One of Michael Douglas' first besieged-white-male movies and a zeitgeisty late-'80s blockbuster about the need to preserve the family unit against sexual temptation, Fatal Attraction (1987) is also a slickly engaging thriller that allowed Glenn Close to get in touch with her inner onscreen vixen. Starting off with a smooth hint of realism and excellent acting, Fatal Attraction seems on the verge of raising interesting questions about men who cheat on their wives -- especially since Anne Archer is an appealing mate -- and the impact of changing sex roles. The trashy final act (complete with a shock death scene straight out of slasher movies), however, devolves into a repulsive yet telling portrait of career woman hysteria and Hollywood pandering that almost fatally undermines the rest of the film. Still, Close is a sexy, dangerous villainess (before she collapses into her bunny-boiling psycho mode), Douglas a believably conflicted husband, and Archer a fine, lovely wife. Director Adrian Lyne shows an understanding of how to turn the visual screws. With the ending famously changed after test audiences booed the more downbeat original conclusion, Fatal Attraction became a huge hit and earned six Oscar nominations, including Best Picture.
by Lucia Bozzola review