Fatal Attraction: Why We Love Romance w Danger at The Movies

Can you name this 'fatal attraction' movie that turns the sub-genre on it's head?
#1. She uses his sexist assumptions as a tool to manipulate him.

by Madeline Iva

Hi sweeties!

First off all: HAPPY THANKSGIVING WEEK. We’re taking a short holiday break at LadySmut.com until Thursday. In the meantime…

Second: Below is an amazing conversation I had with @Charlotte_Stein and @writerggandrew on Twitter.  We talked about “Fatal Attraction — why we love danger with our romance at the movies.” 

THIRD: I’ve posted great film stills from 10 movies about a ‘fatal attraction’ throughout this post.  They’re all numbered. Try and guess the films down below in the comments section and I’ll give one of you a prize. 

Our discussion was part of the British Film Institute Love Fest—#BFI LoveFest–an online movie & romance festival sponsored by Harper Collins, Avon, Mills & Boon, etc held this weekend.

NOTE: Trying to pin down the conversational threads of a fast and furious twitter exchange can feel like discovering a worm hole in time.  You loop round through tweets and replies, eyes crossing. So this attempt to cobble together the no-holds barred twitter commentary into a coherent dialogue is not completely authentic to our chat experience, but I did the best I could. 🙂

#2. "Oh, you're good, you're very good."
#2. “Oh, you’re good, you’re very good.”

I did not even attempt to include the comments from the peanut gallery who were DM-ing me during the hour we were on.

Sam Missingham, aka @samatlounge, is the organizer of #BFILoveFest for British Film Institute and Harper Collins, Avon, Mills & Boon, etc. She started us off.

@Samatlounge: Welcome @madelineiva & @Charlotte_Stein to #BFIlovefest. Tell us about yourselves.

@MadelineIva: I’m your host, a romance writer & blogger. @ladysmut1 is a daily rom. blog where we revel in this smexy stuff.

#3. A surprizing dancing Ted Dansen has a supporting role in this film.
#3. Can’t you feel the heat between them?

@MadelineIva: Our guest author is @Charlotte_Stein. Author of 33+ erotic romance books & stories, she’s also a film fanatic.

@Charlotte_Stein: I am indeed!

@MadelineIva: Yaz! Me too, but I don’t think I’m on your level…

@samatlounge: Wonderful. Charlotte, tell us more about your books.

@Charlotte_Stein: I’m an erotic romance writer who loves sexy and/or romantic thrillers. And I’ve written one myself: Intrusion.

@MadelineIva: With me today, is my partner in crime, G.G. Andrew. Hi G.G.! Check out our blog here: http://www.ladysmut.com .

@WriterGGAndrew: Intrusion was GREAT. Enjoyed that read. Darker, but with so much emotion.

#4 This film was based on true events. Not exactly a thriller but still with a solid body count at the end, and SO tortured and sad and hot.
#4 Based on true events. Tortured, sad, and SO hot.

@MadelineIva: Let’s talk about our fascination with this noir subgenre. Chime in, peeps, but don’t forget to add #BFILoveFest so we can see your reply.

@MadelineIva: Why do we revel in dangerous love that betrays our ideas of romance?

@Charlotte_Stein: I don’t feel like it’s a betrayal of romance at all. I think darkness and danger HEIGHTENS the romance.

@MadelineIva: Why do we love this genre, Charlotte?

@Charlotte_Stein: I’ve just always loved what I like to call early nineties style thrillers…though only recently did I realize why.

@MadelineIva: Why?

@Charlotte_Stein: BECAUSE they have a big romantic/sexy element. It just ups those stakes, you know? It makes everything much more tense and sexy.

@Charlotte_Stein: The element of danger, of not knowing motivation – just as in straight forward crime drama – adds so much.

@MadelineIva: Unpredictability is constant, consequences completely ignored.

@MadelineIva: I think it has to do with throwing off repression—even if one pays a price.

#5 This one is a total gimme.
#5 Bunny.

@Charlotte_Stein: Exactly! Yes definitely. That element of living for right now and taking chances comes into play.

@Charlotte_Stein: I thought I just liked thrillers, but what I’m a sucker for is the mixture of erotic/romance and those dark plots.

@MadelineIva: I kinda love when you don’t know if the guy DOES love her or not…

@Charlotte_Stein: Yessssss! Like in modern US/UK, there are so few true impediments to romance. It’s hard to build those stakes.

@MadelineIva: And you’re left hanging there…til the very end.

@Charlotte_Stein: Keeps the viewer/reader guessing. That’s why I loooooovveee Jagged Edge too. No idea until the end!

@MadelineIva: Completely addictive!

At this point we started talking about a movie called IN THE CUT, AKA MARK RUFFALO ON A STICK

Mark Ruffalo, dirtier than you've ever seen him before or since.
Mark Ruffalo, dirtier than you’ve ever seen him before or since in the movie IN THE CUT.

@Charlotte_Stein: One of my fave romantic thrillers is In The Cut, and literally for half the film she thinks the hero is a killer.

(I hastily look it up on google, because the title didn’t sound familiar to me.)

@Charlotte_Stein: I love it so much. Mark Ruffalo is amazing in it!

@WriterGGAndrew: Mark Ruffalo? Sold!

@MadelineIva: Oh I did see this! This is where Mark Ruffallo first slayed me…

@Charlotte_Stein: Honestly, he’s the sexiest he’s ever been. Hot moustache, really raunchy talk…yum.

@WriterGGAndrew: I’m fairly anti-mustache, but I will allow it on him.

@MadelineIva: I really loved him in SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS…too! Such a puppy.

