Pretty Woman (1990) Poster

(1990)

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8/10
88" of therapy!!
m_madhu18 November 2001
"the bad stuff is easier to believe. you ever notice that?" - vivian

ok, so pretty woman is a romantic movie, its cliched, its corny, its sappy. but hey, beyond all that is a special movie with some very special performances. julia roberts as vivian ward is absolutely adorable, one of the most lovable characters of alltime. and those long legs help - like she says - " 88" of therapy for the bargain price of $3000"

the movie has many memorable lines and if you fall in love with the movie you will go back to it again and again. this is easily the best romantic comedy movie of the 90s. though many movies have hence tried to recreate its charm, nothing has quite succeeded to replace this movie as the pinnacle of the genre.

and this ofcourse is high praise from someone who hates the genre. the story ofcourse is very predictable and cinderella like. however this is beautifully told and the on-screen chemistry between the very dashing richard gere and julia roberts is simply sensational. an absolute must for fans of romance, comedy, any kind of light hearted movies or for those who are big fans of julia or richard. watch this movie.

an enjoyable 8!
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9/10
Just has that special something....
triple827 August 2003
What is it about this movie that made it such an instant mega smash when it was released? I'm not sure if it's The incredible chemistry between Gear and Roberts, the smart dialog, the storyline-combination of all of the above-etc etc. But I do think These days, so few GREAT romantic comedies get made. Pretty woman is great. I enjoyed every moment of this and have seen it many times.

I haven't read any IMDb reviews of this yet, I wanted to comment first. This is a lovely story of hope and the true purity of falling madly in love-there are so many movies that try to be romantic and inevitably come across looking forced and contrived. The story and acting in Pretty woman, while very obviously being "Hollywood" to a tee, are so natural and free flowing, that it's just a joy to watch this. It's also great to see(in what's not usually the case) a romantic comedy that gets it right, in every area from casting to dialog to pretty much everything from start to finish. Great movie!
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The Last Gasp for 1980s Style Flair.
tfrizzell25 August 2003
Pure Hollywood fluff story that is so smart and sports such a dynamite cast that it becomes one of the more wonderful films of the period. "Pretty Woman" is pop culture at its finest as Julia Roberts (in an Oscar-nominated, icon-making role) is a prostitute on the mean streets of Los Angeles who gets a big financial break one night when she meets up with cold, but lonely business guru Richard Gere. They immediately create a bond and have a night of passion which soon becomes a week-long partnership with Gere and Roberts posing as love interests (and of course $3000 is involved as well). Could it be possible that Roberts, a lady with a heart of gold in spite of her background, is just the thing Gere has been needing in his life? A trumped-up adult-oriented version of "Cinderella" is probably the best way to describe "Pretty Woman". The old Hollywood story gets a glossy new look thanks to director Garry Marshall (doing arguably his finest film-making work). Gere and Roberts make for one of the more attractive pairs the cinema has ever seen. They just shine beacons of light on one another it seems. The fact that both are very good performers definitely enhance their appearances though. A smashing soundtrack and that vivid 1980s style (even though this was released in 1990) make "Pretty Woman" one of the big winners of the last few years. 4 stars out of 5.
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6/10
Redemption in Rodeo Drive
mrharrypaulson20 May 2017
Look where we were in 1990. No wonder we are were we are in 2017. The movie is charming enough with a splendid Julia Roberts becoming a huge movie star but, I have to say, watching it now gave me shivers. This is not Pygmalion, no, there is no insight, it's all superficial to a cringing degree. She finds redemption through her shopping and his credit cards. Isn't that lovely? It feels so insane that maybe that means we're evolving. - I saw Pretty Woman last night with a group who had never seen it before. Funny thing the young conservative, Christian women loved it - They didn't seem to mind the message of sex and money. The young Liberal women found it absurd, offensive and the charm of the film, dangerously misleading. They left long before the happy ending. Movies become historical documents, don't they.
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Such a dream, just you DO NOT think
Aleksandar Nedelkovic30 April 2005
Obviously similar to Shaw's "Pygmalion", but updated, more modern.

A lovely dream, one very old: rescuing a prostitute from the street. (Not in Woody Allen's sickish-moody way.)

However, if you wish to dream this one, be sure you do NOT start to think very logically . . . She is healthy, not on drugs, not on alcohol, not even a smoker; no syphilis, no gonorrhea, no AIDS wounds on her legs, nothing, she is just perfectly absolutely healthy. Body and mind. She is not a criminal, not inclined to steal anything, she even values love and dignity more than money. Oh, she has no pimp, who would be the other man (other than Richard Gere) in her life; nobody to protect her from smart types who walk off without paying; the pimp would explode the whole romance instantly. (Instead, a girl friend.)

