Sunday, May 07, 2006

Pretty Woman (1990)

Pretty Woman Walking Down the Street!

Pretty Woman puts a rather…interesting spin on the classic Cinderella story. Julia Roberts plays the role of Vivian, a Hollywood prostitute who one night meets a “client” called Edward who will eventually bring her the change in life that many girls only dream of. Edward is a cutthroat business man who makes a living by profiting off other’s failures. He had become very used to getting whatever it was that he wanted. To him, everything has a price tag which included people!

Edward picked Vivian up at a street corner in Hollywood, CA with the intent of hiring her as a week long escort to have by his side as a trophy piece to take around the business social scene. He offered her an amount of money that she could have only dreamed about ever being paid for her services. She was thrown into an environment of luxury: a penthouse suite in a grand hotel, unlimited room service and Edward’s credit card that he entrusted to her to buy as many clothes as she wished. Is this situation realistic? Not really! I don’t know too many people who would just hand over their credit card to a sex worker and trust her to come back with it! Also, I find it kind of sad that Vivian’s moment of glory is when she runs into the store that turned her away and bragged that they made a big mistake by not helping her. It just seems as though she is beginning to see money in the same light as Edward in that she thinks that money can buy you happiness.

The movie shows how a relationship begins to be built between Edward and Vivian, and how this relationship begins to change both of them for the “better.” Edward finally understands that people cannot be bought and Vivian realizes that she no longer wants to pursue a life as a sex worker. She wants to return to school and make something out of herself. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Cinderella story if the poor “Cinderella” didn’t finally get together with her “Prince Charming.” So, of course there was a fairy tale ended where Edward climbs up her balcony (in spite of his fear of heights) and asks her to be with him. She of course accepts and they (we assume) will live happily ever after.

All in all this is a good movie in regards to the entertainment factor. The main aspect that I don’t like is how women are portrayed. The movie doesn’t show the dangers inherent in being a sex worker. It seems to portray that positive things can happen, such as meeting the man of your dreams, when you’re a prostitute. This movie definitely portrays women as sex objects! How more obvious than having the main character be a hooker! It also shows men as being all powerful in a woman’s life. It is Edward and his money that end up “saving” Vivian from her life as a sex worker. Another question that one can raise is: Does Vivian originally fall in love with Edward or does she fall in love with his money? I don’t know that this is the type of movie that I would want my daughter or son to see (if I had one)! I don’t think that Julia Robert’s or Richard Gere’s characters are people who I would want my children to have as a role model. Vivian uses her body to get what she wants and Edward uses money to get what he wants! Not exactly virtues that I would want to teach my kids!

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