‘Pretty Woman’ Turns 25

Do you know that at first, the movie ‘Pretty Woman’ was called  “3,000″ – a reference to the amount of money Roberts’ character, Vivian, earns for her services. A quick recap of a rosy Cinderella story about a hooker with a heart of gold:  Edward Lewis (Richard Gere), a hard-nosed businessman who hires a sassy, but unpolished, prostitute named Vivian (played by Julia Roberts) to attend social functions with him while he negotiates an important business deal.

They spend the next day entirely together talking and enjoying each other’s company with Edward going so far as defend her from the drug dealer to whom Kit owes money. During the night Vivian breaks her “no kissing on the mouth rule” and they end up making love for the very first time. Just before she falls asleep in his arms she admits that she’s in love with him. Over breakfast the next day he offers to put her up in an apartment so she can be off the streets but she rejects it, insulted and says this is not the “fairy tale” she wants. Telling him a story of her childhood fantasy. He then goes off to work without resolving the situation. Kit, collecting money from her, comes to the hotel and realizes that she is in love with Edward and reluctantly encourages Vivian to pursue a relationship with him.

In the meantime Edward meets with Morse and is about to close the deal, but changes his mind at the last minute. His time with Vivian has shown him another way of living and working, taking time off and enjoying activities he never cared for. As a result, his strong interest towards his business is put aside. He decides that he would rather help Morse than take over his company. Furious over the loss of so much money, Phillip goes to the hotel to confront Edward, but only finds Vivian. He blames her for changing Edward and tries to make a pass at her. She bites his hand to make him stop and a furious Phillip slaps and tries to rape her. Edward arrives in time to stop him, hitting him while chastising him for his greed and then throws him out.

Originally intended to be a dark cautionary tale about class and prostitution in Los Angeles, the film was reconceived as romantic comedy with a large budget. It was widely successful at the box office, and it became one of the highest money-makers of 1990.

Today the film is one of the most financially successful entries in the romantic comedy genre, with an estimated gross income of $463.4 million. It is considered by many critics to be the most successful movie in the genre.

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