She has a golden soul, full of goodness, and loves art, and feels for art. High-society types around them appear silly, artificial, stuffy. (Different forks.) She is natural. She even was a good student (!) and . . . might be again? She loves to bathe, and half the time we see her happy in the bath tub (which is a powerful signal and symbol for CLEAN, CLEAN; she even sings so super-ultra-charmingly in the bath; she wants to wash off the foolishness of her previous few months of street. And she can do it.

But with all those qualities, WHY would she ever become a prostitute in the first place? Don't think, don't think. Just dream, it is lovely.
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10/10
Very funny, heart-warming, romantic film with star-studded performances
Catherine_Grace_Zeh17 November 2005
Wow! Richard Gere and Julia Roberts give magical performances as a shrewd businessman and a lovely prostitute. I was really moved by the blend of humor and romance. The romance was what really moved me. I thought that Edward (Richard Gere) and Vivian (Julia Roberts) looked good in the attire they wore to the opera in San Francisco. Oh, boy, if you ask me, Julia Roberts did, indeed, look like a pretty woman in this movie. PRETTY WOMAN really tugged at my heart and soul and made me laugh at times. Don't say I have a twisted sense of humor, but I laughed really hard when Edward yelled at Stuckey (Jason Alexander) to get out of his hotel room. If I ever travel to Beverly Hills, I'm going to stay at the Regent Beverly Wilshire, that is, if I can afford it. Before I wrap this up, I'd like to say that I think Richard Gere and Julia Roberts each deserved an Academy Award for their performances. Now, in conclusion, I recommend this star-studded hit to anyone who's a fan of Richard Gere or Julia Roberts. You'll laugh, you might cry, you'll be touched, and you'll want to see this box-office smash over and over again.
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9/10
Wonderful Cinderella / Pygmalion tale, hooker style
roghache8 March 2006
What can I say that hasn't been said? This immensely popular, modern fairy tale romance is a fantastic 'feel good' must see. I can't resist watching it every single time it comes on TV. To tempt you if you haven't seen it...it's the story of a feisty, good hearted hooker named Vivian Ward, who is hired for a week by a wealthy businessman, Edward Lewis, to serve as his escort at a number of business related social functions. Needless to say, the relationship doesn't stay 'just business' for long.

Rather than the plot itself, the beautiful Julia Roberts makes this movie...and not simply because of her 88 inches of leg! Always endearing in her roles, she is at her absolute MOST endearing portraying Vivian in this picture. She brings a real vulnerability to the role, showing us that just like everyone else, prostitutes do indeed floss their teeth! Richard Gere pulls off quite convincingly the role of Edward, the ruthless, calculating millionaire businessman, who takes over companies only to sell them off piece by piece, quite unmindful of the interests of any people involved. To give Gere credit, I was quite impressed that he actually plays the piano in one of the movie's scenes.

Naturally, given Vivian's membership in the 'oldest profession', there is sex early on...though I, old fashioned and strict as I am, wouldn't hesitate to let my young teen see this movie. (There's worse in TV commercials today!) Oddly, the most truly intimate moment in this film is not during the more explicit sex but rather, simply a kiss.

Ohhhh, lots of romantic scenes, from a picnic in the park to jetting off in a private plane for a Big Night on the Town. And etiquette lessons...Vivian displays charming, amusing, curious innocence when she experiences with Edward her first opera (all the while looking knock out gorgeous in a stunning red gown), her first polo match, and her introduction to escargots. As the movie progresses, she is transformed Pygmalion style, from the street smart hooker provocatively dressed in tall black boots and mini skirt, to a sophisticated looking, elegantly gowned and coiffed young lady. But it's merely appearance...Vivian's heart of gold and her vulnerability both remain unchanged.

The status conscious snobbery of Beverly Hills dress shops and ritzy hotels, judging people by wealth and class, is well depicted here. When Vivian goes shopping for a 'more appropriate' wardrobe at some exclusive Rodeo Drive boutiques, she is not 'well received' by the sales ladies, who like all too many of us, are overly inclined to judge by appearance. You'll want these snobs to get their comeuppance. Actually, perhaps the most touching relationship in this entire film is the one between Vivian and Barney, the quite proper but kind desk manager at the high class hotel (where she is sharing a penthouse suite with Edward), who is able to see beyond appearance. He develops a genuine fondness and even more importantly, respect for her.

Other characters of interest...Kit is Vivian's appealing and sympathetic room-mate, also a hooker (Vivian's a loyal friend), and Stuckey is Edward's sleazy and despicable business colleague, portrayed by Seinfeld's Jason Alexander, a TV show which I must confess is not my favourite.

