As this week marks the 25th anniversary of Pretty Woman, we de-code the tongue-in-cheek life lessons we’ve learnt from the unconventional love story.
The biggest blockbuster of both Julia Roberts and Richard Gere’s careers to date, Pretty Woman is the type of film that can make you cry with laughter, flood with tears and want to be a midriff bearing, thigh-high booted call-girl, all at once. Taking its name from Roy Orbison’s 1964 track ‘Oh, Pretty Woman’, that appears on the film’s soundtrack, it sold over three million copies worldwide and will continue to be a hit for decades to come.
An unconventional love story (or a modern take on Cinderella) in which a high-flying business man, Edward (Gere) falls for the type of girl he really shouldn’t be associated with, a hooker named Vivian (Roberts). When their contrasting worlds collide, turbulence is on the horizon, along with discovery, laughter and tears. Whilst this week marks the 25th anniversary of Pretty Woman’s release, we take a look at the life lessons Edward and Vivian taught us.
Always be yourself
“Housekeeping is singing”, or rather Vivian is. Yellow Walkman perched on the side of the bubble-filled bathtub, headphones rested on her auburn curls, she croons the words to Prince’s 1986 hit, ‘Kiss’, before explaining to Edward that he’s a rich good looking guy who should be able to pick up a date to his work event with ease. He dismisses her saying he wants a professional, Vivian is the girl for the job. Bagging herself $3000 then exclaiming: “holly shit”, if there’s one life lesson to take out of this situation, it’s be yourself. That, and that bath time should always served with a generous helping of Prince.
Never judge a book by its cover
When you’re staying in the The Regent Beverly Wilshire, you have to look the part. And, whilst every girl has dreamt of Vivian’s cut-out-middle Hunza dress PVC-boot get-up, it just didn’t cut the mustard in Beverly Hills. Heading on a shopping spree soundtracked by Natalie Cole’s ‘Wild Women Do’, Vivian heads to Rodeo Drive – with Edward’s cash, of course – where she receives a rude awakening. Disheartened by the mega-bitch sales-duo, Vivian enlists the help of The Regent Beverly Wilshire’s manager, Barney, who calls in a favour. Returning to the store the next day – feeling and looking the part – Vivian asks the snooty shop-bitch if she works on commission before telling her she made a BIG mistake.
Work it, work it baby, work it, own it
Whether you’re curb-side crawling or sipping champagne whilst eating chocolate-dipped strawberries, one thing Vivian taught us to do is: work it. From the night she strut alongside Edward’s car – before hopping in and teaching him a thing or two about how to shift a four cylinder Lotus – to the very end where she reinvents herself as Miss Vivian the lady – who can front an 80s power suit with sex appeal and sass in equal measure – for Vivian it’s all about confidence, and an unfaltering sense of humour.
Money isn’t everything
So it may have been a billion dollar deal, but you can’t put a price on true love, right? Annoyed that Edward blew off the deal, his side-kick Stuckey arrives at the penthouse where Vivian is staying only to bombard her with abuse. “Maybe if I screw you I wouldn’t care about losing millions of dollars,” he slurs in a drunken stupour before hitting Vivian square across the face. Of course, Viv’s knight in shining armour, Edward, is close behind.
Friends are for life
“Don’t take less than a hundred, call me when you’re through, take care of you. Take care of you.” From the opening scene where Vivian finds her roomie Kit in the club having spent their rent money on crack, to the very last scene where she donates her dollars from the “Edward Lewis Scholarship Fund” to set her back on the right track – Vivian and Kit are friends for life, through thick and thin. Her parting advice to Kit: “we think you got a lot of potential Kit De Luca, don’t let anybody tell you any different.”
Words: Brooke McCord.