Seminal stalker movie from the Eighties, overpraised: yes, but still worthy of a decent amount of it.*************************** Fatal Attraction. Seminal stalker movie from the Eighties, overpraised: yes, but still worthy of a decent amount of it. Michael Douglas is the married family man who randomly has a weekend affair with Glenn Close, who then stalks him as he dismisses her for his own family. One of the biggest jokes, though certainly unintentional, is how anyone could find Close to be such a “looker” or head-turner, but maybe the joke is on us by determining that her appeal was not on a basis of looks, but rather how well (or badly, depending on how you see it) she serves as a dingy pin-up for what Eighties fashion was all about. It never is made very comprehendible as to why Douglas so whimsically agreed to sleep with her and how lax the entire affair was, especially considering that all was fine with his marriage and parenting position at home. But Fatal Attraction commands an intriguing and suspenseful running time—the unpredictability of Close’s character coupled with irrationality easily kept me on my toes just as it did for Douglas. One big piece of criticism, as it would always be in a movie like this, is how much easier it would have been for Douglas to tell his wife and prevent any number of the events from happening. Naturally, that would have negated any majority of the movie, or at least caused Close to reach for more drastic measures. Many of her character’s retaliations work their purpose sharply, but for example, when she take the daughter to the amusement park, it has no greater purpose or point, and the same vulnerability could have been proved more simply yet more imperatively. Adrian Lyne’s altered ending is surely an audience-pleaser (though it would be equally as interesting to see the original ending in context), but it does work in the desired commercial sense and serves as a relief to the audience—a rush you might say—that is exactly as it was designed for. Close’s psycho will indelibly live on in her cinematic category of fellow nuts and screw-looses.
With Anne Archer, Ellen Hamilton Latzen, Stuart Pankin and Fred Gwyne.Final Verdict: B.