As events unfold during the film, it becomes clear that, while Edward might not understand too clearly the meaning of 'prostitution', Vivian clearly does. And, it's another shining film illustration of that pearl of wisdom from Eliza Doolittle (of My Fair Lady) who enlightened us, 'The difference between a flower girl and a lady is not how she behaves, but how she is treated.' Or, in Vivian's own words, 'People put you down enough, you start to believe it'.

Great Cinderella movie...don't miss it.
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8/10
A great love story
rbverhoef16 August 2003
Sometimes you have a romantic comedy that is remembered for a long time. Movies with Audrey Hepburn, 'When Harry Met Sally...', little parts from other Meg Ryan-movies and... 'Pretty Woman'. Of course we have the famous song and the real launch of the Julia Roberts career that help a little but it just is one sweet and very funny movie.

Julia Roberts is great in romantic comedies and especially with this movie (and 'Notting Hill') she proves this. With Richard Gere she has a perfect chemistry and in the end that is all we want to see. That Roberts is a prostitute and Gere a very rich man, living in a penthouse, make things only more interesting, joke-wise. One of the better romantic comedies made in the past and definitely one to watch again. And again. And may be again.
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9/10
An entertaining motion picture that had women calling out the delights of true love...
Nazi_Fighter_David1 April 2000
"This is Hollywood where people come to fulfill their dreams! Some dreams come true and some don't! Believe in your dreams!"

While visiting Los Angeles for a week, Edward Lewis borrows his friend's car and gets lost on Hollywood Boulevard... He asks a hooker for directions... She proposes to help him for 5 dollars... For $20, she accepted to show him where the stars live...

Edward invites her to join him in his hotel suite, but not for sex...

Enjoying her company, he offers her to be his 'date' for a series of business activities including a strategic dinner and a pool match... Out of the 'bargain,' she gets $3,000 cash, a classier wardrobe and a visit to the opera...

All the characters of the film are convincing, original and sympathetic, feeling comfortable with each other... Director Gary Marshall did a great job...

Ideal for the role is Richard Gere... He plays the terrific rescuer who 'free' Vivian from the streets conducting her to his penthouse suite... He is handsome, charming and shy... 'Henry Higgins' at his best... But Edward Lewis is a millionaire... He buys companies that are in financial difficulty... He takes them apart and sells the pieces for more than he paid for the whole... "It's strictly business", he tells Vivian... "You and I are both such similar people. We both screw people for money." Edward's only defect is that he hurts what he loves... He wins a certain imaginative power by how painful that treason is...

Julia Roberts plays Vivian Ward, an attractive and smart hooker with a heart of gold... She gives her character a great sense of humor, charming Edward with her honesty... She is intensely appealing and amusing, making any man feel comfortable...

Into the snobbish clothing store, she delivers a great exit line, just devastating the saleswomen... The song is terrific as the scene... In the hotel lobby, she walks in a 'killer' red dress... She learns which fork to use in the formal dinner meeting, projecting an escargot through the air... At the opera she innocently asks: "Where's the band?"

There's more than a touch of Eliza Dolittle in her role, specially when she decides she wants more from Edward than money... She gets the perfect rescue scene with a limousine, a fire escape, a balcony, birds, music and red flowers...

Hector Elizondo turns a supporting role into more than that... He plays the formal, intolerant hotel manager... He takes an affection to his best customer's "niece" and trains her on which fork to use at a fancy dinner... His amusing performance as Edward's smooth competent hotel manager nearly shapes Roberts and Gere...

Ralph Bellamy is incredibly good as the aging millionaire, creator of a small company Edward is trying to take to pieces...

Laura San Giacomo plays Vivian's pal roommate, her first role since she played the amorous sister in "sex, lies & videotape."

"Pretty Woman" is a contemporary Hollywood fairy tale, a sweet romantic comedy, an innocent love story in the middle of self-interest and agreement... It remains as an entertaining motion picture that had women calling out the delights of true love...

Keep on dreaming!
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I admit it, I'm a sucker for a "pretty woman!"
bheyer5 August 2004
Warning: Spoilers
No, I don't "follow" the reviews of "autumnshowers" (the preceding reviewer), but I read his/her (?) account of this movie and found it utterly pretentious and completely wrong. Before I begin with MY review of "Pretty Woman," I have to warn you, I'm biased: This movie is one of my Top Ten Movies of All Time. Why, you ask? 1) Julia Roberts in a star- making role. 2) Richard Gere, who must've realized somewhere during filming that he was playing second fiddle to a young woman in a star-making role. 3) Jason Alexander at his smarmiest best. In his eventual obituary (a LONG time from now, we hope!), they'll probably recap that he once slapped Julia Roberts silly in this movie (I know, HISSSSS!!!). 4) Laura San Giacomo in yet ANOTHER great supporting role. 5) Hector Elizondo (a fixture in movies directed by Garry Marshall) at his all-time scene-stealing finest. I love to watch this movie (I've seen it between 50 to 100 times - I know the dialogue by heart) just to see the looks on Elizondo's face when he shares a scene with Roberts. They run the gamut from reproach to pity to acceptance to admiration and finally to warm respect.

