I re-watched the iconic film Fatal Attraction about two months ago on a Sunday afternoon. I’m assuming many of you reading this post have also seen it. You may wish to revisit this work, because it was brilliant yet very flawed. It would have never been made in today’s Hollywood. It is far too raw, edgy and out there. It would’ve been sanitized into oblivion.
This movie has always bothered me, but I don’t think I fully grasped why until now. Yes, it treated a serious issue (infidelity and betrayal) with a circus sideshow sensationalism that really glossed over a husband’s apathy towards his own family. I understand he took an opportunity for “easy” sex with another woman. It was his contempt for his wife (and by extension all women) that was never examined. The would-be home-wrecker had to display such a depraved level of psychosis in order to absolve the jerk in the eyes of the audience. This is why the original ending was reshot and the wife allowed to dispense “justice” so people wouldn’t have to think too critically or expect accountability.
Alex appears to be sexy, confident and in control.
Then Dan tells Alex they have no future. She goes from being the fun weekend distraction to a major problem. He never thought what seemed like an easy opportunity to color outside the fidelity lines would blow his life apart. Only he didn’t do any serious soul searching, he just wanted his ‘problem’ gone. The movie showed how a happily married man could still cheat because monogamy is a choice. It also exaggerated how low an emotionally compromised woman would go.
Considering the movie was released more than 20 years ago, what have women learned?
As I get older — and hopefully wiser — I see how choices have unintended consequences. I felt sorry for Alex up to a point. She used sexual tricks and an “I’m okay with whatever” attitude instead of setting boundaries and only focusing on available men. Since it didn’t yield the results she wanted, she employed scorched earth tactics.
“Because I won’t let you treat me like a slut you throw away in the garbage.”
She had a valid point, but she contributed to the mess expecting to emerge unscathed. Don’t ignore your needs, suddenly realize how ravenous you are and grab the first thing you get your hands on. You’re going to choose poorly.
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