Like Joe Eszterhas, Adrian Lyne specializes in films that center on strong women in often hostile environments, stories of female empowerment that often cross the line into exploitation. After the success of his second movie, Flashdance, with its sultry-but-tame strip-club sequences, Lyne followed up with the unabashedly hard-R 9 ½ Weeks. The tale of a sadomasochistic affair between chic New Yorkers Kim Basinger and Mickey Rourke, it applied to its sex scenes the MTV-style montage techniques Lyne had perfected on the dance numbers in Flashdance.
Lyne’s Fatal Attraction (pictured), in which Glenn Close stalks Michael Douglas after their weekend affair, became a smash and a hot-button topic of debate. Lyne pushed buttons again with Indecent Proposal, in which a married Demi Moore agrees to sleep with tycoon Robert Redford for $1 million. Lyne’s career stumbled when he made a faithful adaptation of Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita – pedophilia proving one hot-button topic too many – but he rebounded with Unfaithful, featuring a career-best performance by Diane Lane as a cheating wife.
Since that 2002 film, however, Lyne has yet to complete another, though the 72-year-old has had his name attached to a couple of thrillers currently in development. One of them, crime drama Back Roads, has a lead role for which Kristen Stewart has been approached; apparently, Lyne’s fascination with resilient women continues.