Some movies are like old friends. You might not see them very often, but when you do it's as familiar as walking in the front door.
Pretty Woman is one of those movies. I've never heard of anyone not enjoying this flick; it's become a '90s classic. There's so much charm jammed into this one movie that you can watch it over & over again, and not get bored.
It's hard to imagine what Pretty Woman would have been like if the original concept and script had been adhered to. I mean, can you even imagine Al Pacino and Michelle Pfeiffer in the lead roles? Allow me to answer that for you... No. The answer is no. Not even a little bit.
The original unhappy ending where Vivian returns to her horrible life of drugs and prostitution after Edward throws her $3000 payment into the gutter is even more ridiculous to think about. If that sort of shiitake mushroom had made it to the big screen I highly doubt we'd be talking about it here today.
There's a great many things that make a great movie great. With Pretty Woman I think you always have to come back to the allure of Julia Roberts, and to the on screen chemistry between her and silver fox Richard Gere.
They're both just so damn watchable, probably more so with Roberts who 'lights up the screen', 'radiates charisma' and 'beguiles with her beauty' - or any number of other throwaround lines you want to yadda yadda yadda...
Moving past those two for a moment, golf claps should go to a few more smart casting choices in supporting roles that were integral to building the world of Pretty Woman. Laura San Giacomo, as Vivien's hooker friend Kitt, provides the prostitute comedy, while still being believable. Jason Alexander, in his role as smarmy Philip Stuckey, manages to push aside all memory of Seinfeld's George. It's a pretty solid performance when you can make an audience forget such an unforgettable character like George Costanza. And Hector Elizondo's turn as Hotel Manager Barney watches Vivien transform from a Sassy McSassquatch prostitute to an elegant and self-assured lady (with a new knockout wardrobe), just as we the audience do throughout the movie.
Speaking of wardrobes, there's a whole lot to love about the threads Vivian scores from her week with Edward Lewis. Apparently there was a lot of talk during the making of Pretty Woman about not turning Julia Roberts' character into a fairy-tale princess. I think that might be the one big fat fail of the movie...
If I'm given two choices and it's between a Belle that falls in love with a Beast that abducts her, or a chick with amazing red hair who gets a limitless credit card to spend on Rodeo Drive, you know it aint gonna be a difficult decision.
When Edward takes Vivian to the opera, via personal jet (as you do), Vivian wears possibly the most enchanting red dress ever seen on screen. It's breathtaking, complete with elegant white gloves. My favourite dress though is the black cocktail dress with the scalloped neckline and choker she wears to dinner with the Morses. So classy! I WISH I could look that sophisticated in a cocktail dress. Any dress really. The daily struggle for style is real.
Lastly, let's look at the cracker of a soundtrack for Pretty Woman. The perfect track for the opening scene, where Vivian evades the rent collector and heads out for a night on the streets, is 'Real Wild Child (Wild One)' by Christopher Otcasek. There's plenty more songs that immediately make you think of the film when you hear them, like Natalie Cole's 'Wild Women Do', 'King Of Wishful Thinking' by Go West, Roy Orbison's 'Oh Pretty Woman', and of course Roxette's awesome track 'It Must Have Been Love'. (Sidenote: I'm loving Roxette so hard right now!)
I love the outro for Pretty Woman from the street bum crossing the street... Welcome to Hollywood! What's your dream? Everybody comes here; this is Hollywood, land of dreams. Some dreams come true, some don’t. But keep on dreamin’ - 'cause this is Hollywood. Always time to dream, so keep on dreamin’.
Jiminy Cricket, writing this article has made me want to watch Pretty Woman! Again.