Pretty Woman movie cast: Richard Gere, Julia Roberts, Ralph Bellamy, Hector Elizondo
Pretty Woman movie director: Garry Marshall
Pretty Woman movie rating: 4.5 stars
“Welcome to Hollywood. Everybody who comes to Hollywood has a dream. What is your dream?” yells a passerby on a street where rich men usually stop to pick up call girls in the Garry Marshall directorial Pretty Woman. 1990’s Pretty Woman is about Julia Roberts’ character Vivian Ward’s dream of stepping outside the world of cheap sex, bad money and a miserable life. Of course, she succeeds but that is not ever the point of romantic comedies, is it?
As cliched as it sounds, the whole thing depends on the journey of the character and how the story travels from a cheap one-room accommodation to a lavish five-star hotel. Vivian’s knight in shining armour arrives in a fancy car. But he has a business proposition for the lively and vivacious woman. Edward, the knight in question, doesn’t ask for a night, but requests Vivian’s charming and energetic company for a whole week. Vivian is elated but things stop running their course when the playboy-businessman and the prostitute fall in love. Straight out of a Mills & Boon novel.
The good part is that the execution is near-perfect. Julia Roberts and Richard Gere, stately-looking and gorgeous folks, share a lot of chemistry and they know what is expected of them — to make the audience, even the disbeliever’s heart, root for a happy ending. Thanks to the combined efforts of the filmmaker, writer J F Lawton and the cast, the movie soars and bounces off the screen like a ray of sunshine.
Hector Elizondo, as the kind-hearted and soft–spoken hotel manager, is luminous whenever he appears on screen. And as far as heart-stopping romantic sequences go, the one where Julia is atop a classy piano has to be somewhere in top ten.
Hollywood Rewind: Dan in Real Life | Jurassic Park | Tangled | Meet Joe Black | Monster’s Ball | Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind | You’ve Got Mail | Half Nelson | Fight Club | Doubt | American Psycho | Julie and Julia | Forrest Gump | The Silence of the Lambs | Finding Neverland | Roman Holiday| American History X | Tropic Thunder | Before Sunrise | Scent of a Woman | Finding Forrester | Sixteen Candles
Post the success of Pretty Woman, Julia Roberts and Richard Gere went on to act together in the 1999 romedy Runaway Bride, which was also directed by Gary Marshall. However, the magic of the former was lacking in Runaway Bride.
And in case you were wondering that Julia’s Vivian was just a pretty woman waiting to be rescued from the ugly castle, you are mistaken. At one point when Richard’s Edward asks her what happens after the princess is rescued by prince charming; Vivian says, “She rescues him right back.” And that is how you take back the charge, by claiming in whatever measure you can, that you are equals. Equal partners in love.
Pretty Woman is currently streaming on Netflix.