Anthony's Film Review

Pretty Woman (1990)

Pretty Woman may be about a prostitute, but it is still a sweet romantic film...

Given how some people may view prostitution as dirty, illegal, and/or immoral, it is not typical for a love relationship, in real life or fiction, to blossom between a prostitute and a client. Not that it isn't possible. It's just not typical. Of course, a situation that isn't typical could be considered fairly original for a story idea. That's probably what led to the 1990 romance film Pretty Woman. Someone must've realized that a movie about a prostitute-client romance hasn't been done before. It could be a good movie if the subject matter is handled creatively, not to mention delicately.

Pretty Woman stars Richard Gere as a rich businessman named Edward Lewis and Julia Roberts as a prostitute named Vivian Ward, a notable role in her early acting career. These two actors are good choices, both playing characters who are likable without any major flaws. As a result, their initial encounter is rather interesting. You see, Edward is not someone who initially looks for sex. When Vivian walks up to Edward's parked car seeking business, Edward actually asks for directions to Beverly Hills. This leads to Vivian getting in the car, Edward and Vivian chatting while he finds his way, Edward inviting her to his hotel room, and the two chatting some more. There is finally a little sex afterwards, but it's a minor thing compared to everything else.

Basically, you can think of Edward and Vivian's first night together as a romantic date, rather than a casual sexual encounter, even if Edward is paying Vivian at the hourly rate she charges. As their time together continues, it's clear that Edward looks at Vivian with his heart, not his genitals. There is more to it, though. You see, Edward is going to a social event related to his line of work, so he needs a date. Naturally, he invites Vivian, who has to prepare by getting a new dress that would make her more glamorous and appropriate dressed for the occasion. By the time Edward sees her new look, any thoughts about Vivian as a prostitute are thrown out the window.

The rest of the movie focuses on this couple as their time together proceeds. It's what you expect in any romance story: love and happiness as well as conflict and heartbreak. As bumpy as the ride may get momentarily, it's mostly an uplifting one. It just goes to show that you can have romance between any two people who are fond of each other, regardless of their occupation or any other characteristic. Really, the relationship between Edward and Vivian is a genuine one.

In the end, I was pleasantly surprised. I was surprised that a romance film centering on a prostitute has plenty of heart and very little sex. I was surprised that Richard Gere and Julia Roberts had plenty of on-screen chemistry. Pretty Woman is one of those films where you can easily misjudge the film if you know its premise but have not seen it yet. I definitely give credit to the filmmakers for making something original and creative out of the prostitute-client relationship. The result is a movie that is sweet and heartwarming.

Anthony's Rating:

For more information about Pretty Woman, visit the Internet Movie Database.


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