{SPOILER WARNING}

The scene at the end of the movie in which Elizondo (as hotel manager, "Barney" Thompson) kisses Roberts' hand, when she extends it for a handshake, and says, "come back and see us, again, sometime," never fails to tug at my heart. I mean, these two have really gone through some character development, together. In Elizondo's final scene in the movie, he agrees to return a necklace and matching earrings, given to him by Richard Gere, to the store he borrowed them from. Elizondo opens the jewelry box and says, "it must be difficult to part with something as beautiful as this." Of course, he's not talking about the jewelry, he's talking about Julia Roberts who parted company with Gere (reluctantly) the day before. This sets in motion the BIG reconciliation scene on the fire escape of Roberts' seedy apartment. Yeah, I know, this movie is about as believable as the Red Sox winning the World Series, but - to me - it's a veritable delight from beginning to end. No matter how low I feel, this movie ALWAYS brings a smile to my face. So, WHAT'S so wrong with that? As a matter of fact, Cinemax is showing this movie TWICE, tomorrow - at 6:15 a.m., and again at 4:00 p.m. I'll be in the viewing audience, too. Why? "It's the best!" I know what you're thinking: WHY doesn't he just tape it? Well, I did. However, I like it better when I know OTHER people are watching it at the same time as me. You know, like sitting in a movie theatre? The best part is knowing that at least some of these people are watching for the first time. How I envy them!
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4/10
How could anyone view this movie as romantic?
Blair Woynarski4 December 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I had the pleasure of watching Pretty Woman for the first time a few nights ago. I came away from it absolutely flabbergasted, trying to figure out what the people of 1990 could have possibly seen in this movie as appealing.

I've seen other reviews. People go for the easy shots, saying that it's "hokey", that Julia Roberts is too pretty for a hooker, but then people move past that and talk about how much they love the movie anyway. No one seems interested in discussing the absolutely horrifying implications about love and relationships that this movie presents.

But first, I do have positive things to say about the lead actors. Julia Roberts is adorable (and I'm not normally a fan of hers), and her cute, fish-out-of-waterness is really the only thing that can make this movie tolerable. And as for Richard Gere -- well, I'm absolutely delighted that he is no longer appearing in movies.

The idea that this is a love story is absurd. There is no love, here. Gere's character of Edward is acquiring a woman to suit his every need. And Roberts' hooker Vivian would have gone through the exact same experience with literally any rich man. Because Edward is literally any rich man. He has absolutely no discernible personality beyond doing generic rich person things. There is a peculiar escalation of culture throughout the movie. It starts with "I Love Lucy" in the hotel room, moving up into dinner parties, the opera (which Edward claims to be part of his soul, although his passion for it never comes up again), polo (does anyone actually do that?), and a particularly laughable scene of him reading to Vivian from a book of "Shakespeare's Quotations". That last one actually makes a great metaphor for Edward's character. He is a book of quotations without a hint of an actual play.

Vivian is a terrible prostitute. But really, that's not fair, because she's not a prostitute at all. Apart from her clothes, Vivian has nothing about her to suggest a life of prostitution. At no point in the movie is anything said to suggest her past sexual activity. There is no pimp, no past john returning for another go. She doesn't even get cat-called like the other anonymous hookers seen on the street in the film's opening. No, instead we get a conveniently monogamous atmosphere between Vivian and Edward, where we don't even see any sexual contact between them until they've fallen properly "in love". But there was sexual contact; that's important to remember. It's important to remember that when he says "I never treated you like a prostitute," that he has, in fact, been paying her for sex. I have to wonder what qualifies as treating a woman like a prostitute in his twisted mind.

This movie is terribly unfair to prostitutes. Not just because it whitewashes the vulnerable woman actually suffering on the streets with a cute Cinderella story, but it's also unfair to the legitimate, independent, professional escorts, who are being represented by a doe-eyed sugar-daddy-seeker who thinks she's driving a hard bargain by charging a multimillionaire $300 a night.

Being a prostitute is the least relevant part of Vivian's character, because she conveniently solves Edward's every problem: from giving him directions, to showing him how to drive a stick-shift (insert innuendo here), to helping him tie a tie (yes, the man who has been wealthy his whole life and spends all his time in high-powered business meetings doesn't know how to tie a tie). Edward treats Vivian as an asset, and doesn't show any real emotion throughout the movie. Vivian likes money, and she conveniently falls for the guy who provides that money and attends to her every need.

