyatch! YEAH!!!
My only pet peeve with the flick
**SPOILERS** is that Dan never really addresses his baby on an emotional level. Lots of nuance
could have been brought to
the situation due to that factor. Here, Dan is totally neutral. On the flip
side, tackling that aspect would have taken mucho screen time and would
likely have hurt the pace of the film, so it's all good. **END SPOILERS**
Overall, "Fatal Attraction" is not
only a tight and very intense thriller (all about that violent
confrontation between Dan and Alex where not a word is spoken…wow) but
also a ballsy reflection on what’s going on in our contemporary society.
Having the script be so well written, the pace effortless and
the characters so real, only helped up my involvement in the picture.
I was on the edge of my “Chips 'n Dip” on more than one occasion and
I relished every second of it. Psycho chicks are scary yo!
Michael Douglas (Dan) is amazing as the good but
cheating husband. Not only is the man very intense and extremely focused,
but he also managed to gain 100 percent of my sympathy even though he
played on his wife. I love the guy! Glenn Close (Alex) is the second big
gun is this flick. Wow! What a show, she fully coveys the many layers of a
deranged person. Not black and white but grey. She also scared the crap
out of me, can you say INSANE! Anne
Archer (Beth) is gorgeous here and plays off Douglas like a champ. Their chemistry is so natural. Ellen Hamilton Latzen (Ellen) does look
like a boy, but she gives one of the more effortless child performances I
have ever seen (she’s 6 years old here). Great cast!
Not much of that but the violence does get ugly. We
get slit wrists, bloody knife slashing, a bullet hit and one very boiled
None of the nudity
here is exploitive, it serves the story. Even though we see Michael
Douglas’ ass (yes, again) and Glenn Close’s butt and tits, it's really
Ann Archer in her tight top and underwear that did it for me...the gal looks
fine! NOTE: How many times in your lifetime are you going to see folks
fornicating on a kitchen sink? GO DOUGLAS GO!
Lyne is very restraint here compared to his previous
efforts. No smoke machine or lighting abuse in this one. He keeps it to a
minimal while at the same time giving us stylish shot compositions, great
scene back-and-forths, genuine suspense and an attention to detail (I loved
how Alex dresses in white for half the film but then dresses in black when
she loses it.) Perfect.
Much like the directing, Maurice Jarre’s score is
subtle and supports the scenes which it backs without ever drowning them out.
Once more, solid.
IMAGE: I found the Widescreen
enhanced for 16:9 TVs image a tad blurry. It almost looked like a used up
videotape. Disappointing transfer.
the other hand, the English 5.1 Surround sound came through gangbusters, especially when it came to the subtle score. We also get a English Dolby
Surround and a French Stereo Surround option.
There’s enough meat here to fill us up. Check it out!
This capsule has the producers of the film explaining how every studio on the
block rejected the project and how it eventually came to be. Michael
Douglas, Anne Archer, Adrian Lyne and Glenn Close also come in to talk
about the script, the hardest scenes to film for them and to praise each
others talent. Very interesting capsule.
Here, cast and crew discuss the social phenomenon that came with the
success of the film and the feminist movement backlash on the picture.
Glenn Close also goes in-depth in regards to her character. Is it me or are
feminist groups always pissed off about something in a film? I’m in
trouble now…he he he…
The costume designer, the makeup artist, the cinematographer and more come
in to blab about the look of the film. This capsule didn’t do much for
me but I’m sure some will appreciate it.
(7 minutes): Here we get to see 2 scenes with Michael Douglas and Glenn Close
going head to head and one scene with Anne Archer reading for the part.
They call it "rehearsal footage" but it looks more like auditions or screen
tests to me. Either way, still very kool to watch.
(9 minutes): Here
we get the film’s original ending where Alex commits suicide and Dan
gets arrested for murder, in consequence. Very kool to see what the first
ending was and I’m very happy that they changed it. It's anti-climatic
and I for one wanted Dan to survive this event and Alex to pay BIG TIME. I
guess test screenings aren’t always bad.
We also get an in-depth full-length Commentary
by director Adrian Lyne and the film’s Trailer.
Overall, this is a pretty packed DVD, too bad the image wasn’t better.
Even though this flick was released in 1987, it's still
very relevant today and it hit me like Sean Penn in his photographer
punching days. Adultery is a theme to which we can all relate, not that we’ve
all done it, but we all know about it and have probably at least all
thought about it at one point or another. The human condition is flawed,
what can you do. Sometimes we let the wrong part of our bodies lead us.
This movie is the ultimate cautionary tale when it comes to on-the-side
snacking. It does for cheating what "Jaws" did for the ocean. Watch where you put your
“Johnsons” guys, you never know
when it’s going to get chewed off!
Barbara Hershey and Debra Winger both refused the role
of Alex. Glenn Close, on the other hand, loved the script and pursued the
this movie on The Arrow's HORROR BOARD
back to the Arrow in the Head Homestead...
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