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Every one-star review for every number one box-office movie of the 1990s

Pretty Woman

Pretty Woman 1990
Directed byGarry Marshall
Produced byArnon Milchan
Steven Reuther
Gary W. Goldstein
Written byJ. F. Lawton
StarringRichard Gere, Julia Roberts
Music byJames Newton Howard
CinematographyCharles Minsky
Edited byRaja Gosnell
Priscilla Nedd
Touchstone Pictures
Silver Screen Partners IV
Regency International Pictures (uncredited)
Distributed byBuena Vista Pictures
Release dateMarch 23, 1990 (United States)
Running time119 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$14 million
Box office$463.4 million

Pretty Woman is a 1990 American romantic comedy film directed by Garry Marshall, from a screenplay by J. F. Lawton. The film stars Richard Gere and Julia Roberts, and features Héctor ElizondoRalph Bellamy (in his final performance), Laura San Giacomo, and Jason Alexander in supporting roles. The film’s story centers on down-on-her-luck Hollywood prostitute Vivian Ward, who is hired by Edward Lewis, a wealthy businessman, to be his escort for several business and social functions, and their developing relationship over the course of her week-long stay with him. The film’s title Pretty Woman is based on “Oh, Pretty Woman“, written and sung by Roy Orbison. It is the first film on-screen collaboration between Gere and Roberts; their second film, Runaway Bride, was released in 1999.

Originally intended to be a dark cautionary tale about class and prostitution in Los Angeles, the film was re-conceived as a romantic comedy with a large budget. It was widely successful at the box office and was the third-highest-grossing film of 1990. The film saw the highest number of ticket sales in the US ever for a romantic comedy, with Box Office Mojo listing it as the number-one romantic comedy by the highest estimated domestic tickets sold at 42,176,400, slightly ahead of My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002) at 41,419,500 tickets. The film received mixed reviews, though Roberts received a Golden Globe Award and a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance. In addition, screenwriter J. F. Lawton was nominated for a Writers Guild Award and a BAFTA Award.

IMDb’s One Star reviews from the last decade

Cringe Cringe Cringe !!!

Carolyn5moon 12 February 2021

Ok, nobody is going to like or agree with my view here! I have read so many positive ones that i am beginning to think that there is something wrong with me. I truly HATED this movie, I cringed as i watched in disbelief. I saw it years ago and again recently and i feel more strongly about it now than back then. it amazes me how anyone can think it other than silly and proposterous! I never got Julia Roberts and as for Richard Gere, never quite made it to the top, did he? I know i am not popular for this review, but hey we all have to vent!!!

1 out of 4 found this helpful

Such a “lucky” prostitute

Aliases-53334 24 May 2018

This movie that we grew up on is so horrible that its hard to believe the man who wrote it actually had us all fooled like this. A woman who is a prostitute, which everyone know means she is being abused by men everyday (if someone thinks otherwise then go educate yourself), and romanticising this into a romantic comedy?? What is wrong with you people? The guy is a doochbag! This isn’t a romantic story, its just plain vile and Illogical. They could have just write the character as some maid or waitress but no they figured a woman who had to sell her body is such a cute idea and the man who is paying for it is a “prince”.

16 out of 27 found this helpful.

Where is the Pretty Woman ?

Vgjw 22 February 2018

Warning: Spoilers

I don’t think Julia Roberts fits the star role, not exactly a Pretty Woman to look at. I can think of actresses who would fit the role much better.

4 out of 9 found this helpful.

I hated it

Jaydee-28593 3 August 2017

I really don’t have anything to add that has not been said before by those who have disliked this movie. I just hated it and have no idea why it did so well at the box office I hated it when I first screened it back on first release – and for goodness sake why glamorize prostitution? In all the films I have screened over 50 years this would have to be close to the worst.

8 out of 14 found this helpful.


Patrikbk26732 1 April 2017

Disgusting, pathetic, nonsense, about disillusioned people. Seriously the worst movie ever. This movie have made serious damage to people in the western world. It have made disturbed young women think it is OK to sell their bodies. It has made men think women who sell their bodies are normal people who just want money! It has made some people think it is more personal to kiss someone than suck to their penis !?! This movie is seriously morally messed up.

8 out of 17 found this helpful.

More Offensive Than Salo

Travisbickle86 14 February 2017

Roll up, roll up. Watch Richard Gere phone-in a half asleep performance as an autistic Trump character, displaying the American dream in all its vulgar and disgusting self-indulgent glory.

I’m not a feminist; not even a woman – but this is one of the most offensive films I’ve ever seen. About as subtle as being beaten to death with a wrench.

Buy the whore some clothes and wait for Stockholm syndrome to set in. Show the b*tch how to operate a chilled salad fork, and who knows, one day it may even feed itself?

Worse than it’s content; Pretty Woman is an insult to film as medium and it’s audience. Vile

9 out of 16 found this helpful.

