Glenn Close has told Deadline‘s Antonia Blyth that she’d like to produce an alternate version of Fatal Attraction (’87) — one in which her character, Alex the “bunny boiler,” is presented as a “tragic figure” rather than an evil one. And is therefore more sad than scary.
In other words, a smart but neurotic woman who’s desperately lonely and believes that her life is downswirling and that she’ll never find anything close to the domestic serenity that Michael Douglas (with whom she’s had a weekend’s worth of mad, passionate sex) and Anne Archer and their daughter apparently have.
But here’s the thing: Fatal Attraction was set in the mid ’80s, less than a decade from the sexually experimental and even revolutionary ’70s, when all kinds of appetites and passions were regarded as commonplace. In fact haven’t fair-minded adults always seen brief flings as normal, everyday occurences — i.e., “just one of those things”? If I’m not mistaken this comme ci comme ca attitude has been with us for decades if not centuries. Everyone over the age of 22 understands this.
No woman of 2019 or 1987 would regard a weekend of intense sex with a married man as anything more than a weekend of intense sex with a married man. Only a nutcase would say to the husband, “Now that we’ve fucked four or five times we’re bonded like cement, and you owe me big-time. You now have to somehow disengage yourself from your unsuspecting wife and daughter and come live with me, and then we can share delicious pasta and listen to Madame Butterfly forever.”
It would be different if Douglas and Close’s characters had embarked upon an affair that had lasted, say, two or three months. Or even a month. If Douglas had told Alex, “I’m unhappy…I want out of my marriage…we have a truly special current together,” and then tried to end it, he would have to deal with a situation that he himself had created. But a single, sweaty, gymnastic weekend doesn’t mean much in the greater scheme.
Which is why, no offense, I wouldn’t be all that interested in a “tragic Alex” remake. Unless, as noted, she and the Douglas character have some kind of extended, weeks-long affair before he tries to end things.