Pretty Woman (1990) directed by Garry Marshall
First things first: Julia Robert's hair is amazing in Pretty Woman. I want the perm and the deep auburn shade. I even like the blonde wig she wears in the beginning of the movie – but having had a very similar real haircut a year ago, I'm now dreaming of the fluffy long and curly hair that reveals 'the real woman' behind the hooker-mask... Lana Del Rey had obviously taken this movie seriously when she did her photos for her first album promo.
So a hooker falls in love with a millionaire who doesn't care for anyone or anything and is afraid of heights. I think I have complained about this movie about a year ago here, because when Netflix was new to me, I primarily watched 1990's romantic comedies there and Pretty Woman was the first film I decided to watch on the streaming service. The fact that I have already given my feminist-two-words about the movie on this blog, allows me to open up about the great sides of this gem today.
You see, I'm still a victim of the class structures of our society and therefore the consumerism and the lame romantic notions this movie has to offer kind of get me in my weaker moments.
Like, who hasn't imagined how great it would be to buy a l l t h e c l o t h e s you dream of and do it in one day. And with the man's money. I have. Although I have a hunch that if it came to that in my life, I would feel guilty... It would also be fantastic to be the hottest, tallest, thinnest, leggiest, sexiest and most innocently sweet person on planet earth for a moment. (Ok, I'm not sure about the innocent sweetness). And wouldn't it be the best thing ever if your shitty life suddenly changed into the life of the rich and loving in one split second? Wouldn't it be great if your luck turned and you got to go from the most degrading and mundane to endless resources financially and emotionally? Yes, it effing would be. Those are kind of the reasons why this movie works. The other night, out of the blue, it came to me clear as a vision: after the ending scene of this movie, there is no way this couple stays together for more than two weeks. The ending sucks that much.
Gere – there's always been a problem for me. It's about choices. It felt as if at some point in Richard Gere's acting career he still cared. He teased and tempted. The killer who disturbed Diane Keaton in Looking for Mr Goodbar. In Malick's gorgeous Days Of Heaven. Then one of the key pictures to set the mood for the coming decade, 1980's American Gigolo. I even liked Gere in Jim Mcbride's Breathless remake. After that, it's slim pickings (possibly Altman's Dr. T & The Women delivering some of that early promise). The multi-million dollar ball buster of course came in the form of the execrable Pretty Woman.
|Gere in American Gigolo (1980)|
Ten years on from American Gigolo and Gere's traded the edge of Schrader for the mediocre cuteness of Garry Marshall. Moroder and Blondie for Kenny G and Roxette. Lauren Hutton for Julia Roberts. One has to ask Richard, what the fuck happened? Of course, Pretty Woman made a superstar of Roberts, and in a totally sentimental, unrealistic, pie-in-the-sky-i-wanna-puke sense, she's good here (and would go onto occasional greatness). Gere is a zombie, the hunk for the middle masses – women who should know better falling for that slick macho charm (or is it just the money?) Jesus.
|Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman|
Truth is, I fully endorse Pretty Woman as great entertainment. I was really into watching the film (I'd only ever really caught the ending). It didn't disappoint in its middle-American view on a faux controversy: decadent rich scum (that nobody would want to be) vs. poor Hollywood starlet masquerading as hooker (Roberts is simply too beautiful). Do I aspire to the affluence offered Roberts character in this film? If anything, Pretty Woman inadvertently confirms my belief that the people that occupy the top echelon of the monetary ladder are the most tasteless fucks out there.