Another illusory movie

Flavia_cj 6 July 2016

Well, I’m a woman, and legend has it that every woman wants one day meet her millionaire prince charming, because then she will be happy forever. I disagree vehemently with that belief and that’s why I hated Pretty Woman. First of all, why not portray the life of a street prostitute like for real? I don’t see problems in show a friendly, playful and hardworking prostitute. But why hide the routine of aggression and constant violence that these woman suffer? Pretty Woman ignores these important and essential aspects completely. And then we enter the most serious part, the old lie “The Man saves the woman of the streets.” Why not show the reality, that is: in the life of a real prostitute, the men overwhelmingly are the PROBLEM, not the salvation.

I’m not criticizing love. There are many prostitutes fall in love in real life. But why the guy she loves needs to be a millionaire? The good guy of the film could be an average man, but who loved her and had good intentions. But no, of course not! After all Hollywood need to perpetuate the lie that a person can only find true happiness when becoming a MILLIONAIRE or marrying a MILLIONAIRE. Moreover, the movie show a very conservative and confortable plot, where Vivian Ward, a prostitute, be seen sleeping exclusively with Edward Lewis, it’s literally a monogamous relationship, she don’t have sex with any other guy, she doesn’t use drugs, she has no past trauma. Oh Really? She didn’t have a pimp, too. Of course, another man in the area would ruin the Hollywood romantic dream. This movie is too unreal, pass messages too materialists to the public, and think it’s an insult to all women who prostitute themselves in the streets and peripheries.

14 out of 22 found this helpful.

Complete Garbage Movie Glorifies Prostitution Demeans Women

Mark1-917-269046 7 February 2014

Pretty Woman was a complete piece of crap movie that demeaned women and glorified prostitution for young girls and pimps.

The only thing it proved is how morally bankrupt many of the Hollywood studio heads really are.

Our Mothers, Sisters, Aunts, Daughters goals are not to be hookers rescued by some rich John..

What a complete load of BS.

Hollywood’s fantasy perversion from the Studios that demand that women sleep with Studio Heads and “put out” to get ahead.

I read that thousands of young, impressionable, uneducated women were conned and suckered into prostitution by Johns as a result of this complete horse’s ass of a movie.

Of course the movie never mentioned the harsh life of most prostitutes on the streets: slavery to their johns, beatings, drug abuse, ruined lives, early deaths etc….

And, they ruined a great Roy Orbison song by associating it with this complete garbage movie.

F*** Hollywood for one of the worst movies of all time…

42 out of 70 found this helpful.


Dan_c99 29 January 2014

Anyone who has ever seen women working the streets in person, or even in a documentary on TV, should find this film to be ridiculous. They are living a wretched existence, usually to support a drug habit or an abusive pimp or both. Nothing glamorous about it.

Yet this film presents Julia Roberts as some sort of naive Girl-Scout-turned-hooker, all shiny and clean and cute and perky. Are they serious? And, yeah, right, a multi-millionaire venture capitalist is going to bed down with a street walker. Not in a million years.

Just stupid, unbelievable and ridiculous.

Gary Marshall, director of Lavernce and Shirley, directed this farce. It displays the same stupid unrealistic view of life.

20 out of 35 found this helpful.

Hey, I’ve got a great idea…

Limeyabroad 7 October 2013

Let’s glamorize prostitution and market it to kids!!! Oh wait, this movie already did that.

Had they stuck to the original script, this could have been a great movie. Richard Gere was supposed to pick up the hooker, use her for the time he was in town and then dump her. That would have been perhaps realistic. Although if you’re going to use hookers, why would you want the same one for more than one night?

Add to that that Julia Roberts is simply devoid of acting ability, and is not exactly what the title of the movie promises, and you have a film with no heart, no soul, and no reason to exist.

If you’re going to adapt Pygmalion, then look to My Fair Lady or even Educating Rita for your cues on how to do it right. A cheap and tawdry movie marketed to young girls with the message that it’s a good idea to become a hooker, as your Prince Charming will find you after only a few months and you will never be beaten/raped in that time. You will be able to avoid the drugs and the alcohol and even the tobacco. Utter tripe and garbage.

24 out of 43 found this helpful.

Too Bad…….To Be True

Werefox08 14 April 2012

If a movie is shown many times every year on Australian Commercial T.V. …you can be certain ITS BAD. Pretty Woman IS bad…….VERY BAD. It is Hollywood at its most defective. The script is —awful—-Julia Roberts is terrible (jusy a huge mouth with lots of teeth)..and Richard Gere should have known better. The story is about as original as a Waldorf Salad. Why do the programmers in T.V. Australia think there viewers will like this crap ?? over & over year after year. Do they think they are Idiots ?? Well maybe there right. I would rather be sitting in a dentist chair—–listening to the wonderful noise of the drill as it burrows into my enamel….and I feel nauseous——–than watching Pretty Woman. A seriously inadequate movie.

10 out of 23 found this helpful.

Pretty Woman 1990