Pretty Woman (1990)

Rating 15
Length 1h 59
Release 1.6.1990
Director Garry Marshall
About Edward, a rich entrepreneur, hires Vivian, a prostitute, to accompany him to a few social events. Trouble ensues when he falls in love with her and they try to bridge the gap between their worlds.

The Good

  • Its Pygmalion. Okay, so for those unfamiliar with that one, its My Fair Lady. It is the ‘fairytale’ that Vivian speaks of. She’s down on her luck and Edward gives her a dream week. I mean, prostitution aside, who hasn’t ever wanted to be given someone else’s money and be told to ‘go to town’?
  • The music and the score as wonderful and it is the song choices that are what bring emotion to this film. There’s contemporary beats along with that crooner classic Pretty Woman. Such a genius choice that has become almost as iconic as that necklace scene.
  • The MVP for this, and many Garry Marshall pieces, is Hector Alizondo. I love the developing friendship between himself and Vivian and I almost wish we’d gotten more. He’s one of the more accepting of Vivian and least judgemental. I love how he helps her and you can see his pride.

The Bad

  • I hate the whole business plot. I feel as if it was written to fit around everything else and it shows.
  • I am really frustrated with how well developed Edward is at the beginning, but his walls are too easily pulled down. I know true love, blah blah blah. However Robert’s is as Vivian, I just don’t buy how fast paced this is, which is brought in by the ticking clock of her being a prostitute.

The Ugly

  • I’ve never been sold on Richard Gere as the romantic lead. I perhaps thought it was my age, then I figured it was the ‘gerbil story’ (Thanks Scream for that nugget), but I just think he’s not my “type”. However, the story isn’t really about the romance for me. It’s more about how money changes how a person is seen and the social classes, the judgement and the hardship. If the film didn’t have so much else going for it, then this would have been a real problem for me.
  • It is a fairy-tale. Its so problematic for the message it say about romance. Hell, it even goes so far as romanticising prostitution. Okay, okay… so it isn’t a propaganda recruitment video, but you know what I mean, right?! Viviene is clean cut, drug-free and without a pimp. Who knows about cars, ties and in the space of 6 days gets Edward to evolve. Yes, movies are about suspending belief, but that isn’t romance, that’s Stockholm syndrome and as about as romantic as Romeo and Juliet.
  • “I’ll do anything except kiss on the mouth” What the actual fuck? So you’ll do anal before kissing someone on the mouth? It’s frustrating to pick this out, because it totally went over my head as a kid (and I mean kid. I was watching this in like 1994), but what impression does that give to women?! Maybe I’m thinking too deeply, but I just find it a stupid rule.

Final Thoughts

I will always have a soft spot for one of my mum’s favourite films. however, I don’t buy the romance and I don’t root for that happy ending.

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