by Kevin Carr
|| MOVIE: **** (out of 5 stars)
BLURAY EXPERIENCE: ***1/2 (out of 5 stars)
Michael Douglas as DAN GALLAGHER
Glenn Close as ALEX FORREST
Anne Archer as BETH GALLAGHER
Ellen Hamilton Latzen as ELLEN GALLAGHER
Stuart Pankin as JIMMY
Directed by: Adrian Lyne
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After Dan Gallagher (Michael Douglas) has a tawdry weekend affair with Alex Forrest (Glenn Close), he wants to leave it all behind and go back to his family. However, Alex sees things different. She soon goes from mistress to obsessed, jilted lover to violent stalker. Dan struggles to keep his affair secret and Alex at bay, but his dangerous dalliance comes back to haunt him as Alex refuses to give him up.
WHAT I LIKED
Paramount has released two Adrian Lyne sensual films – “Fatal Attraction” and “Indecent Proposal” – on Blu-ray this month, giving modern audiences a chance to see what got the public buzzing in the late 80s and early 90s. And for as lukewarm of a film as “Indecent Proposal” was, “Fatal Attraction” was quite brilliant.
“Fatal Attraction” is a pure film for adults, and it manages to walk a tightrope between reprehensible behavior and business as usual. Even though not everyone has had an affair, many more people have thought and fantasized about it. This film touches the heart of this fantasy in anyone who has been in a relationship for a while. In this sense, it is a horror movie as much as a slasher film is a horror movie to the hormone-driven teenage crowd.
Whether you like the character of Dan Gallagher for his very determined betrayal, it’s hard to not sympathize with him when Alex goes completely nuts. And ultimately, he does the right thing for his family. But having seen real-life examples of psycho girlfriends (fortunately never touching my life personally), the events of “Fatal Attraction” are closer to potential truth than most would like to believe.
Overall the film was superbly acted, and Lyne does a fantastic job in its direction. The movie was well deserving of its accolades and the Oscar nominations it received. Let’s face it... “Fatal Attraction” isn’t just a movie for the late-80s. It’s a movie that has a timeless theme and is only bound by the styles and pop culture references of its day.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
I saw this movie for the first time when I was in high school, and I was a bit too young to fully grasp the complex relationships it presented. Things seem much more black and white when you’re 16 years old, as opposed to looking back on the film when you’re pushing 40, married and have three kids.
After a second, present-day viewing, I found very little that I didn’t like in this movie. It captured my attention, and it has a great ending, no matter what the filmmakers originally thought.
The Blu-ray release of “Fatal Attraction” includes the bonus material from the 2002 DVD release. Adrian Lyne provides a commentary to the film, and there is about 10 minutes of rehearsal footage featuring Glenn Close, Michael Douglas and Anne Archer.
The cast and crew provide interview cuts for three featurettes. “Forever Fatal: Remembering Fatal Attraction” runs about a half hour and provides a 21st century retrospective of the film, including the decisions on what to cut and how to release the film. “Special Attraction” is a ten-minute featurette about the film’s cultural impact at the time, including the somewhat bewildering backlash from feminist groups. “Visual Attraction” is a 20-minute featurette that includes interviews with the crew on how the film’s look was developed.
Wrapping up the special features is the much talked-about original ending to the film (which is nowhere near as powerful as the re-shot ending, and also suffers from pacing and chronology issues) and the original theatrical trailer, both presented in high definition.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
People in relationships... especially those who might be thinking about straying.