There is no romance here.
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10/10
A LOVABLE Cinderella STORY
I love this movie...like a Cinderella story for adults, with facts of the real world: a human (and man) fairy godmother for example, a prince, everything!!! About Julia, what can I said? I'm a very big fan, and the way She transforms a prostitute into a princess is phenomenal, She make it real too. Richard Gere was a 80's prince charming, no perfect but with a lot of things that make you said: "I want one for home". Maybe if you are 20 or younger you'll be no identify with the music, but for oldie's: "It must have been love" and "What women do" will take you to your best times! If you like romantic stories, that make you smile, cry and dream, this is the ideal and No.1!!!!
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6/10
Only In Hollywood Movies Do Hookers Look Like This
ccthemovieman-127 January 2007
This was the ultimate example of Hollywood glorifying prostitutes and showing them to be gorgeous (and basically good-hearted) women. I do NOT speak from experience but from number of real-life cop-friends I can tell you this: you average hooker looks the OPPOSITE of Julia Roberts (or Melanie Griffth or Elizabeth Shue and all the rest of the hooker-hotties Hollywood throws at us.)

Hokey? Definitely, but it's still a fun movie which has entertained most people who have watched it the past 15 years. Roberts and Richard Gere certainly make a handsome couple. Hector Elizondo almost steals the show with his minor role as "Barney," the hotel manager. He is definitely the most humorous character in the film.

It's a funny, charming and romantic film that was a big hit. Just don't believe it when Hollywood continues to glamorize the worst aspects of society, something it always does.
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1/10
Maybe the most sickening lie ever told.
Karl Ericsson27 October 2001
Ken Russel made 'Whore' as a reaction on this movie.

All in all, it is a movie which was done because someone found out that there was money to make on injured women, making them feel 'good' and 'experienced' over the sexual abuse they had been lured into by their vanity. You could also see the film as a commercial for prostitution. Cynically, you might agree that it's preferable to get money for the abuse instead of giving it away, but that is not the point that the movie makes, unfortunately. It's basically a Cinderella-story but 'Cinderella' in this case is a thoroughly used one and the prince is a moron. If all rich people were like him, then there would be no rich people. But, again, it is not the point of this movie to make you think that. No, no. The rich are all good and they all marry whores and yet they manage to keep their money and grace. If you believe that, you believe anything!
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1/10
15 years later and it still sucks.
Nick Damian29 May 2005
The first time I saw this was when I was with a date, and she thought it was an awesome movie. I didn't.

The second time I saw this was last night on TV. It still sucks.

As a love story this sucks. As having Julia portray a street hooker, this is repulsive. To me she was a librarian with a miniskirt and heels. She had no tough shell to her. She wasn't tortured, anguished, enraged, starving or anything else. Her "HOOKER" character was so flawed, like comparing a cubic zircon to a diamond. The two simply don't fit, no matter what they look like.

The ONLY cast I felt was worth watching was the 2 bitchy saleswomen, whom were excellently cast. They did such a fine job that I hated them for the few seconds that they were on screen. They had real definition, for the minor roles. OK, so the movie wasn't entirely trash...the two ignorant saleswomen saved the film.

Aside from those two women sales people, the rest of the cast...including the big names was just crap. Either everybody was an ass-kisser or had absolutely no reason to fill any dialog in the movie aside from just complimenting Julia Roberts or kissing ass to Richard Gere.

This was a movie about how when you walk around in high-heels and a tight skirt in Beverly Hills, people leer at you and guys who work in hotels gawk as if they just had a baseball bat struck to their face.

While in reality, the women who are dressed to the nines in Beverly Hills are hookers and prostitutes to a higher degree, but since they aren't wearing the gaudy Madonna looking jewelry or the patent boots, they can look down on the others who do.

The hotel cast was sickeningly sad to watch, and anybody who had any real character had less than a minute of screen time.

This is an insult to romantic movies, comedies, dramas and even to prostitutes who face wealthy customers on a daily basis with hopes of having their lives work out perfect.

The story is about Julia Roberts being PIMPED (yes PIMPED) by a multimillionaire in a business suit and limousine.

She is still owned, still told how to act, how to move, what to wear, what to say, where to go and what to do. He is more controlling than a street pimp, but the folks at Disney/buena vista butter it up to make it easier to swallow.

Had Richard Gere been a black man with a gold tooth and an AK-47 at his side instead of an attaché case, this movie would be about how a woman has to struggle to get away from the harshness of prostitution. Same story, different characters will make a very different outlook.

Oh yeah, change the white man for a black man or Asian or Spanish, have the land business deal be changed to a deal of weapons or narcotics and the entire concept of romantic comedy is thrown away.

As far as I'm concerned, Pretty Woman is still trash, dressed with ribbons and bows.

