everything I love about pretty woman....


Written on Monday, October 27, 2008 by haleigh

So I got new curtains, which of course meant hours standing in front of an ironing board to get rid of all the creases from the packaging. To occupy my mind, I started flipping through channels, and came across Pretty Woman.

Now I know a lot of people hate Pretty Woman, since it's a hooker being rescued by a rich man, blah, blah, blah, but I have always loved this movie.

I think for me, it's the characterization. You can't help (well, I can't help) but fall in love with these characters. Edward is the classic tortured alpha. You can just feel his desperation for something to change in his life. And in the end, because of her presence in his life, he makes those changes.

And Vivian! She's so unpretentious, so genuine, that you can't help but root for her. She's spunky! I was watching close this time, and I noticed something. At the beginning, Richard Gere's feelings for her shift around a lot. When she's just being herself (driving the Lotus, watching I Love Lucy), he likes her. You can see it in the way he looks at her and smiles at her. When she's acting like a prostitute (a defense mechanism, I would guess), he's instantly annoyed and put off by her.

One other thing I noticed this time (probably because I watched it out of order. I turned it on a third of the way through, watched to the end, then TNT politely started it over for me so I could see the first third :). Anyway, one thing I noticed is how much Edward's character changes. In the opening scene, he's on the phone with his girlfriend, and she's clearly on the brink of leaving him. He orders her to come to LA, when she refuses and threatens to leave, he says fine. He absolutely refuses to even ask her to stay, much less apologize.

However, when Vivian starts to leave (after the Polo game, when she gathers up her stuff and marches to the elevator), he responds completely differently. He chases her, makes himself emotionally vulnerable, and practically begs her to stay.

Interestingly, at no point does Edward tell her he loves her. But you see it, through every action and through the way his character changes. Even without any internal thoughts, you can watch the relationship develop through their actions.

I find this interesting for writing. While it's fine to use internal dialog and verbal dialog to show the changes in their relationship, we also have to make sure the characters themselves reflect it. Each of their actions should be influenced by the growing romantic relationship. One of the things readers demand is that they know, by the end of the book, that this relationship will last. So often, authors use an epilogue to tell readers that. (Yep, look, ten years later and they're still having regular sex, even with three kids. They must have a perfect relationship). My hatred for epilogues is a whole separate post, but the point here is that we can show that, through character changes and development. In Pretty Woman, you know Edward and Vivian will last because they're both different people by the end, and their relationship is based on that

So that's my thought for the day - sorry it's so rambling *g*

p.s. - I'm half tempted to post a picture of the curtains. They freakin rock.

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  1. Jessica |

    Yikes!! Awesome post. I love the movie too. Julia Roberts definitely brought something special to it. And Gere? Well, he's just hot. Very good post Haleigh. I never realized he didn't say the L word.

  2. Jessica |

    Oh yeah, congrats on your curtains :-)

  3. haleigh |

    Hey Jessie - glad my ramblings made sense to someone! Richard Gere is so hot, isn't he? :)

    Thanks for the congrats on the curtains - I'm very excited about them! (we moved in two years ago so they've been a long time coming). Two more panels to iron (ughhh!) and they're done.

  4. Jessica |

    Haha, have fun.
    btw, I just realized this is a website, so I checked out your bio and home page. So cool! I love it!

  5. haleigh |

    Thanks Jessie - it took me forever to hook up the website to the blog and back, so I'm just glad somebody noticed :) lol

  6. Anonymous |

    I recently watched Pretty Woman for the first time, and I really liked it a lot!

  7. haleigh |

    Anny - the first time!?! Oh, you have to watch it again and again - that's what makes it better!

  8. Anonymous |

    I need to watch it on DVD. I watched it on TV and it was obviously edited.

    I'm sure it's one of those movies I can find dirt cheap at the grocery store. I'll have to pick up my own copy. :)


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