ISSUE DATE: Nov. 16, 1987
Three archetypes for a modern mortality play. Alex Forrest, a career woman whose forcefulness sheathes a precarious ego. Dan Gallagher, a guy who seems to have embraced personal and career contradictions in a big, easy bear hug. Beth Gallagher, comfortable in her roles as wife, mother and natural stunner. But what if Alex is a creature of insatiable lust and leeching possessiveness? And if Dan’s amiability has made him too soft to resist Alex’s attentions or, later, to protect his family from her vengeance? And if Beth, supermom in disguise, is roused to confront the beast Alex has become? Oh, and what if somebody made a movie about this trio of ’80s Everypersons?
Somebody did make Fatal Attraction. And this fall, what if became wow! Striking moviegoers with the startling power of a madwoman in your bathroom, Paramount’s lurid romantic thriller is the zeitgeist hit of the decade. It has been box-office champ for each of its first seven weeks in release, and shows little sign of slackening. Last week it reached the $80 million mark, to rank as the year’s second highest grossing film. It’s the movie with something for almost everybody. Says Michael Douglas, who plays Dan: “People leave saying ‘I laughed, I got turned on by the sex scenes, and I got scared.’ You can’t ask for more than that.”
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