Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Movie Review: Pretty Woman

In January, my wife and I are going to see the musical Pretty Woman when it comes to Philadelphia. Having never seen the movie before, we decided to watch it tonight for the very first time. How was it? Read on for my thoughts.

Pretty Woman is a fantastic movie that exceeded my expectations in every way. Richard Gere and Julia Roberts exude scintillating chemistry. Whether it’s their heartfelt, genuine repartee or those powerful moments of silence where no words are needed, both actors are at the top of their game in this 1990 classic.

Pretty Woman was directed by Garry Marshall, and he did a superb job of capturing every moment perfectly. His transitions are smooth, as is the way the camera glides throughout the film, accentuating the actors and their environs. I Love Lucy makes an appearance in Pretty Woman, and Garry Marshall cut his teeth in the entertainment business by writing for I Love Lucy, so its inclusion was a nice tribute.

James Newton Howard scored Pretty Woman, and it’s some of the most magnificent music he’s ever created. I thought his work on The Prince of Tides was great — which it was; but this score, which came a year prior to the Barbra Streisand and Nick Nolte gem, is astoundingly beautiful. It’s both simple and lush: a masterwork that all composers should study.

I just discovered that Garry Marshall, Richard Gere, and Julia Roberts reunited for another romantic film in 1999: Runaway Bride. That movie features many of the supporting actors from Pretty Woman too. Clearly, this is next up on my to-watch list!

Pretty Woman is a brilliant love story that swept me away. It’s a modern day (at least in 1990) spin on Cinderella. A glorious exploration of two people falling in love who, at first, seem radically different only to discover that they are irrefutably alike — Pretty Woman is timeless, and I can’t wait to see its musical adaptation.

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