I don’t know which of Glenn Close’s characters I love more, Sunny Von Bulow, Alex Forrest or Patty Hewes. I think I love her best when she’s off the rails rather than when she’s the hearth-warmer.¬†¬† She is now coming clean about the mental illness in her family, which was the main reason she wrote this column. But my eyes went down to these paragraphs, naturally, since Fatal Attraction was nominated for six Oscars — Best Picture, Best Director, Actress, Supporting Actress, Editing and Best Screenplay. Isn’t that astounding? Imagine if they had done the film a different way:
The original ending of Fatal Attraction actually had Alex commit suicide. But that didn’t “test” well. Alex had terrified the audiences and they wanted her punished for it. A tortured and self-destructive Alex was too upsetting. She had to be blown away.
So, we went back and shot the now famous bathroom scene. A knife was put into Alex’s hand, making her a dangerous psychopath. When the wife shot her in self-defense, the audience was given catharsis through bloodshed — Alex’s blood. And everyone felt safe again.
The ending worked. It was thrilling and the movie was a big hit. But it sent a misleading message about the reality of mental illness.