Fatal Attraction

A profoundly uninteresting married yuppie lawyer (Michael Douglas) has a weekend affair with a profoundly uninteresting unmarried yuppie book editor (Glenn Close), who proves to be insane and makes his life a living hell. This 1987 feature gradually turns into a sort of upscale remake of The Exorcist, with female sexuality (personified by Close) taking over the part of the devil and yuppie domesticity (personified by Douglas, wife Anne Archer, and daughter Ellen Hamilton Latzen) assuming the role of innocence. While billed as a romance and a thriller, the film strictly qualifies as neither, appealing to our prurience, guilt, hatred, and dread. With director Adrian Lyne shoving objects like a knife, a boiling pot, and an overflowing bath in the spectator’s face to signal that Something Awful’s Going to Happen, there’s little room for curiosity about the motivations of the spurned antiheroine, who eventually becomes a robotic killer. James Dearden wrote the screenplay, although producers Stanley R. Jaffe and Sherry Lansing, faced with dissatisfied preview audiences, are responsible for the totally dehumanized finale. (The original ending is now available on DVD, but I haven’t seen it.) 119 min. (JR)

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