In this Pygmalion story with some of the same socialist overtones, corporate king Edward Lewis is a wealthy financier who has a flair for raiding via the leveraged buyout. However, even with all his money and good looks, he can’t seem to have a meaningful relationship with a woman. Then, one day, when asking for directions in Beverly Hills, he meets Vivian, a reluctant prostitute who is trying to improve her life (what? improve your life through prostitution?). Intrigued that she is more than just your average prostitute, Edward invites Vivian to be his escort for several upcoming business functions.
The streetwalker is transformed into a woman of society, but finds that her increased self-worth is more significant than the new wardrobe that Edward buys for her. A romance develops between the two, as Vivian falls in love with the one man who has treated her with dignity and respect despite her past. Edward, too, shows newly found twinges of conscience when he has second thoughts about his latest hostile corporate takeover.
Edward’s good intentions for Vivian’s metamorphosis are dealt a severe blow when he mistakenly tells his lawyer/friend Philip what she is. Philip reminds Edward Vivian is nothing but a prostitute and thus tries to destroy her budding relationship with Edward. In the end, Edward must decide how much he really respects Vivian. Will it be enough to fall in love with her?
The movie has relatively few obscenities (which are always inexcusable), but there are some sexually suggestive scenes and several sexual innuendos. The focus of Edward and Vivian’s relationship is more on the intimate than the physical, but due to the element of sexual immorality, extreme caution is advised.
With quite a few funny scenes, the script is excellent. Edward and Vivian have a believable romance, and their relationship is about the rebuilding of dignity and self-worth. Christ gave us an excellent example of this when he restored the dignity and self-worth of the woman caught in adultery in John 8. In doing so, he showed us that people are not able to develop any respect for themselves unless we respect and care for them first. It should be noted, though, that Jesus declared to the woman, “Go now and leave your life of sin,” a point not touched upon in PRETTY WOMAN.
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Mr. Michael Eisner
Walt Disney Company
500 South Buena Vista St.
Burbank, CA 91521
Few obscenities; promiscuity, prostitution, sexual innuendoes, and brief nudity