Pretty Woman is a funny, beautifully photographed, old-fashioned yet modern romantic love story.
Julia Roberts plays Vivian, a Hollywood hooker who shows lonely, self-made millionaire Edward Lewis (Richard Gere) – a stranger in town – how to get back to Beverly Hills. Naturally, she stays for the weekend and what begins as just another business proposition turns to real fairy-tale affection.
She loosens him up. He gives her a sense of value, self-confidence, and a limitless expense account. It’s miraculous what an American Express card can do . . .
Director Garry Marshall borrows his ideas shamelessly but has the wit and visual style to make it all seem fresh.
Some of the dialogue is hilarious, like when arguing whores on the sidewalk stars of Hollywood Boulevard establish territorial imperatives with lines like “I got the Ritz Brothers all the way to Carole Lombard – you go work up by Esther Williams!”
One of the highest-grossing pictures of 1990, Pretty Woman succeeded in making the “date movie” popular again. Not bad for a film that was originally conceived as a depressing look at prostitution in Los Angeles, as based on the original script entitled 3 Thousand.
Laura San Giacomo