Before Julia Roberts became a staple of the romantic-comedy genre, she starred in PRETTY WOMAN at just 23 years old. And even today, after countless performances and four Oscar® nominations, she will be most remembered for her modern Cinderella–story role. Now it’s time for you to fall in love with Vivian Ward all over again as PRETTY WOMAN celebrates its 30th anniversary.
It’s the late Garry Marshall’s best work in the director’s chair, as Roberts plays a Hollywood Boulevard sex worker who gets swept into the world of Richard Gere’s swanky businessman life as Edward Lewis. When he makes a deal with her to spend the week together while he’s in town, Vivian swaps her blonde wig and neon get-up for sophistication and luxury. It’s a hilarious and touching modern fairy tale that’s still romantic-comedy royalty today.
You know the "makeover" trope in the genre. It's become somewhat of a cliché in modern female-led comedies, but the 1990 film was the first to really tackle it. In PRETTY WOMAN, the makeover was about Vivian asserting power in her appearance. Once looked down upon in her street wear in a Beverly Hills store, she returns in her pristine white dress and black hat. It's an iconic scene in cinema history.
PRETTY WOMAN is all about Vivian Ward finding the fairy tale she pretended for herself as a kid. Wrapped up in ‘90s Los Angeles, she and Edward learn from each other as their polar opposite worlds bring them closer together. The classic also stars Jason Alexander during his “Seinfeld” days and the tender Hector Elizondo as well.
Garry Marshall would later attempt to replicate the magic of PRETTY WOMAN with Julia Roberts and Richard Gere starring in RUNAWAY BRIDE, and with Disney’s PRINCESS DIARIES movies, which are certainly reminiscent of the 1990 film. It’s not only one of the most influential films in the rom-com genre, but it’s also oozing with chemistry and full of laugh-out-loud moments.
Check out PRETTY WOMAN and many more rom-coms on AMC Theatres On Demand now.