Pretty Woman

Pretty Woman

DVD Rating: ***

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Read Angus Wolfe Murray's film review of Pretty Woman

The remastered 15th Anniversary print is excellent, emphasising, once more, the quality of the cinematography and set design.

Although, at first glance, this may appear Extras heavy, they don't add up to more than a hill of beans. Of course, when Pretty Woman was made, DVDs didn't exist and the concept of Extras remained dormant.

Copy picture

Blooper Reel is standard botched lines/funny faces/practical jokes on set. If you like this kind of thing, fine. If you don't (and I don't), there is only one positive observation to make: Julia Roberts is a good sport!

Live From Wrap Party is filmed on video, without lights and with bad sound. It is dark and fuzzy and it's difficult to hear. What appears to be going on is that Richard Gere is at the piano, with director Garry Marshall on drums and Roberts weaving around somewhere near the mic, attempting vocals on The Animals' Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood. It's a complete mess. Julia's half cut, flirting with Richard, clutching at Garry. You could say it is typical end of term jollies, which is true, but to drag it back out for the DVD so that the whole world can watch is a bit unkind.

L.A. The Pretty Woman Tour is something that has been concocted as a filler. It takes you through the locations, with Marshall providing a bus guide commentary. He has a strong New York accent and dry delivery, as if reading off cue cards. It is interesting that they could only film on Rodeo Drive, L.A's equivalent of Regent Street, on Sundays because the designer shops didn't want to lose trade. The Museum of Natural History doubled for the San Francisco opera house. I could go on... but let's leave the tour now. You won't miss much.

Marshall's commentary suffers from the 15-year gap between the Making Of and now. Julia was 21 and, with supporting roles in Mystic Pizza, Steel Magnolias and Flatliners under her belt, she was still thought of as Eric's little sister and, later, Kiefer Sutherland's fiancee. Pretty Woman made her a star. Richard, as Marshall explains, had been used to rebel roles and this was his first as a corporate contender. It suited him exceptionally well.

Although the commentary wanders into crevices of nostalgia, there are interesting snippets. The original title was 3000, which was the amount in dollars Vivian was being paid by Edward for the week (Marshall seemed to think it was two weeks - he had forgotten), which was dropped after the preview screenings because no one had a clue what it meant. Clever move!

He calls car shots - two people driving about - as "the root canal of filmmaking," but does not explain why they are so hateful. Hank Azaria and Larry Miller make their feature film debuts here and Jason Alexander was a song-and-dance man on Broadway before being brought in to play "the baddie," Edward's acerbic lawyer. Marshall has nothing but praise for his performance, but wonders, even now, how he was picked for the role, never having had the experience as a dramatic actor. "He made Richard look good. They worked so well together."

It is a worthwhile commentary, with reservations, and, thanks to Marshall's experience as a writer on classic TV comedy sit-coms, such as Dick Van Dyke and The Lucy Show, he is full of useful directoral tips.

"Richard and Julia had one thing in common," he says. "They were both interested in money."

Now, you know.

Reviewed on: 30 Sep 2005
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Pretty Woman packshot
Pygmalion in California with a moneybags businessman and a tart with a heart. Reissued in cinemas to celebrate it's 20th anniversary.
Amazon link

Product Code: BUA007301

Region: 2

Sound: Dolby Digital

Extras: Blooper Reel; Live From Wrap Party; L.A. The Pretty Woman Tour with commentary by Garry Marshall; audio commentary by Garry Marshall

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