Analysis Of Pretty Woma

  • Category: Music & Movies
  • Words: 696
  • Grade: 98

When it comes to the oppositional viewing of Pretty Woman, I agree that from this movie, most people develop their definition of a prostitute to be like that of Vivian Ward (Julia Roberts). I must admit that I myself fall into this symbolic annihilation. After dissecting pretty woman I strongly feel that it reinforces the hegemony in our culture, gives a false sense of prostitution, and it reiterates what Stewart Hall said in the GRC that states; "...when our formations seem to be simply descriptive statements about how things are"¦" The title supports ideology in that we use the portrayal of Vivian to make up a truth to what prostitution is.
. From the opening scene, one can tell that hegemony; the patriarchy is prominent. The business party portrays white upper-class business-suited men mingling. There are only a few ladies there, the ones that are are acquaintances of these men. When we first see Edward Lewis (Richard Gere) he is revealed as the ringleader of these businessmen. However, he is very busy and eager to leave the party. He cannot drive very well and gets lost in a familiar town, showing that he has been brought up and confined to a life of limos and luxury.
When we first see Vivian she is in bed, in her underwear, with the music "I'm a wild one" playing in the background. She has only $1.00 to her name and has to use marker to fix a scuff on her hooker boots. She also lives and works on Hollywood Blvd., one of the most notorious streets for prostitution. There is not any portrayal of dominant feminine figures, all we are shown in women from the girls in the bars, prostitutes, and Stucky's wife Elizabeth, who is obviously only around for the glamorous upper-class life that being married to a rich lawyer would hold. Men are portrayed all throughout the movie, men like Edward Lewis, Phillip Stucky, William and David Morris, Senator Adams, etc, as in charge. All their meetings and business functions surround all white men, money oriented with little female input.
        The continuum to which Vivian and Edward's relationship develops goes from "hooker" to "princess". The climax coming when they finally kiss on the lips, something neither of them claimed to do. Without stating a summary, their relationship basically consists of the pick up, kiss, prostitute/buyer sex, shopping, dates, and then consensual sex, arguing, and making up.
Throughout the course of the movie Vivian is transformed into a beautiful woman. However, the ways in which she does this is mostly material. If one looks at her experience the first time she enters a store to the last, one would notice a dramatic change in the way she was treated. The song "Pretty Woman" was played during Vivian's shopping spree, showing that she must look good and rich to feel pretty. Throughout this process, all the way until the end of the movie, she is constructed into a sex object.
There are a few similarities I found between both Edward and Vivian. "They both screw people for money", and also in substantially different parts of the movie they both make references to childhood habits. Vivian in that she has little manners, singing in the tub and jumping on the bed. Edward in that he loved to play with "building blocks and erector sets". I found this interesting because for being the professionals that they are, if you will, it's the little things from their growing up that come out here.
        In conclusion, the directors of Pretty Woman use representation by means of images, descriptions and dialogue to portray Vivian as the ill-mannered, clueless prostitute who after meeting Edward gets everything. Aspects such as her transformation, the development of their relationship into more than just sex, and the obvious dominance of white business males are prominent throughout the entire film.
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