While his wife Beth and his young daughter Ellen are in the country, New York lawyer Dan Gallagher has a steamy weekend affair with Alex, an attractive publishing executive who is single. Although he considers their liaison to be a fluke outside the context of his real life as a husband and father, she has no intention of letting him go.
This is the opening storyline of Fatal Attraction. From there, it becomes a relentless thriller which quickens one's pulse as it startles the mind. The screenplay by James Dearden makes it clear that the age of no-strings-attached one-night stands is long gone. Men and women are expected to take responsibility for the consequences of their sexual acts. Michael Douglas gives one of the most extraordinary performances of his career as Dan Gallagher, and Glenn Close is equally dynamic as the raging Alex. Anne Archer is good as Beth, who is twice victimized, first by her husband's betrayal and then by Alex's campaign of terror. Director Adrian Lyne scores big with Fatal Attraction. The characters are totally credible and its messages about sexual politics are both provocative and scary.