Garry Marshall's movie Pretty Woman was released March 23, 1990 — exactly 25 years ago today. I first saw it in 2008, while on my college’s spring break — instead of going somewhere exotic and warm, I got hooked; the endlessly quotable, hopelessly romantic Cinderella story of a hooker named Vivian and a billionaire named Edward quickly became my absolute favorite movie. I proceeded to purchase my own copy of the 10th anniversary edition, and yelled at my mom for not forcing me to watch the well-worn VHS version that we'd had since the early 90s. To wish this epic film the happiest 25th birthday, I'm listing all of my favorite bits from the film:
Julia Roberts plays Vivian, the street smart L.A. hooker who is hired by Edward for the week to be his "beck-and-call girl." He wines and dines — and requests her presence for business appearances — so she has to ditch her streetwalking clothes and get into some serious couture. Only problem? Stuck up salesladies at fancy fashion boutiques don't want to wait on her. Everyone's favorite moment by far is when she returns to the store after a fun-filled day of shopping with Edward to rub it all up in the face of the smug jerk who rejected her. Mmmmmm, Karma.
Edward asks Vivian to accompany him on a business dinner, and she is wholly unaware of how the silverware and etiquette should be tackled. The dinner is tense, with Edward aggressively committing to buy out and dismantle the business of his guests. Meanwhile, Vivian is counting tines and losing grip of her escargot (quite literally). At the end she brings out a packet of ketchup and smears it on her steak. Classic.
After their first night together, Vivian asks if she can "take a swim in the tub" and proceeds to rock out to Prince's mega-hit, "Kiss" on her walkman. Even though the technology is outdated, the scene really holds up. Unbeknownst to Vivian, Edward is watching, and she sheepishly removes the headphones. He offers her $3,000 to stick around for a few more days, and she submerges herself to celebrate. Guys, this is so cute. Just admit it's the cutest! And $3,000 is a lot today, so can you imagine being offered 3K for a week to hang out with Richard Gere's fine ass in 1990??? 💯💵😍
Richard Gere improvised closing the necklace case on Vivian's hand, and Julia Roberts let out the biggest, goofiest, realest laugh that ended up making it into the final theatrical version. This scene is so iconic it's been referenced on episodes of Family Guy, Arrested Development, and 30 Rock.
Vivian's street-hooking attire included thigh-high patent leather boots, a body-con white and blue dress, and an usher's coat — complete with a blonde bob wig. The look, like the movie, became iconic.
The red dress and necklace paired with Roberts' red lips and fiery hair was absolutely beautiful. The jewelry was worth a reported $250,000 and a man from the jewelry store was on set the entire time to make sure it didn't get lost or stolen.
Just want to bask in the glory of this sleek brown polka-dotted number she wore to the polo match.
In an extremely vulnerable moment, Vivian reveals how she ended up in L.A. by following a "bum" boyfriend and being mistreated by him and other men. Edward consoles her, telling her she has a lot of special gifts. It's hella touching. Other great quotes include:
Vivian: You're late.
Edward Lewis: You're stunning.
Vivian: You're forgiven.
Shop assistant: Hello, can I help you?
Vivian: I was in here yesterday, you wouldn't wait on me.
Shop assistant: Oh.
Vivian: You people work on commission, right?
Shop assistant: Yeah.
Vivian: Big mistake. Big. Huge. I have to go shopping now.
Vivian: I want the fairy tale.
Kit: Fifty bucks, Grandpa. For seventy-five, the wife can watch.
Lady at polo match: Edward is our most eligible bachelor, everyone is trying to land him.
Vivian: Oh, I'm not trying to land him, I'm just using him for sex.
Random tie-dyed shirt dude: Welcome to Hollywood! What's your dream? Everybody comes here; this is Hollywood, land of dreams. Some dreams come true, some don't; but keep on dreamin' — this is Hollywood. Always time to dream, so keep on dreamin'.
The morning after their first night together, Edward buys Vivian "everything on the menu" for breakfast. She sits on the table, then makes her way to a chair, where she starts eating a croissant. But when the camera cuts back to her, she's eating a pancake. Then back to croissant, then back to pancake. This scene was clearly filmed at different times. While it adds charm to the film, it also can make a viewer feel like you're going crazy and seeing things.
When Vivian and Edward sit in Edward's penthouse for the first time, she shows him a selection of different colored/sized condoms. The order of those condoms change a few times.
There were a few more small mistakes, but these are the most notable for sure.
The film is considered the most successful romantic comedy movie of all time; it's grossed $178,406,268 in the United States and $285,000,000 in other countries for a total worldwide gross of $463,406,268!
Julia Roberts' career took off after Pretty Woman, as she received a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress that year.
The flick is also credited with creating the major demand for romantic comedies that spanned the rest of the '90s and early 2000s.
And while it has its critics — including Richard Gere, who calls it "silly" and the "least favorite" of his movies — it's got plenty of fans, like me, who love watching these two fall in love. Happy birthday, Pretty Woman. I want the fairy tale!
Images/Gifs courtesy of Tumblr/Touchstone Pictures
Akilah Hughes is a comedian, YouTuber, and staff writer and producer for Fusion's culture section. You can almost always find her waxing poetic about memes and using too many emojis. 🍕