Mid-Day Mini ~ Pretty Woman

The Facts:

Synopsis: A man in a legal but hurtful business needs an escort for some social events, and hires a beautiful prostitute he meets… only to fall in love.

Stars: Richard Gere, Julia Roberts, Jason Alexander, Laura San Giacomo, Ralph Bellamy

Director: Garry Marshall

Rated: R

Running Length: 119 minutes

TMMM Score: (8/10)

Review:  Though Julia Roberts had already turned out memorable performances in Mystic Pizza and earned an Oscar nomination for Steel Magnolias, it would be Pretty Woman that sealed the deal and made her a bonafide movie star.  Even more surprising was that this glossy fairy tale about a hooker with a heart of gold was one of the biggest hits of the year and earned Roberts an Oscar nomination as Best Actress.  That thousand-watt smile was put to good use opposite the squinty eyed Richard Gere and the two made a great pair. (This magic was not present in a later collaboration, Runaway Bride).   Watching the movie now, I’m still impressed with how well it sidesteps its adult themes for an admittedly cleaned-up version of Los Angeles and its seedier parts.  Originally intended as a much darker film, director Garry Marshall knew that there was a shiny Cinderella story hidden underneath the grime so he relies heavily on his stars.  Marshall has always been a rather pedestrian director and that’s true here…but his casting is impeccable from Roberts all the way down to the bum that closes the movie.

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