Pretty Woman Review
By James Brundage
Every cliché has at least one perfect example: An "Exhibit A" that makes the hidden good side of the cliché come to light and makes the jaded tired old story new again. For the tale of the hooker with the heart of gold, the perfect example is Petty Woman.
You have a dapper, somewhat older wealthy man (Richard Gere), a surprisingly attractive prostitute (Julia Roberts), a toadie type (Jason Alexander) bent on breaking up the high roller and the ho, and the kindly gent (Hector Elizondo) who teaches the trailer trash how to hang with the upper crust.
Pretty Woman is just as much a fairy tell as ever... executed just perfectly enough to make your mouth water. It's candy for your brain.
Despite being pure saccharine, Pretty Woman does it with such style and grace you hardly notice how stupidly it all fits together. Gere and Roberts drip a dapper chemistry, Roberts oozes a saucy spunk, and Gere actually pulls off being both an effective lovesick pretty boy and a cutthroat quick-buck businessman who learns the value of the long-term investment. Elizondo plays the My Fair Lady game as solid as I've ever seen, and Alexander plays the soulless short asshole as only he can.
Pretty Woman is the perfect version of a really bad story, but it's pulled off with a great cast and a solid screenplay. It's held the test of time and has finally become what all the lovesick teens said it was all along: a classic.
The 15th Anniversary DVD a commentary track, deleted scenes, and a handful of archival featurettes.
Facts and Figures
In Theaters: Friday 23rd March 1990
Box Office Worldwide: $463M
Distributed by: Buena Vista
Production compaines: Touchstone Pictures, Silver Screen Partners IV
Rotten Tomatoes: 62%
Fresh: 34 Rotten: 21
Cast & Crew
Screenwriter: J.F. Lawton
Starring: Julia Roberts as Vivian Ward, Richard Gere as Edward Lewis, Ralph Bellamy as James Morse, Jason Alexander as Philip Stuckey, Héctor Elizondo as Barney Thompson, Larry Miller as Mr. Hollister, Laura San Giacomo as Kit De Luca, Alex Hyde-White as David Morse, Elinor Donahue as Bridget, Amy Yasbeck as Elizabeth Stuckey, Judith Baldwin as Susan, Hank Azaria as Detective, John David Carson as Mark