is a 1993 comedy film directed by Carl Reiner that parodies erotic thrillers such as Fatal Attraction
and Basic Instinct
The movie follows Ned Ravine (police officer and
lawyer) who has an affair with a woman named Lola Cain. Ned's wife Lana and her auto mechanic Frank, whom she's having an affair with, start plotting to kill Ned in order to collect on his accident insurance. The film continues, following the ensuing antics involved.
The film stars Armand Assante
as Ned, Sean Young
as Lola, Kate Nelligan
as Lana and Sherilyn Fenn
as Laura Lincolnberry, Ned's secretary.
Not to be confused with Fatal Attraction
Tropes associated with this work:
- Actor Allusion: Laura has fantasies about Ned as "The Mambo King".
- Affectionate Parody: "Femme Fatale" movies like Fatal Attraction and Basic Instinct, among others.
- It can be a little hard to take Double Indemnity seriously after seeing this, as so much of the "hard-boiled" dialogue in Fatal Instinct was lifted directly from that.
- Aside Glance: Lola Cain, after Ned Ravine turns her down.
- The Big Board: Lana Ravine uses one to explain her murder plan.
- Big "NO!": Ned Ravine
- Bottomless Magazines: Twice when Lana is firing her revolver.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: A camera runs into a tree and the lens breaks.
- Cat Scare
- Costume Test Montage: When Ned Ravine and Laura Lincolnberry are in the store.
- Courtroom Antics: Both the prosecution and the defense during Lana Ravine's trial. And the colour commentary.
- Cue Card: Ned Ravine's partner holds up cards with Miranda Rights written on them.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Laura had been on the run from her abusive husband.
- Femme Fatale: Lola Cain and Lana Ravine
- 555: Lampshaded (like so many other tropes) by every phone number being 555-5555.
- Flashback Echo
- Freudian Threat: In the backstory, Max Shady threatened to cut off his lawyer Ned Ravine's penis after Ravine lost Shady's case.
- Frying Pan of Doom: See Tap on the Head
- Fun with Subtitles: Lana and Frank meet in the park to plot Ned's murder. They speak in Yiddish so no one can understand them, but an observer comments on their conversation, explaining that "I can read the subtitles."
- Groin Attack: Lana at the shooting range with a human-shaped target.
- His and Hers: Parodied with those of Laura Lincolnberry and her abusive husband.
- Hollywood Silencer: Parodied with Max Shady's weapon.
- Inner Monologue: During dinner, Ned and Laura accidentally hear each other's thoughts.
- Lampshade Hanging: Oh, so very much. One of the primary gags.
- Left the Background Music On: During The Reveal that Lola and Lana are sisters.
- Whenever Lola is on screen there is usually a visible saxophone player in the background.
- Limited Wardrobe: Ned Ravine's suits.
- Made of Iron: Max Shady at first doesn't seem to notice that Lana is shooting him.
- Medium Awareness
- Miranda Rights: Ned Ravine reads them to a captured bank robber.
- Ms. Exposition: Ned Ravine's secretary.
- Newspaper Thin Disguise: Max Shady
- Opera Gloves: Lola Cain wears them.
- Overt Rendezvous: Lana and Frank meet in a park to plot the death of Ned.
- Playing Against Type: Armand Assante
- Punched Across the Room: Lola Cain to Ned Ravine after he calls her a "sure thing".
- Rapid-Fire Comedy
- The Reliable One: Laura is this for Ned.
- Salt and Pepper: Police officer Ned Ravine and his black partner.
- Shout-Out: The title, to Basic Instinct and Fatal Attraction.
- Many within the dialogue and the plot.
- Smelly Skunk: Averted; he's been descented.
- Spinning Paper
- Spiteful Spit: Max Shady to Ned Ravine when he was found guilty.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: Ned denying that he knows Lola.
- Tap on the Head: Laura Lincolnberry to her ex-husband.
- That Poor Cat: Twice.
- Underside Ride: Max Shady hangs onto the underside of a vehicle while it drives along. When he gets out, it's revealed that friction with the roadway wore through his clothing, exposing his buttocks.
- Yiddish as a Second Language: During the Fun with Subtitles scene.
- You Just Told Me: Ned Ravine's secretary Laura Lincolnberry and the lipstick that wasn't on his collar.