• Publication date: January 26, 2010

Pretty Woman Pretty Woman

Richard Gere is Edward Lewis, a prototypical businessman of the early nineties, ruthlessly ...

Richard Gere is Edward Lewis, a prototypical businessman of the early nineties, ruthlessly participating in one of the decade’s favorite pastimes: corporate takeovers. During a trip to Los Angeles he has a fight with his girlfriend, leading to their breakup. Within half an hour he is in his friends convertible and on the streets...it is here that Edward finds his next mate although he was not looking for one. Vivian Ward (Julia Roberts) is a down and out Hollywood prostitute who gives Edward directions to his luxury hotel –for a fee. Vivian sparks a conversation with Lewis about cars, noticing his sleek Lotus. Impressed, Edward decides to invite her to his room for some relaxation and perhaps a bite to eat. Sex, at this point, is still not something he is considering. Naturally her presence causes a bit of a stir in the hotel; her knee-high black boots and extremely short dress is in stark contrast to the establishment’s fancy décor and its occupants’ snooty attire. In a show of compassion the hotel’s manager, takes Vivian shopping on Rodeo Drive, after which Vivian returns a new woman, ditching her tacky blonde wig and overly revealing clothing for a more classy look. Viewers witness a Cinderella story in the making, with a touch of George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion – the story of a lower-class British girl transformed into a passable member of high society. Indeed that is what Edward has in mind for Vivian. Without his girlfriend to accompany him to business lunches and high-class social events, he would appear awkward and to some extent tactically disadvantaged. To reverse this inadequacy he offers Vivian $3000 to spend a week with him, coupled with unlimited access to his credit cards and a complete makeover – both outwardly and inwardly. She is even given a lesson in table manners. His investment pays off. At the first event they attend she not only passes as a member of aristocratic society, but as one of its most beautiful constituents. While her arrangement with Lewis was never intended to move beyond a business transaction, a stipulation she insisted upon herself, it inevitably transformed into a genuine love affair – with Vivian falling first and her wealthy client next. As the week progresses both individuals will begin looking at the world, and their futures differently. A bigger question lingers however: is Edward willing to permanently move Vivian from the red light district and into his heart and home? Pretty Woman was a tremendous success, and remains one of the highest grossing romantic comedies to date. At the end of its box office run the picture earned $463 million, garnering 33 times more than its $14 million budget. Roberts received a Golden Globe for her performance in the film, in addition to an Oscar nomination. Pretty Woman’s soundtrack sold millions and etched songs such as King of Wishful Thinking by one-hit-wonders Go West and Roxette’s It Must Have Been Love into America’s pop psyche. Rating: Rated R for sexuality and some harsh language.