I didn't like it 15 years ago, when I didn't understand it and was led by the Hollywood hype. I hate it now that i can see past the pretty decorations that is called "love".

This movie is NOT a romantic comedy. It's a story on how to control a woman as long as you have the means and income to do so.

This is an insult to strong women, weak women and women in general, as well as to my television screen.

Do I hate it? Yes. Does it suck? Yes Would I recommend it to you? NO...well maybe if I really hated you.

Will this review get posted? We'll see.

Anywayz, that's all for now.
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4/10
An uncomfortable attempt at fantasy
lucien310 August 2001
Though I understand why so many people love this movie, I couldn't help but experience I creeping sense of unease when I saw it. The attempt to idealize what is really one of the most sordid, unappealing professions in America seems not only to undermine all the efforts to date to eradicate both the demand for prostitution and the seemingly Cinderella-esque appeal of prostitution, but to stroke our collective consciousness into a false sense of inculpability. Admittedly most of the people watching the movie do not directly relate to either of the two poles in the movie, the downtrodden Julia Roberts nor the fairy-tale prince Richard Gear. This means that the situation portrayed is more easily accepted as a fairy tale than real life, but for those more practically acquainted with the all-too-real world of prostitution, this movie is a slap in the face and a reminder that a story like Roberts' could never happen outside the fairy tale world.

If Julia Roberts were living in the real world of prostitution, she would be a bleary-eyed smack addict unconnected and unconcerned about her clients. The only way she might make a real profit off Richard Gear would be if her pimp collected extortion from him and gave her a cut.

Take it from someone who's been there. The world of prostitution is no fairy-tale.
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1/10
A slick advertisement for prostitution that lies and lies.
mbuchwal24 April 2005
In "Pretty Woman" Richard Gere plays an executive attempting to acquire a shipyard so that he can tear the company into small pieces and sell it off for scrap. While he is about this dirty business, he hires a street-walking hooker played by Julia Roberts for companionship. All of this is believable until the purely-for-hire relationship with the whore turns into a warm intimate relationship that seems to change the businessman's character so much for the better that he reverses his decision to decimate the company he is preying upon and even proposes marriage to the hooker.

The makers of this film would like us to forget everything we have ever learned about prostitution – that it takes place in an environment of corruption and is itself a cause of corruption, misery and disease – in favor of the absurd notion that sex for hire is a convenient, appealing and pleasurable way for couples to meet and establish a love relationship.

The producers were very clever in hiring deadpan actor Richard Gere to present their false point of view to innocent viewers, because everything else about the movie smirks at the jades in the audience, not too subtly concealing its lewd in-jokes and boorish innuendo beneath a paper thin veneer of polish and elegance. Worst of all, it openly and chivalrously takes the part of prostitutes against those who may disapprove of them.

"Pretty Woman" is the type of manipulative movie that does everything it can to sell the audience on its values, without making an effort to distinguish between itself and real life. For suggestible viewers, it presents a danger that they may imitate what they see on screen, and then find out too late that real life is not anywhere near so pleasant or easy when it comes to dealing with low life criminals or the vulgar and licentious rich.

I once heard a very successful and well regarded professor of screen writing remark that "it's much better to be rich than to be poor." Not if it means flaunting a love of vice in this disgusting manner.
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1/10
Prostitution is OK as long as you get rich doing it.
jminer26 July 2000
If it weren't for one scene where Julia Roberts laughs, and looks like she means it - that's called acting - I'd call this the worst movie of all time. Instead I'll have to leave Cocktail unchallenged in that position. The moral of this tale appears to be that if you are a cute enough hooker to attract the attention of a sleazy maitre d', then a world of sleazy opportunities called Rodeo Drive will be open to you.

