FATAL ATTRACTION. 1987. DIRECTED BY ADRIAN LYNE. STARRING MICHAEL DOUGLAS, GLENN CLOSE AND ANNE ARCHER. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©
Oh boy. We are gonna have some fun with this one. This is the film that made guys everywhere briefly ponder the consequences of infidelity with the wrong woman. I say briefly because, well, you know guys, they can’t keep it in their trousers for long, haha. Sorry guys, but you know that’s true.
It’s the story of Dan Gallagher, a New York lawyer who has it all. A great job, good friends, a beautiful wife, an adorable six-year-old daughter, a gorgeous Labrador called Quincy (MD…?) and, to top it all, he’s moving with his family from their apartment in the city to a fabulous house in the countryside. Oh, and they’re getting a wascally wabbit for the kid as well. A perfect life? You bet your ass it’s the perfect life.
Any-hoo, man being the feeble-minded simple creature that he is, led everywhere by his penis (prove me wrong, guys!) and unable to control his horny impulses, Dan decides to ruin his whole life by having a sexual fling with a work colleague while his wife and daughter are out of town one weekend. Thing is, though, the woman he chooses to ‘bang’ (her word!) is Alex Forrest, brilliantly played by Glenn Close. This is the worst decision he’ll ever make in his life. And why’s that? Read on…
Alex is a total wacko. She makes those desperate SEX AND THE CITY chicks appear dignified by comparison. She has issues, mental problems, delusions and homicidal tendencies. Dan thinks they’re having one-off sex, Alex thinks they’re embarking on the first stage of a wonderful relationship. And when Dan tries to disentangle himself from the clingy, violent and unstable Alex, she lets him know in no uncertain terms that she’s not prepared to loosen her grip on her new married ‘boyfriend.’ Even if Dan has to lose everything else in his life in the process…
I always crack up at the bit where Alex assures Dan that she’s ‘discreet.’ Discreet, my arse! She’s not discreet. She’s its polar flippin’ opposite. She doesn’t know the meaning of the word. She wouldn’t recognise discreet if it marched up to her waving a bloody placard with ‘discreet’ written all over it.
Still, if he’s naïve enough to think that sex with women can ever be uncomplicated, or if it can ever really be no-strings-attached, well then, he kind of has it coming to him, don’t you think? We women may promise no-strings-attached, but what we’re really intending is to cocoon the guy in our clutches with more strings than flippin’ Shelob’s got. You’d think men would know that by now. Tsk, tsk.
I love the way the film highlights some of the important differences between Blokes and Sheilas. Has any man in history ever sat in the dark crying over a woman while Madame Butterfly played on the stereo on repeat? I very much doubt it. Whereas women cry like that over guys all the time. I’ve done it myself. Five times. Today… The reason this kind of moping and intense expenditure of emotion is pointless, however, is because the guy is never worth it.
And he’s not sitting at home snivelling over us in return, either. He’s off down the boozer with his mates, eyeing up the barmaid’s tits and trying to decide whether to get a kebab or a spice burger on the way home. Believe me, he’s not going to be doing any whinging or soul-searching. Dan Gallagher is off bowling and having fun with his missus and their best friends while Alex is sitting at home feeling suicidal in that much-parodied scene. You see? It’s never worth it in the end, is it?
The sex in the film is terrible. If a guy I was getting off with plonked my arse in a sinkful of dirty dishes and then splashed my face and hair with bleedin’ tap-water, I’d brain him with the salad tongs. I like my sex in a bed. Lying down. In the dark. The way it’s meant to be done. None of these spontaneous shenanigans for me and doing it standing up agin’ the wall. Nope. I’m a traditionalist in this respect, haha.
There’s some mild nudity, but it’s not worth getting excited over. Glenn Close looks like she’s been spray-painted to make her look unflatteringly sun-tanned in places and as white as a sheet in others. She has two-tone tits and a two-tone arse. It looks weird. FATAL ATTRACTION is a fantastic, nail-biting rollercoaster of a film but, sadly, I’ve never found it remotely sexy.
Scenes to watch out for include the famous bunny-boiling scene and the bit where Dan comes home to find his ‘girlfriend’ sitting in his living-room chatting to his wife, surely every bloke’s worst nightmare.
Watch out, too, for the part where poor Glenn Close is looking in the window of Dan’s country home and sees Dan playing happy families with his, well, family, and also for the tense, terrifying climax which definitely has a nice pleasing horror element to it.
PLAY MISTY FOR ME (1971), the original woman-as-crazy-stalker film, is well worth a look for comparative purposes. Plus, it’s always nice to see a man coming face-to-face with the consequences of his careless, wiener-happy actions, isn’t it? Bitter? Moi? Never…
AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based performance poet, novelist, film blogger, sex blogger and short story writer. She has given more than 200 performances of her comedy sex-and-relationship poems in different venues around Dublin, including The Irish Writers’ Centre, The International Bar, Toners’ Pub (Ireland’s Most Literary Pub), the Ha’penny Inn, Le Dernier Paradis at the Trinity Inn and The Strokestown Poetry Festival.
Her articles, short stories and poems have appeared in The Metro-Herald newspaper, Ireland’s Big Issues magazine, The Irish Daily Star, The Irish Daily Sun and The Boyne Berries literary journal. In August 2014, she won the ONE LOVELY BLOG award for her (lovely!) horror film review blog. She is addicted to buying books and has been known to bring home rain-washed tomes she finds on the street and give them a home.
She is the proud possessor of a pair of unfeasibly large bosoms. They have given her- and the people around her- infinite pleasure over the years. She adores the horror genre in all its forms and will swap you anything you like for Hammer Horror or JAWS memorabilia. She would also be a great person to chat to about the differences between the Director’s Cut and the Theatrical Cut of The Wicker Man. You can contact her at:
1) ‘… BY A WOMAN WALKING HER DOG…’
2) A WRITER’S JOURNEY
3) ANNA MEETS COUNT DRACULA
4) ANOTHER FIFTY REALLY RANDOM HORROR FILM REVIEWS TO DIE FOR…
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