Interesting facts about the film Pretty Woman with Julia Roberts and Richard Gere

Pretty Woman is one of the most famous and beloved romantic comedies in cinema history. It not only made Julia Roberts a mega-star, but also celebrated the ineffable spirit of romance, humour and humanity. This film left an indelible mark in the world of cinema and is considered one of the most successful works in the career of actors and directors.

In this article, we offer you to dive into the world of "Pretty Woman" and examine the interesting facts and storytelling techniques that make this film special and unforgettable.
  • The romantic comedy is named after Roy Orbison's song "Pretty Woman," the one that just about everyone over 30 knows and can sing now.

  • The film was a blockbuster that made the then 23-year-old Julia Roberts a star; she was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress. Richard Gere also did well.

  • In fact, the film Pretty Woman was originally conceived as a dark drama about prostitution in Los Angeles, but was remade into a romantic comedy. Today, it is one of the most financially successful romantic comedies ever made, earning $178 million in the States and $285 million worldwide, on a budget of $14 million, and with such a subject matter. The film was followed by a string of similar romantic comedies, including Runaway Bride, in which Gere and Roberts teamed up again under the direction of Garry Marshall.
  • "Anywhere but the lips": Vivian's only rule is to never kiss on the lips because it's too personal. This is true: most sex workers choose not to kiss on the lips, not only as personal boundaries, but also to prevent the spread of infections (colds, flu, hepatitis, etc.)

  • The poster shows Edward leaning on Vivian's back. Edward's stance hints that Edward is prim and upscale, while Vivian is free-spirited.

  • Brick Joke: While shopping, Vivian admires a tie that she thinks Edward should like. Later, Edward arrives at the hotel room, where Vivian is waiting for him wearing only a tie.

  • Even in 1990 dollars, $3,000 seems like a ridiculously small amount for an entire week of prostitution, especially when you consider that Vivian's rate is usually $100 per hour (168 hours per week x $100 = $16,800). Especially considering how rich Edward is, she could have asked for more. It is implied in the film that Vivian lies about her usual wage, and out of inexperience she thinks she is asking for a large sum, while Edward thinks it is petty. In addition, he buys her a whole wardrobe of expensive clothes, puts her up in a luxurious penthouse and pays for all her meals.
  • Cool Car: Lotus Esprit. When the film was made, it was cutting edge: even fans of cool and obscure cars had only heard rumours about this cool and obscure car. Now it's practically a legend.

  • Creator Cameo: Director Garry Marshall is the homeless man from whom Edward asks for directions at the beginning of the film.

  • Richard Gere's character is a defrosting ice king, a hero defrosting and becoming a more sensitive human being.
  • Both main characters have a very sad backstory. Edward's introduction to us only tells us that his life is superficial and empty, with no room for people who truly care about each other.

The scene then shifts to Vivian's life, taking the viewer into hell. In the first few minutes we learn:
  • - One of her associates had just been murdered, her corpse dug out of a rubbish bin.
  • - She is forced into hiding from her landlord, and she urgently needs a new client because her roommate Kit has taken all their money to buy drugs....
  • - ...from a particularly nasty guy who really wants to pimp Vivian.
  • Lipstick-and-Load Montage: During the opening credits, we watch Vivian get out of bed (at 8pm), get into a tight skirt, zip up her boots and apply make-up, all of which is shown in very close ups and close shots.

  • A fashion show in a shop where Edward takes Vivienne. A very popular technique, we see it in many films and series, both classic and modern - How to Marry a Millionaire, Funny Face, The Devil Wears Prada.
  • Edward has a whole bunch of luxuries that he can't use due to various personality traits (a Lotus Esprit when he can't drive, a penthouse and balcony seat at the opera when he's afraid of heights). When asked why he owns this car, he replies: "It's the best." This gag reaches its zenith at the end, when the acrophobic Edward climbs the fire escape to the house where Vivian lives; he asks: "This is supposed to be the top floor, right?". Vivian replies: "It's the best."

  • Hidden Depths - Edward loves music: he plays the piano beautifully, takes Vivian to the opera, and the reason he has to leave California on Sunday is because he has tickets to the Met in New York. Even with unlimited funds, you have to be a serious opera lover to fly across the country, not wanting to miss a performance
  • My Horse Is a Motorbike: Vivian wanted someone to take her away on a white horse. At the end, Edward shows up in a white limousine.
Alternative versions of the story
  • In the original script, Vivian was a cocaine addict, and during the week she spends with Edward, she goes through withdrawal because he won't let her buy drugs while she's with him. Some of this made it into the final script: remember Vivian's nervousness and her tendency to fidget? Those are signs of cocaine use. And the scene in the bathroom where Edward thinks she's using cocaine, but she's just flossing? In the original script, she was indeed using cocaine.

  • And speaking of drugs: Vivian's friend, Kit, was an accomplished drug addict and probably could have died in the storyline from her drug problems.

  • The film could have ended not with Edward giving Vivian a rose and riding off into the sunset with her, but with Edward handing her an envelope with the money he promised her and walking out of Vivian's life forever (and her screaming and crying and saying she hated him - because she fell in love with him and he leaves her and returns her to the life of a prostitute). Ironically, none of the three screenwriters who reworked J.F. Lawton's original script were credited in the credits.