Dan (Michael Douglas) is living what many would say is his best life. Currently working as a lawyer and married with a daughter and an adorable pet dog, Dan couldn’t ask for more in his world. While attending a celebration, a mysterious woman catches the eye of Dan and a co-worker. When Dan goes to order a drink at the bar, the same woman is also having a drink. The two share a conversation, exchange names and chat about their current work careers. Alex (Glenn Close) reveals she is an editor. The two part ways, but fate has them bumping into each other again at a meeting Alex must attend and where Dan is heavily involved. Due to a heavy storm outside, the two share a drink at a local restaurant, and their flirtation continues. The level of temptation only rises, leading to Dan and Alex leaving the bar and sharing many moments of intimate passion.
Dan considers the time together a once-off over the weekend and leaves, wanting to move on with his life as if nothing happened, sweeping their interactions under the rug. However, it’s more complicated for Alex. Obsessed, she can’t help herself, and her desires for Dan grow more and more. Alex has a very different outlook on their relationship, nurturing long-term intentions, which become dangerous and harmful for Dan and his family.
Fatal Attraction is best described as a thriller. What starts as a weekend fling soon becomes something far more significant and highly unpredictable. It becomes more tense, creepy, and downright suspenseful as the plot progresses and builds towards a shocking and gripping conclusion.
Whenever Michael Douglas and Glenn Close share the screen is where the film is most entertaining. What starts as romance and moments of passion soon becomes ugly. Actress Glenn Close is incredible, and her character is mysterious and unpredictable. An unstoppable force, she is determined to be with Dan and ensure the two end up together forever. Michael Douglas is also great as the man who has fallen hard into temptation but quickly regrets he ever laid his eyes on Alex to begin with. As he continues to try and keep his past affair a secret, he discovers he is capable of doing anything to protect his family and himself.
The pacing for the majority is excellent. The first act outlines the key characters and the temptation from Dan’s point of view. The second act allows us to see Alex’s transformation into someone darker, full of uncontrollable feelings. While the third act does end with a conclusion that gives the audience various emotions, I found a little too long was spent in the second act.
Overall, I found this film haunting and gripping for many reasons. One choice, one moment and one brief encounter are all it takes to have disastrous consequences. Fatal Attraction outlines the leading characters excellently before using them to build suspense and tension, leading to a horrifying and shocking conclusion. Performances are tremendous, and Michael Douglas shines on-screen while Glenn Close gives an unforgettable performance. It’s a solid thriller, and despite the runtime going on far longer than what felt necessary, it’s still fun and memorable.