If all the prints of this film were chopped into guitar picks, the world would be a better place.
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1/10
Did I See the Right Movie?!
MovieMarauder17 March 2004
If it weren't for Julia Roberts' lead role in this film, I would have been SURE I was watching some awful spoof of the *classic* romantic comedy "Pretty Woman." Now, I consider myself a very open-minded fella, I try not to prejudice myself against chick-flicks and I'm one guy that actually likes a true romantic film. But this one is just plain overrated SCHMALTZ the whole way through. Why is it that EVERY leading man in these corny modern movies has to look exactly the same? As a movie fan, I have trouble rooting for a tall, handsome pretty-boy with an overflowing bank account who could have any woman he wants. But I guess this film wasn't made for us "unenlightened men who don't go to movies and have no need for romance in our lives." If you believe THAT, you'll believe this movie. And as in every Disney film made in the last fifty years, you have the token evil guy who also happens to be short, bald, and unattractive (Jason Alexander). Isn't this a bit of a childish cop-out, casting the short, bald semetic man as the "bad guy"? What is this, a German propoganda film?! Sorry if I'm getting a bit preachy, I just really hate the message that these films project onto a generation of lovelorn women. The whole fairy tale of the handsome knight rescuing the damsel in distress from a life of loneliness is just that; a fairy tale. The truth is, there's no such thing as the perfect man, or "Mr. Right" just like there's no perfect woman, so please stop creating this standard for perfection that doesn't exist, and stop trying to brainwash movie audiences into thinking that wealth and beauty makes a good human being. Just hope you find a kind, sensitive, and wonderful man who loves you for you! Trust me, that's as good as it gets on this warped planet. If you'd like to see a really BEAUTIFUL romance on film, check out "Picnic", "Casablanca", or "Now, Voyager!" They're OLD movies, but they were made at a time when Hollywood wasn't cranking out love stories in a tired old formula. The characters are true-to-life, the plotlines are original, and even better, BOTH sexes can enjoy these films. Ladies, even that inveterate macho guy in your life may get a little misty-eyed watching these (I know I did!)
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1/10
Hey, I've got a great idea...
limeyabroad7 October 2013
Let's glamorize prostitution and market it to kids!!! Oh wait, this movie already did that.

Had they stuck to the original script, this could have been a great movie. Richard Gere was supposed to pick up the hooker, use her for the time he was in town and then dump her. That would have been perhaps realistic. Although if you're going to use hookers, why would you want the same one for more than one night?

Add to that that Julia Roberts is simply devoid of acting ability, and is not exactly what the title of the movie promises, and you have a film with no heart, no soul, and no reason to exist.

If you're going to adapt Pygmalion, then look to My Fair Lady or even Educating Rita for your cues on how to do it right. A cheap and tawdry movie marketed to young girls with the message that it's a good idea to become a hooker, as your Prince Charming will find you after only a few months and you will never be beaten/raped in that time. You will be able to avoid the drugs and the alcohol and even the tobacco. Utter tripe and garbage.
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1/10
No one hates this film more than me
buddybickford3 September 2009
I have just given a 10 for Thieves Highway, I mention this for two reasons one to prove I'm not a git who only gives bad reviews but 2 because the theme of the film has the same thread namely the falling in love with a woman of the night.

We all know pretty Woman is a chick flick but you can't avoid them all, they'll eventually get you. Pretty Woman for me does two things, two terrible horrible ghastly things, firstly it portrays prostitution as a career more akin to that of a dancer, you know with absolutely great friends, leg warmers lots of giggling, borrowing each others make up. You see in the reality of Pretty Woman the prostitute and this is a street walker Prostitute we're talking about here, has a great life, she's healthy happy with only the occasional whimper to explain her predicament. My feeling is this 'happy Hooker' type protagonist is a lot more palatable than an even nearly realistic character, which for me begs the question if you make a movie about a type of person but are too chicken scared to adorn that player with the characteristics familiar to that role then why do it? If I make a film about a chef but don't want him to cook or talk about food or wear a white hat then why make a film about a chef in the first place? By bailing out and turning the hooker into a respectable dancer type the story misses the point completely and consequently never indulges in any of the moral or social questions that it could have, what a cop out, really really lame.

Secondly, 'Pretty Woman' insults romance itself, Edward Lewis played by Richard Gere has no clue how to seduce or romance this 'lady' that is without his plastic friend, yep don't leave home without it, especially if you are a moron in a suit who has no imagination. 8 out of 10 of his romantic moments involve splashing cash in one way or another, even when he first meets her it's the Lotus Esprit turbo that does all the work, necklaces here diamonds there limos over there, money money money, where's the charm? where's the charisma, don't mention that attempt at the piano please.

Girls who like this film will also be girls who like shopping more than most. Guys who like this film will not even have realized that old Eddy has less charm than a calculator, as they probably don't either so it wont have registered. More importantly anyone who likes this film will hate 'Thieves Highway' a wonderful story of which part is based on the same subject.

I'll finish on a song:

Pretty woman hangin round the street Pretty woman, the kind I like to treat Pretty woman, I don't believe you You're not the truth No one could spend as much as you Mercy

Pretty woman, wont you pardon me Pretty woman, I couldn't help but see Pretty woman, and you look lovely as can be do you lack imagination just like me

