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  • Writer's pictureRonny Duncan Studios

Pretty Woman (1990) ft. Christine Duncan

Updated: Oct 16, 2022

Guest: Christine Duncan

Plot Summary: In this modern update on Cinderella, a prostitute and a wealthy businessman fall hard for one another, forming an unlikely pair. While on a business trip in L.A., Edward (Richard Gere), who makes a living buying and breaking up companies, picks up a hooker, Vivian (Julia Roberts), on a lark. After Edward hires Vivian to stay with him for the weekend, the two get closer, only to discover there are significant hurdles to overcome as they try to bridge the gap between their very different worlds.


  • Richard Gere as Edward Lewis

  • Julia Roberts as Vivian Ward

  • Ralph Bellamy as James Morse

  • Jason Alexander as Phillip Stuckey

  • Héctor Elizondo as Barnard Thompson

  • Laura San Giacomo as Kit De Luca

*Recognition: Nominated for Best Actress (Julia Roberts)

Did You Know:

  • Richard Gere is actually playing the piano. He also composed the piece of music that is played.

  • During the sex scene, Julia Roberts got so nervous a visible vein popped out of her forehead. Director Garry Marshall got into bed with Julia and Richard Gere. Marshall and Gere massaged her forehead until the vein disappeared. Julia also broke into hives and was given calamine lotion until they were finally able to shoot the scene.

  • While shooting the scene where Vivian (Julia Roberts) is lying down on the floor of Edward's penthouse watching old I Love Lucy (1951) re-runs, in order to achieve a genuine laughter director Garry Marshall had to tickle Roberts' feet (out of camera range) to get her to laugh so hysterically.

  • In the original plans, Vivian was supposed to be addicted to cocaine and part of the deal was she couldn't do drugs during the week. And at the end of the movie, Vivian was supposed to find Kit had overdosed on drugs while Vivian was with Edward.

  • Julia Roberts was far from the first choice for the role of Vivian. It was offered previously to many successful A-list actresses including "brat pack" member Molly Ringwald (who starred in Sixteen Candles (1984), The Breakfast Club (1985), and Pretty in Pink (1986)). Ringwald turned it down because she felt uncomfortable with the content in the script, and did not like the idea of playing a prostitute. She has since stated in several interviews that she regrets turning the role down. Uma Thurman auditioned for the role of Vivian. Disney didn't want Julia Roberts for the role of Vivian, instead they wanted Meg Ryan. Winona Ryder and Drew Barrymore auditioned for the role of Vivian, but were turned down because director Garry Marshall felt that they was too young for the part. Diane Lane was very close to playing Vivian Ward, but had to pull out at the final moment due to scheduling conflicts. Jodie Foster, after she won her first Oscar in The Accused (1988), said she was very interested in playing the role of Vivian.

  • Demi Moore turned down the role of Kit.

  • At the time Christopher Reeve was going to play Edward Lewis, Julia Roberts had other business to attend to and was unable to read with Reeve during the audition. The casting director read her part (as Vivian Ward) so badly, that Reeve grew furious, tore up the script and stormed out. Burt Reynolds was offered the role of Edward Lewis but declined. He jokingly said on the Piers Morgan show in 2012 that after he saw the film and the love-making scenes with Julia Roberts, that he made a mistake in not taking the part. Al Pacino turned down the role of Edward after a screen test with Julia Roberts. John Travolta auditioned for the role of Edward.

  • Richard Gere and Julia Roberts had obvious chemistry upon their first meeting. However, Gere was not planning on taking the role. He was on the phone ready to turn down the part when Roberts slid him a Post-it note with the words "please say yes" written on it. He accepted the role right then.

  • Disney told Garry Marshall there was no money available in the budget for Hector Elizondo so Garry paid for his salary out of his pocket. Eventually, Disney relented and repaid Garry the money.

  • Richard Gere plays a corporate raider in this movie. Three years previously he turned down the role of corporate raider Gordon Gekko in Wall Street (1987). That role went to Michael Douglas instead, who went on to win the Best Actor Academy Award for his portrayal.

What is this movie is about?/Elevator Pitch: Modernized Derivative of Cinderella and Pygmalion that emphasizes every woman's real fantasy is for men to not always treat them like hookers.

Best Performance: Julia Roberts (Vivian)

Best Secondary Performance: Hector Elizondo (Barney)/Richard Gere (Edward)/Garry Marshall (Director)

Most Charismatic Award: Richard Gere (Edward)/Hector Elizondo (Barney)

Best Scene:

  • Fine Dining Lessons

  • "Not Many People Surprise Me"

  • Rodeo Drive

  • $250k Necklace

  • Finding a Cocktail Dress

  • Dinner w/ the Morses

  • White Knight on his Limo Steed

  • Final Meeting Between Morse and Edward

  • Opera

  • Polo Match

  • Breakfast

Favorite Scene: Obscene Amount of Money/Stuckey Strikes Back/Dinner w/ the Morses

Most Indelible Moment: Necklace Box Closing/"You Clean Up Good"/Climbing the Fire Escape

In Memorium: Charles Fries (Producer - Route 66, Bewitched, Hazel, The Monkees, and Father Knows Best)/Thomas Fritsch (Actor - Three Men in the Snow, Adorable Julia, and Uncle Tom's Cabin)

Best Lines/Funniest Lines:

Vivian: I appreciate this whole seduction thing you've got going on here, but let me give you a tip: I'm a sure thing.

Woman in Box Seats: Did you like the opera, dear?

Vivian Ward: It was so good, I almost peed my pants!

Edward Lewis: She said she liked it better than "Pirates of Penzance".

Vivian: I want the fairytale.

Vivian: You could freeze ice on his wife's ass.

Vivian: People put you down enough, you start to believe it.

Edward Lewis: I think you are a very bright, very special woman.

Vivian: The bad stuff is easier to believe. You ever notice that?

Vivian Ward: We think you got a lot of potential, Kit De Luca.

Kit De Luca: You do? You think I got potential?

Kit De Luca: Oh god, the pressure of a name...I got it Cinda-fucken-rella!

Edward Lewis: You and I are such similar creatures Vivian. We both screw people for money.

Barney: It Must Be Difficult To Let Go Of Something So Beautiful.

Vivian: She rescues him right back.

Vivian: That would make you a... lawyer.

Edward Lewis: What makes you think I'm a lawyer?

Vivian: You have that sharp, useless look about you.

Edward Lewis: What's your name?

Vivian: What do you want it to be?

Elizabeth Stuckey: She's wonderful! Where ever did you find her?

Edward Lewis: 976-BABE.

Vivian: Can I call you Eddie?

Edward Lewis: Not if you expect me to answer.

Vivian: I was in here yesterday, you wouldn't wait on me...You people work on commission right?...Big mistake. Big. Huge. I have to go shopping.

The Stanley Rubric:

Legacy: 7.83

Impact/Significance: 9

Novelty: 5.5

Classic-ness: 7.5

Rewatchability: 6.67

Audience Score: 7.9 (90% Google, 68% RT)

Total: 44.4

Remaining Questions:

  • Does Stuckey sabotage Edward and reveal who Vivian is?

  • How does Edward transition out of being a "corporate raider"?

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