In a funny romance story directed by Gary Marshall ("Overboard," "Beaches," "Raising Helen") Julia Roberts shone as a naive street walker named Vivian. Luck is with Vivian when one day she is approached by an unusual john, unusual because he isn't exactly a john. He is a wealthy, ruthless businessman named Edward. He stops Vivian simply to ask for directions, since he is only in the city for business. After Vivian gets him to his destination, Edward is reluctant to let her go. He is curious about her, a prostitute who seems too intelligent for her profession. So without a companion for several important business dates, Edward hires Vivian to be his escort for the week. He pays her handsomely, cleans her up, and the two begin their business arrangement.
Vivian is dazzled by Edward's luxurious life. She thoroughly enjoys every moment of her sumptuous stay at a lavish hotel and the money Edward promises is just as appealing. Edward, a man who makes a living buying and destroying struggling businesses, doesn't know what to make of Vivian's unexpected sweetness. He is charmed by her and also quite taken by her beauty. They interest each other and as the week progresses, they get to know one another. Gradually, the walls each of them have built up are brought down. Edward's walls are to enable him to take away people's jobs and dreams without sympathy. Vivian's are there to avoid giving any part of herself to her customers.
By the time Edward does technically become Vivian's next john, there are emotions involved. Soon the shared feelings of interest and respect develop further, and the two people most unlikely to fall in love.
Richard Gere was debonair, suave and the perfect choice for the cold Edward, who is just as surprised as we are when he demonstrates that he is able to love someone. Julia Roberts was a delight as Vivian. She truly captured Vivian's unusual combination of street smarts and hidden hope that her life would someday change. "Pretty Woman" is a compelling story - you really care that Vivian find a better life, and you want Edward to learn to care again. Jason Alexander ("Seinfeld" TV) was great as Edward's creepy, rude associate, and Hector Elizando was funny as Barney, the concierge who helps Vivian learn the ropes.
Extra! Extra! Tidbits About The Movie
Fun fact: Most of us know this, but for those of us that don't... in the now infamous scene with Edward snapping the jewelry case closed on Vivian's fingers, Richard Gere did that completely unexpectedly - it was not scripted! Julia Roberts' shocked expression and laughter were completely real.