@WriterGGAndrew: (referring to IN THE CUT) Ooh, this is not one I’ve seen, but that is a tasty premise. Adding to the Netflix queue ASAP.

@MadelineIva: Meg Ryan gets nekkid in it. Weird, but I went with it.

@MadelineIva: Why do we risk everything for an attractive stranger?

@Charlotte_Stein: I thought I just liked thrillers, but what I’m a sucker for is the mixture of erotic/romance and those dark plots.

@MadelineIva: Me too!

They're watching someone they think is watching them. Or *is* he?
#7 Watching someone they think is watching them. But *is* he? The plot hinges on it.

@Charlotte_Stein: I think I just like the extra frisson you get from something dark and deadly!

@MadelineIva: Part of it is no limits, no boundaries. Dangerous lovers exhibit total desire, need & commitment to over coming all obstacles.

@Charlotte_Stein: They can get away with things your standard heroine or hero might not.

@MadelineIva: Ahhhhh! No room for goody-goodies in THIS sub-genre. ; >

@Charlotte_Stein: Plus you’ve no idea what they might do next! Ellen Barkin in Sea of Love naked under her coat in the supermarket!

@MadelineIva: Sounds like it’s all about risky boundaries — is that why Mr. Nice doesn’t have a chance?


What propels us to overlook nice men in favor of Mr. Wrong?

@Charlotte_Stein: See I don’t know if this true! I don’t think it’s about overlooking Mr Nice. I think it’s often about finding…

#8 Never has so much depended on such bad poetry.
#8 Never has so much depended on such bad poetry.

@Charlotte_Stein: …a Mr Nice underneath something dark and deadly. He unexpectedness of heat, love, desire with someone atypical.

@MadelineIva: YES! YES! That’s why I like it when we just don’t know about *him*.

@writerggandrew That’s the best kind, a nice guy under a dangerous veneer. Because bad underneath…is just bad.

@MadelineIva: WELL, but sometimes he has REASONS for being kinda sexy yet evil. (got I’m so perverse.)

@Charlotte_Stein: I loooooove that kind of hero! I love just plain evil too but that glimmer of goodness…

@MadelineIva: Sometimes all ya need is a glimmer. ; >

@Author_JuliaAsh Perhaps an enticing cocktail of the forbidden mixed with the excitement of taming him???

@MadelineIva: Oh! Oh! I was just going to say…

@MadelineIva: Diving into a passionate affair w a stranger creates a cocktail of passion & volatile excitement. YES!

@MadelineIva: What are some films that turn the “Fatal Attraction” theme on it’s head?

(Earlier, I had posted these same movie stills here on Twitter before our chat. That’s what I’m talking about below.)

@MadelineIva:  Some of you out there have been guessing movie titles-any movies you’d recommend for Fatal Attraction fanatics? Chime in.

@writerggandrew: A little hokey, but what about Mr. And Mrs. Smith?

@MadelineIva: I think that’s valid — and turns convention on it’s head too, cause they’re BOTH deadly.

@Charlotte_Stein: Yessss great suggestion! It’s not my fave film, but I do love the way it plays with those tropes!

@carollclaudia: I’d suggest Twilight.

#9 Tortured lovers in technicolor splendor.
#9 Tortured lovers in technicolor splendor.

@MadelineIva: So perverse! I love it that what makes him so attracted to her is his yearning to kill her.

@carrollclaudia: Agreed! And yet (*spoiler alert*) it all ends quite happily.

@MadelineIva: If it doesn’t end happily, then I really gotta have a big bang with the super-evil stuff.

(This is when Sam Messingham came back at the end of the night.  after hosting the facebook version on the same ‘fatal attraction’ theme.)

@Samatlounge: Hey @madelineiva @Charlotte_Stein feel free to chat more, but I’ve had enough romance and erotica for one night, off for a cold shower xx

@Samatlounge Many thanks to both of you @madelineiva @Charlotte_Stein you’ve been marvelous.

@MadelineIva: The time flew by! Thanks for hanging out & blowing my mind! Last question: Top 5 movies!


My top five dangerous romances:

  • Jagged Edge, because a) Jeff Bridges and b) The way it keeps you guessing.
  • Sea of Love, for the electric chemistry and the willingness to explore the sexy alongside the thriller plot.
  • BFI LOVE FESTSleeping With The Enemy, for having all those dark and deadly elements but a sweet romance too.
  • In The Cut, because it’s gorgeous, and it really goes there in terms of the sex and the gritty romance.
  • And finally Blue Steel, because it feels like a wonderful gender switch of those “psycho girlfriend” movies.

@MadelineIva: Thanks Charlotte for hanging. We *lurv* you so hard! People, check out her books — they’re awesome sauce!

@writerggandrew: Would love to get this watch list! Though now my brain keeps thinking of sexy evil dudes on Tv…

@MadelineIva: Another discussion for another day but one we MUST have!

@Charlotte_Stein: You can find me at http://www.charlottestein.net

#10 There are movies with twists, and then there are movies that are so twisty they're corkscrews--that's this film with it's jail-bait duo.
#10 Brilliant job by jail-bait duo.

@MadelineIva: Fabulous! Don’t forget BEYOND REPAIR folks — Movie fanatic meets semi-drowned movie star in her beach house.

@Charlotte_Stein: (kissy face emoti-con)

@MadelineIva: And lovely people — thank you to my partner in crime, @writerggandrew from @LadySmut1 for joining me today!

@writerggandrew: Thanks, this was fun!

@MadelineIva: Meanwhile, find me and @writerggandrew at http://www.ladysmut.com

and on twitter: @LadySmut1.

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