***½/**** Image B- Sound A- Extras C+
starring Richard Gere, Julia Roberts, Ralph Bellamy, Hector Elizondo
screenplay by J.F. Lawton
directed by Garry Marshall
by Alex Jackson SPOILER WARNING IN EFFECT. Well, I'm willing to admit this much: Pretty Woman has a ridiculous premise. Corporate raider Edward Lewis (Richard Gere) buys up struggling companies and liquidates their assets. While in Los Angeles planning the purchase of ship manufacturer Morse Industries, he gets lost on the way back to his Beverly Hills hotel and stops on Hollywood Blvd. to ask for directions. This is where he meets Vivian Ward (Julia Roberts), a hooker desperate to pay off a few debts. She subsequently drives him to his hotel; as Edward recently broke up with his girlfriend in New York and feels bad about making Vivian take the bus home, he invites her to spend the night. They bargain over her price, arrive at the figure of three-hundred dollars, and sleep together. In the morning, Edward has a phone conversation with his lawyer, Philip Stuckey (Jason Alexander), who suggests he have dinner with James Morse, the owner and founder of Morse Industries, and that he bring a date to keep things social. Still on the phone, Edward walks in on Vivian singing along to Prince in the bathtub and offers to pay her for the entire week to be at his "beck-and-call."