I have a few clear memories of the
late 1980s. One is counting down the days every summer until Girl
Scout Camp, when I could see my favorite counselor, who taught us how
to ride horses. Another is the heartbreak when said counselor
didn’t return. And the scariest moment, by far, was catching
glimpses of Glenn Close and Michael Douglas in
Fatal Attraction. Yes, folks, the movie that spawned the
phrase “bunny boiler” is 20 years old this year. If
you don’t believe it, just look at the hair.
I was a little too young to
be aware of the feminist backlash against the movie — I was busy not
filling out my training bra at the time. What I do remember and
found far more traumatic is that bunny scene. I, too, had a pet
rabbit, and it was named after that counselor who vanished from my summers
(though not from my heart).
A recent story in the
reports that Fatal Attraction may have led to wholesome family
values despite itself. I didn’t take any lessons from the movie
(though I recall a few nighttime visits to check on my bunny), but apparently,
in a forthcoming interview, Close will tell us that Alex is now considered
Men still come up to me and say, “You scared the
s— outta me.” Sometimes they say, “You saved my marriage.”
Sidenote: Reading about the
backlash to Fatal Attraction actually put me in mind of a little
movie that came along five years later, just in time to receive the
same vitriol from feminists and LGBT activists as well. Yep, Basic Instinct.
In 1992, I too distracted to
process a controversial movie’s problematic depictions of female sexuality,
this time because I was busy staring at it. Hello, Sharon Stone, and the first time I ever saw two
women together. Growing up gay before South of Nowhere
was a whole different thing, wasn’t it?
Anyway, what bothers me for
sure is how the Daily Mail repeatedly refers to Close’s own marital
situation. I do question fear as a firm foundation for a life’s
commitment, but I sorta think scaring the crap out of a crop of potential
philandering men gives her bragging rights.
One more interesting tidbit:
Close’s observations about the current writers’ strike. At the
beginning of her career, TV acting was considered a career kiss of death,
but now, she says, “the classy writing is being done for TV and that’s
because television knows how to treat writers.” With a few tiny exceptions, I’m not sorry be spending a few hours
with my TV; I can think of more than a few movies I regretted paying
ticket price for. Anything that brings Glenn Close into
my living room
makes me happy. And twenty years later I can finally say, if she
came over for dinner, I wouldn’t even lock up my dog.