And the Popcorn Stinks, Too

The film's producers, the same sensitive, altruistic arbiters of taste and morality who brought us Fatal Attraction, are presumably laughing all the way to the nearest Perpetual Savings branch. In much the same fashion that Fatal Attraction, the story of a philandering husband who has an affair with a mistress from hell, sparked a lively national discussion of marital infidelity and its consequences, Indecent Proposal's central dilemma -- Would you sleep with a stranger for a million bucks? -- has become the national topic du jour. Newspapers have dispatched reporters to interview the man in the street; talk-radio phone lines have been humming; Oprah's done a show on the subject.

Fatal Attraction did more to suppress the time-honored American tradition of marital infidelity than every sermon ever preached from every pulpit in every church in South Carolina. Motel owners were reportedly threatening to file a class action lawsuit against the movie's producers. Perhaps Indecent Proposal, with its tacit condoning of illicit romance if the price is right, was part of an out-of-court settlement.

There's a timeworn anecdote that bears repeating here. A man and a woman meet at a party and make small talk. The man asks the woman if she would consider sleeping with him for a million dollars. The woman mulls it over and responds that yes, for a million dollars, she probably would. In that case, the man continues, would you sleep with me for a dollar?

"Of course not!" she replies indignantly. "What kind of woman do you think I am?"

"We've established that," he counters. "Now we're just haggling over the price."

In the case of Indecent Proposal, that price is seven bucks.
Professional pimps await the day when newlywed brides offer to trade a roll in the sack for breakfast and bus fare back to Cincinnati.

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