"Fatal Attraction" turns 25 Tuesday, and it's not going to be ignored, Dan.
Glenn Close and Michael Douglas in "Fatal Attraction."
The thriller, which famously stars Glenn Close as a woman who won't let go of married man Michael Douglas after they have a fling, unfolds in its trailers almost as a horror movie. And it had many terrifying elements -- just ask viewers who remember watching it in a theater and then nervously peeking under their car after the movie to make sure Close's fanatical Alex wasn't hiding there.
The movie made the term "fatal attraction" a familiar catchphrase for romantic relationships where one partner can't let go and things turn dangerous or even deadly. "Bunny boilers" even became a term for those psycho ex-partners, thanks to an oh-so-creepy scene involving Dan's family pet.
It's funny to watch "Fatal Attraction" today and see things that are out-of-date. The wheels of a tape recorder roll when Dan listens to Alex's abusive messages. Alex easily picks up Dan's young daughter at school even though she's not her parent -- today, schools and daycares have structures in place so that children aren't released to just anyone who walks up.
But the film also sparked real discussion in its day. Alex was a powerful career woman, and some feel that making her insane while motherly Beth, Dan's wife, saves the day spoke to what Hollywood thought about women who worked. In short: They're all crazy witches who want to steal the families from women who chose a more traditional track.
And let's talk about the ending. (Spoiler warning, if 25-year-old movies need spoiler warnings.) In the end we saw in theaters, a seemingly drowned Alex rises out of the tub with a knife, and Beth shoots and kills her.
But in an alternate end that didn't please the focus groups, Alex kills herself and makes it look like Dan did it, and he's arrested for murder. Some felt this would have been a fairer ending, since Dan, who after all chose to cheat on his wife, gets off scot-free in the ending shown in theaters. Others just see the entire movie as a morality tale, that cheating leads, in the end, to complete and total disaster. And some of us still can't get over what happened to the poor bunny.
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