Pretty woman, shop a while Pretty woman, talk a while Pretty woman, sell your smile to me Pretty woman, yeah, yeah, yeah Pretty woman, look my way Pretty woman, say you'll stay with me..and I'll pay you..I'll treat you right
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Beauty always trumps the top Human Ideals
chazz466 October 2007
PRETTYWOMAN…as poor thesis for humanity As long as we are talking about women, beauty, etc., I thought I would bring up my singular position as actually having HATED the movie "Pretty Woman" as opposed to everyone else I talk to. The movie "Pretty Woman" appears to do injustice to the realistic expectations of our youth in the sense that this movie preyed upon the sensual powers of attraction that physical beauty has over the intellect and other non-physical attributes which, on the other hand, truly are the foundations for the ideal man and woman relationships. When it was said, "It must be difficult leaving something so beautiful" (this being a $250,000 necklace as a concrete representation of a beautiful woman) such placement of beauty on a pedestal lends to the difficulty of maintaining one's grasp of the conventional ideal that a well-educated person, amongst other ideals, is to be placed on the pinnacle of desirability. After all, beauty of the human being does not take outstanding craftsmanship as needed to create such a necklace....nor does a naturally beautiful person require any major toil and effort on the part of many to obtain the raw materials for these craftsmen. Rather, quite simply, this beautiful woman symbolizes the antithesis of all requisite efforts that must come together to create and produce wealth of mankind. In short, random luck provides a particular human being with an attractive appearance that trumps all other ideals that we hold as more important. The powerful, intellectual, and educated man's (Richard Gere's character) choice for this woman (Julia Robert's character) primarily on beauty alone, tends to denigrate all of the human effort to rise above our baseline naivete and ignorance. With all of his character's accomplishment, why does he not seek out a woman who has climbed Mt Kilimanjaro, collected high level degrees, and started her own successful company, etc.? This film captures the dilemma for man---that, in spite of our ideal of becoming honest in the sense of Ayn Rand's thesis ("An honest man (or woman) is one who does not consume more than he produces or creates") and productive through the development of our minds, he still cannot resist basic God-given beauty. By the popularity of this movie, I think it points out this phenomenon, and furthermore tends to promote beauty over the other ideals. In fact, there are masses of achievers and educated individuals who successfully ward off the temptations of beauty and choose the attractiveness of a well-developed mind and on-going accomplishment. To me, this movie seems to help perpetuate the sophomoric and juvenile concept that beauty, romantic relationships, and self-directed pleasure rather than development of God-given potential are all that life is about. One might say that this movie gives the beautiful person (as well as the person who perceives oneself as such) a mistaken notion, or at least a temptation, to rely solely on that beauty and to ultimately cash in on it and as a result live a superficial meaningless life, without ever achieving one's God-given potential. Chazz
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5/10
Shallow and morally corrupt fluff
yoyodinepropulsion13 April 2002
On one level, I enjoy "Pretty Woman". While I'm not particularly a big fan of Richard Gere or [the very overrated] Julia Roberts, their chemistry in the film is great, and the film works as a decent romantic comedy on a superficial level.

But I just can't get beyond how morrally bankrupt this film is. Characteristic of Hollywood, the much more cynical original incarnation of the script (titled "3000") attempted to really look into the our seedy values behind money and prostitution. The fact that director Garry Marshall would take such material and twist it into hollywood shlock is therefore quite depressing. The worst part is that you can still see small remnants of the films roots (especially the beginning) which has been bleached out as much as possible.

What is this film really saying? It seems like greed, not love is the real answer (the scene where Roberts gets the gift of the Credit Card makes me want to vomit).

In summary, there are a lot of appealing elements on the surface of "Pretty Woman", but the underlying subject matter is disturbing and contradictory to the film's message. While I personally think this film deserves a 1, I'll give it a 5 in a nod to all you people out there who care only about how "cute" Richard and Julia look together in this movie.

For a real romantic comedy from this period, see "Sleepless in Seattle" instead.
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1/10
A movie for women who dream of an unlimited shopping spree.
thguru4 February 1999
The plot is unrealistic. A billionaire is not very likely to pick up a prostitute and eventually make love to her. AID's and other STD's are around. He did not become a billionare by being "stupid". This is just another movie that panders to a woman's fantacy of finding a rich man and spending his money, and telling all of his rich friends where to go. It is very flashy with women's clothing and short on any great drama.
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2/10
horrible
mickey12330 May 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Probably one of the most sexist, unrealistic and outright offensive movies I've ever seen. Julia Roberts plays a clean, sweet, beautiful prostitute who is 'rescued' by a millionaire businessman (Richard Gere) who tells her what to wear and how to act as she escorts him from place to place and sleeps with him for $3000. They fall in love, and live happily ever after.

A lot of the other characters were unrealistic as well. Are we honestly expected to believe that the high-priced hotel staff would be THAT nice to Vivian? I understand that this is taken from "Pygmalian", but other versions (ie My Fair Lady) were less sexist and more realistic than this dribble. This movie teaches girls that wealthy men will save you, and that prostitution is a lively, cultured job with no disease, physical or mental harm, financial strife, or drug addiction.
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