One of the reasons the film was so successful is that the acting is superb. Julia Roberts is believable in an unbelievable role as Vivian, a street walking prostitute. As stated by Vincent Canby in his New York Times review on
This is a video clip of the film's fairy tale ending.
It’s estimated that 40% to 85% of prostitutes were drug users only that among higher class prostitute women, prostitution tended to precede substance abuse, while in lower class prostitutes, the reverse tended to be true (Goldstein, 1979).xiiiJust as implausible is Vivian’s sudden transformation from selling her body to make the rent into a girl who gets it all and deserves it. She would be more likely to continue the bratty behavior she exhibits in the beginning of the film. When she enters the hotel with Edward and he puts his raincoat over her. They are standing next to a mature conservative couple waiting for the elevator and Vivian pretends to have a rip in her stocking. She puts her long beautiful leg up and less than coyly states out loud, “Why, I don’t even have any pantyhose on.”
I say the film Pretty Woman is picking up crumbsxv; there is no human relationship; it is pure fantasy and it conveys destructive messages about women. Two examples which sum up the distortion in this film are in lines from Vivian to her former hooker colleague –
It’s easy to clean up when you have money.
Who does it really happen for, Kit? Tell me one person you know?
Kit’s response “Cinderfunkinrella!”
If we believe that viewers have an experience when they watch film, then filmmakers ought to work not just to entertain, but should consider ways to produce a more constructive meaning of experience to benefit the ills of this world. Instead there is a continuation of destructive, subjective messages that manipulate our laughter. The truth is covered up and bathed in a wash of commercial success without thought of its impact.xvi The glossed over reality of a prostitute in the Pretty Woman narrative is melted down to a romantic and comedic Hollywood sentimentality which entertains moviegoers with another fairy tale myth. The reality of women who are prostitutes and men who purchase their services are closeted in Pretty Woman’s wardrobe, putting a blight upon a higher level development of messages this romantic comedy might send. The truth is, there is nothing funny at all about prostitution, and despite this film's commercial success, Pretty Woman is not so pretty [or funny] after all.
Thanks for reading. Peace out.