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What’s Wrong With ‘Pretty Woman’?

I never liked Pretty Woman (1990), never will. Perhaps that is where I can stop and not go further into the detail. This would be appropriate if the ‘Pretty Woman’ was just a movie with a cliché plot. However, the movie is not just that, it is a ‘ware-wolf’ that everyone seemed to have taken for the real thing.

The movie Pretty Woman (1990) was originally conceived as a dark drama depicting the prostitution in Los Angeles. However, the original script never saw the light of day or rather the screen of cinema. For, no more no less, the Walt Disney Studios then-president Jeffrey Katzenberg insisted the film be re-written as a modern-day fairy tale and love story.

What kind of motivation can make one turn a dark drama about prostitution into a love-story fairy tale with a prostitute? Perhaps, the motivation of the high-profile man to see his ‘dream’ fairy tale come true. Not only that, he wanted make the audience believe it was their ‘dream’ fairy tale too.

The recipe of convincing is simple enough – take a beautiful woman, never mind a prostitute, put her in a luxury environment, polish her off, dress her up, pumper her a bit and voila! Transformation is complete. She falls in love with a ‘business-prince’ on a white horse of Lotus Esprit sports car. The business-prince, however, isn’t noble in his intentions or his heart but rather ruthless, egocentric, and manipulative. He thinks the money can buy it all even love or rather, in his case, sex, for the prostitute was not in love with him in the beginning, just attracted by the pay.

Somehow, despite ‘fairy tale’ intentions of the Walt Disney Studios president the story is not convincing. For, how an uneducated and a fool of a prostitute can match up to the wealthy businessman and his life style, unless he just wants to have an escort type of woman instead of a proper girl-friend of his own status who needs love and genuine feelings; and what is it that the prostitute sees in the ruthless and egocentric man apart from his money and a promise of a good life? In either case, love is not the answer.

Now, the movie was very popular and had the highest estimated domestic tickets sale of 42,176,400 USD. Men’s motivation in watching the movie is obvious. But what about women? Is it that all women saw themselves as prostitutes in LA or that they did not even see the prostitute bit but were attracted by the exterior attributes of a good life and money? I guess they were fooled by the shiny wrapping which contained a rather dubious present…

Seraphima Bogomolova

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