“I don’t think having dinner with anybody is a crime,” says Dan.
Ten minutes later they’re in Dan’s apartment, testing out the stability of his kitchen counters.
They seem to agree that it‘s a one-time thing. But that was only Dan’s agreement, since he has a wife (Anne Archer) and a 6-year-old daughter (Ellen Hamilton Latzen). Alex slashes her wrists as he leaves, and so he’s guilted into another meeting. And another...
She calls his office incessantly, only to be kept on hold. She rings his home, too, only to have his wife answer. When Dan changes to an unlisted number, Alex makes a house visit. She won’t be ignored.
There is a lot of turf invasion in Adrian Lyne’s Fatal Attraction, and that could be one of the reasons why the film was such a smash in 1987 (it was the highest-grossing R-rated film of the year). In the late ’80s, studies showed that 25 to 50 percent of married women had an extramarital affair, while men were much more likely, at 50 to 65 percent. Taking your spouse to the movie was somehow more to the point than aiming a steak knife at their zipper.
On that level, Fatal Attraction is the best of its kind. It shows the horrific, obsessive side to an otherwise desirable action. Another level brings up a gaping hole: why would a successful, handsome attorney bang someone who looks like a witch that drove a convertible through the city at full speed? Because he’s a guy and that’s just what guys do? Maybe, but men much uglier than Michael Douglas have cheated with femmes much prettier than Glenn Close--a point never noted in James Dearden’s screenplay.
So the sex must be that good and more alluring and exciting than anything Dan’s wife could provide. “Have you ever done it in an elevator? I bet you haven‘t,” asks Alex. So they do it in an elevator. This is one year after Mickey Rourke and Kim Basinger screwed in the drenched alley stairwell in 9 ½ Weeks and 15 years before Diane Lane and Olivier Martinez had their spontaneous romp in the restaurant bathroom in Unfaithful. Lyne could write a hell of a book for the fuck-struck, maybe with a checklist of Places To Screw in the appendix.
You would read it. So would I. Because that’s what people think about: sex, who to have it with, and the best places to have it. We’re animals and, like all, don’t often know what we’re getting ourselves into. The wife could find out. Or the husband could hire an investigator. Or the daughter’s rabbit could be cooked at 212°.
Forever Fatal: Remembering Fatal Attraction (SD; 28:16): This featurette traces the timeline of Fatal Attraction, beginning with how writer James Dearden’s short films got the attention of producers. Other topics include casting, the characters, Lyne as a director, and more.
Social Attraction (SD; 10:00) goes into the “phenomenon” of Fatal Attraction, the feminist reaction to Alex Forrest, the film’s themes, and why it had such an impact upon its 1987 release.
Visual Attraction (SD; 19:39) is your standard BTS featurette, with interviews and some on-set footage used to cover topics such as makeup, production design, and cinematography. It runs a bit long, but there is plenty covered here to make it worth watching.
Rehearsal Footage (SD; 7:08): There are two sections here; the first between Douglas and Close, and the second with Archer.
Alternate Ending (HD; 11:51): Backed by an introduction from Lyne, this is the much-debated alternate ending, which ***SPOILERS!*** has the police questioning Dan over Alex’s suicide and Beth listening to the audio tape Alex gave Dan ***END OF SPOILERS!***.
Original Theatrical Trailer (HD).