Stories of love and passion are often portrayed in films so that we can have our couple come together, bring about some sort of conflict that threatens their happy existence, and then ends with happiness and joy. Fairy tales right? Well, there is nothing more fairy-taleish than a high-price Hollywood hooker that falls in love with a businessman who was simply looking for a drunken good time one night. Doesn’t that just sound like the life of a princess who is destined to find her prince and live happily ever after with him? Yeah, it sure as hell does if you enjoy peeing in your pants, wearing nothing but a tie, and watching old episodes of I Love Lucy until you cry from laughing.
Edward Lewis (Richard Gere) is a straight-up businessman that has everything in the world except the one woman he can love and that loves him in return. Sure, he could have any woman he wants, but he just can’t seem to find “the one.” On a trip into Hollywood, Edward gets drunk at a party one night and needs to leave and to have some time to himself – or maybe with the company of a lady of the night. Driving down the strip, he happens to find a hooker by the name of Vivian Ward (Julia Roberts) who is all set to show him a good time for the night and give him everything that his money could possibly buy. Little do either of them realize that their relationship has only just begun.
One night of lust ends up turning into a relationship that neither of them knew would exist between trysts. Edward and Vivian begin to truly care for one another and he starts showing her how it is to live the life of luxury so that she will stay with him for the full amount of time he’ll be in California. Vivian agrees but of course…for a price. Over the span of their time together, Vivian begins to show her true place in life and the class she has hidden beneath her stretch top and thigh-high leather boots. Edward also loves having the company of a woman that doesn’t just want him because he’s a wealthy bachelor, but merely enjoys his company. But is she really enjoying his company or just there for the payout? And can people from two totally different worlds ever end up loving each other or is it simply all about the money?
Pretty Woman is just a classic film that is nearing its twentieth anniversary. It will go down as one of the most famous romantic fairy tales ever. It is a wonderful story that is sort of “paint by numbers” thanks to the huge amount of films that have copied its blueprint over the years, but in 1990 this was some refreshing stuff. I mean it even goes as far as to reference itself as a fairy tale in the film because that is the type of love that Vivian wants to feel and the life she wants to live. Like I’ve already said before, we have our love interest, we have our conflict, and then we end up with our happy-go-lucky result. But along the way there are some truly iconic moments that will be remembered by fans for decades to come. Who can forget the moment Vivian had the jewelry box closed on her hand by Edward and she cracked up laughing? How about Edward trying to figure out how to drive the manual transmission of the Lotus? And almost any woman in the world has wanted to say to a snooty salesperson one time or another, “You work on commission, right? Big mistake! Huge! I have to go shopping now.”
Richard Gere and Julia Roberts are the perfect duo for this film and they would team again in Runaway Bride nine years later, but it just never garnered the same type of attention. The chemistry was still there between them, but it wasn’t the right story. I’m not fond of Roberts and also don’t find her nearly as attractive as numerous other people do, but it is almost as if she was made to play the role of Vivian. She dons the hooker garb, stands out like a sore thumb, learns to live the wealthy life, and then realizes it is where she belongs and never once do I not believe that she is totally real. Gere plays the role of Edward just like that is who he is in real life although it is scary how well he plays the role of an asshole at one point in the film, but it’s all part of the character. Those two make Pretty Woman the classic it is but you can combine their performances with a well written script and a story that will always touch the hearts of everyone who sees it.
Cinder-f*ckin-rella is shown in 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen format and it looks by far better then I’ve ever seen it before whether in the theatre, on video, on television, or on regular DVD. All colors are bright and vibrant which make it look and feel so much friendlier and romantic.
The film is heard in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and it also sounds fantastic whether it is the classic dialogue or the awesome music from the early nineties that blares around the room.
Blooper Reel – Your basic flubbing lines, tripping, and uncontrollable laughter. (2:36)
Live From The Wrap Party – It’s always good to have a bit of a celebration after the shoot is done and this is simply footage from the cast and crew party when Pretty Woman was completed. The main attraction is a song performed by director Garry Marshall, Julia Roberts, and Richard Gere. (4:05)
LA: The Pretty Woman Tour – Marshall decides to head around to some of the many locations seen in the film and let viewers get an inside look at them while he explains their reasons for choosing them. (9:11)
1990 Production Featurette – This is simply a small production piece that shows clips from the film and has short interview snippets with the cast and crew. Nothing much. (3:46)
“Wild Women Do” Music Video performed by Natalie Cole
Audio Commentary – Director Garry Marshall sits all by himself for this commentary track. No others are needed because he does a great job without having to talk to a soul but the microphone. He not only shares secrets from behind the scenes and filming, but also tells his inspiration and ideas for just about every scene that comes on screen. It is a very informative track that is fun and light-hearted making for a great compliment to this classic film.
Pretty Woman is a timeless love story and a classic romance that will always be one of those films that everyone will watch someday. You can swear up and down that you are too macho for it or don’t like watching “chick flicks” but it is a film that all can love and appreciate. If you don’t know the story by now then I highly recommend you go out and pick up a copy, because it just needs to be seen and enjoyed. The special features aren’t the greatest quality, although this Blu-ray release does include a great commentary track that would be great to even have on in the background sometime. Trust me that if you have seen this film as many times as I have, then you’ll know what parts Marshall is talking about when he gets to them without seeing them. The rest though barely add up to twenty minutes of extras and aren’t that good anyway. Yet if you haven’t yet gotten a copy of Pretty Woman then I urge you to grab this version because it looks and sounds phenomenal and that is a big plus when it comes to appreciating this film. Even if you don’t kiss on the mouth.
Walt Disney Studios presents Pretty Woman. Directed by: Garry Marshall. Starring: Richard Gere, Julia Roberts. Written by: J.F. Lawton. Running time: 125 minutes. Rating: R. Released on DVD: February 10, 2009. Available at Amazon.com