Ossus Library Index Comedy Index

PRETTY WOMAN

Directed by Garry Marshall (1990, Touchstone Pictures)
Starring Julia Roberts, Richard Gere, and Jason Alexander

A millionaire hires a beautiful prostitute to be his non-romantic escort while he conducts business, but they start to fall in love.

 

 

5 stars

May 8th, 2010 on DVD for the 7th time  
   

This movie, although it does show late '80s fashion and hair, still stands the test of time. Nothing about it has been diminished, as the dialog, visuals, acting, and story are all great. Even after so long a wait between viewings, the dialog is so good that I knew much of it as it was being said on screen. This movie is a definite keeper.

 

 

5 stars

January 25th, 2003 on DVD for the 6th time  
   

I thought I would give this movie a new twist, after having seen it several times: we watched the Director's Commentary all the way through. I first came to realize how good a speaker this director was when watching Princess Diaries. He was so funny and entertaining when introducing deleted scenes, that I desperately wanted to hear what he had to say about Pretty Woman.

He didn't disappoint, in the least.

Everything he had to say was interesting, from attitudes of the actors and why they were put in certain roles, to the troubles of directing on the streets of Hollywood (you have to pay people to stay out of your way, as opposed to New York, where you have to post guards or else the equipment is stolen). One of the most interesting pieces of information, though, referred to the original script, which had a much darker tone, as Edward abandoned Vivian, and Kit died of a drug overdose!

I also didn't realize how much of the movie (or how much of any movie) could be ad-libbed. I was completely amazed that the store clerk had a bare minimum of lines to work with, as his "you come to the right store -the right city, for that matter" for sucking up, was hilarious.

As for the movie itself, seen on DVD for the first time, I loved the widescreen effect, as it really highlighted many scenes. The visual humor was terrific, and what dialog I could hear over the director's voice, between pauses, or known by heart, was very appealing. The DVD also has a few extra scenes added in, which don't really add much to the movie, but were very interesting, nonetheless, especially encountering the drug dealers looking for Kit.

The extras on the disc are almost bare minimum. There are behind-the-scene interviews, but they sound more like promotional material. The actual behind-the-scenes footage is a montage that is neat, but is too short to be anything but mildly interesting. The trailer is also included, and it seems to show the entire movie, including the ending!

The movie itself is still classic, a terrific comedy and romance. All of the actors are wonderful, brought out to their best. I love it, and now love having it as part of my permanent collection on DVD.

 

 

5 stars

January 18th, 2000 on Video for the 5th time  
   

It's probably from habit, but I do love this movie!  It has all the wit and charm of a classic.  And it makes viewers go ooh and ahhh, as well as fall in love with the characters as they are falling in love.

It is truly the little things that count.  Like when Vivian is finally able to seduce Edward, but keeps looking at the black-and-white movie as she's doing it.  I was never quite sure which she was enjoying more. 

The best scene, though, has to be the one where she goes shopping.  At first she's refused, because the sales ladies know she's a prostitute.  But then she first gets the hotel manager to help her, then Edward.  "The lady has my card," says Edward.  "And we'll help her use it!"  replies the store manager, in the open honesty that you can only find in Hollywood. 

They get to know one another at the beginning, in wonderfully scripted scenes.  I loved their first breakfast.  "I ordered one of everything," because he didn't know what she might want.  But they aren't sure about each other.

Through the opera (terrific), the picnic in the park, the cricket match, and the bath, they get to know one another.  And it rubs off on both of them.  They are both better for knowing each other.  They know it, but each wants more.  She wants the fairy tale, and he wants the independence.  They can't find middle ground, until, of course, the end.  Which can still bring gushes of tears to the eyes of some viewers, even after five viewings. 

Edward's business is really the scorekeeper in this match.  As Vivian shows him more and more that he doesn't actually want to take over this company, his eyes begin to open, and the company begins to change.  Jason Alexander's character suffers because of it.  And we're glad!  The character is a typical lawyer.  And a total jerk.  When he's fired at the end, we love to cheer.

And we cheer again and again as the story arcs come to a close.  This one is a gem.  A real keeper.

 
   

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