“Fatal Attraction” flat-out scared a lot of people away from casual dating – and certainly from having affairs.
The amazing tension building that director Adrian Lyne creates in this movie will make anyone squirm, even if you’ve never thought about cheating on your partner.
The 1988 film was nominated for a slew of Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actress for Glenn Close, and Best Supporting Actress for Anne Archer. Although it didn’t go home with a single Oscar, that didn’t stop the movie from getting a lot of attention and becoming a cultural landmark in social history.
Michael Douglas stars as the suave New York attorney Dan Gallagher who has a tryst with the seductive and seemingly aloof Alex Forrest (Close). Dan’s wife, Beth (Archer), is away, but when she returns she gets increasingly suspicious that something happened while she was gone. Dan has long since shrugged off the affair, but Alex isn’t as casual. She begins to get even, and get personal, and she takes out her anger on poor defenseless rabbits. (Hey, I didn’t ruin anything, if you’ve ever heard about this movie, you know about the rabbit scene!)
And there are plenty of twists and scares in this. I won’t ruin those.
The new Blu-ray edition offers a peek at rehearsal footage of the actors. That’s a fascinating look at all three of the leads. There’s also an alternate ending that Lyne considered releasing, which would have changed the movie entirely.
Also on the “Fatal Attraction” Blu-ray are memories from the cast and crew in a documentary called “Forever Fatal: Remembering ‘Fatal Attraction’” and it also has a look at the “Social Attraction: The Cultural Phenomenon of ‘Fatal Attraction’” as well as an in-depth take from social commentators on the effect of the movie on the world of American dating. In these behind-the-scenes stories, you’ll see that Nicholas Meyer rewrote the movie at one point, and also that it has become something that the director still gets asked about regularly.
Here are a few of the trivia fun facts about the movie: former “Saturday Night Live” star Gilda Radner, in an effort to change her comedic aura, tried auditioning for the role of Alex; others more seriously considered for the part include Anjelica Huston, Mia Farrow, Faye Dunaway, and Sharon Stone. The director actually wanted Debra Winger or Miranda Richardson, and at one point Elisabeth Shue was cast in the role, but she had to finish up “Adventures in Babysitting” first for Disney.
Inevitably, this is an intense movie, but it not always a good idea to invite a significant other to watch, because it does spur some debate. Just be careful what you answer.
The bottom line is if you really want to avoid challenging your relationship, choose one of Lyne’s other hits of the time, “Flashdance” or “9 ½ Weeks.”