A femme fatale, translating to “Deadly Woman” in french, is an alluring, seductive woman whose charms ensnare her lovers in bonds of irresistible desire. Often this leads them into compromising, dangerous and deadly situations.” ~ Wikipeda
Charlotte Vale, poor plain Aunt Charlotte, a trailer baby and therefore must take on the responsibility of caring for her cantankerous mother. Charlotte, the butt of family jokes and will surely die a spinster. Until she goes to a facility for the depressed and emerges from her cocoon. How could a women coming into her own be a femme fatale? She is a femme fatale because she falls for a married man and later becomes a surrogate mother for her lover’s youngest daughter who also suffers from depression.
Charlotte becomes independent, with men fluttering around her. She rebuffs these men as her heart belongs to another, Jerry Durrance. Upon returning from her retreat, her mother becomes bitter, resentful, and betrayed eventually being the death of her (although let me tell you, this is no loss).
The difference between Charlotte Vale and lets say Phyllis Dietrichson is that Charlotte is likable. You actually route for her, but the qualities that open her like a dewy flower are also the ones that make her a femme fatale, Charlotte Vale is a force to be reckoned with.