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Pretty Woman (1990)

  Directed by: Garry Marshall
Written by: J.F. Lawton
Starring: Richard Gere, Julia Roberts
Links: Pretty Woman on the IMDb, Buy on Video, Buy on DVD, Buy the Soundtrack
Genre: Romance

This movie gets: 6.00 (1 rating) Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

Pretty Woman (1990) is also mentioned in pearly's review of Closer (2004) and jud's review of The Mothman Prophecies (2002).

"Why all the fuss?" - a review by pearly

Ahhh Pretty Woman. The film that broke Julia Roberts (not literally, you understand, though that would have been pretty cool). The film for which she was nominated for the Best Actress Oscar, rather than just the measly Best Supporting Actress she got the year before for Steel Magnolias (1989) (thankfully, she didn't win Best Actress - Kathy Bates took it out for Misery (1990), and well deserved, too).

The film about a prostitute that Roberts apparently played so well that it was elevated to Oscar-worthy status. But is it actually any good? Well, hold your horses, I'm about to tell you.

In Pretty Woman, Roberts plays Vivian, a street prostitute who's a bit down on her luck, and who only ended up there by a series of bad luck events anyway. Anyway, she's having a bit of a whinge to her roomy when Edward (Richard Gere) drives up. He's a proper sort of gentleman (and rich to boot) who would never consider making use of such services, but he's a bit lost, and he takes Viv with him so that she can show him the way to his hotel. It is during this car trip that Viv manages to charm Edward, and he invites her up.

From here on, it's a rags-to-riches style story, very similar to My Fair Lady (1964), with Edward "refining" the rough-around-the-edges Viv, and turning her into a real lady. Stereotypes and policital incorrectness of a similar nature to this much earlier film are also present, and I don't know whether it's just that a lot of water has passed under the bridge since 1990, but I can't imagine this story being accepted as willingly were it released today.

But, back in 1990, it was all fine, and Pretty Woman was immensely popular. It's still the same sort of thing it always was; it would fit right into a When Harry Met Sally... (1989) / Sleepless in Seattle (1993) marathon, for example. It's fluff, essentially. It's not really hurting anyone that much, but it's not all that wonderful either. It's just kinda... there. As far as romantic comedies go (and I'm far from an expert on the subject), it is probably considered one of the classics, but it wouldn't even make my top ten.

pearly gives this movie 6 out of 10.
Review created on Wed 8 Dec 2004

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Reader comments

  1. nice movie

    A comment from cloe on Fri 11 Feb 2005 22:55 #

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