Because of his extreme wealth and suave good looks, Edward Lewis could seemingly have any woman he wants, that committed significant other which he needs on his arm at social events to further how he makes his money as a corporate raider. However, he focuses more on his corporate raiding pursuits with his partner in crime, Philip Stuckey, his lawyer of ten years, than those women, with every significant other he's had in his life feeling neglected and eventually leaving him, this fact about which he is just coming to the realization. In Beverly Hills, Edward, in needing that woman on his arms as he and Philip work toward taking over the company owned by the increasingly insolvent James Morse, decides, based on a chance encounter, to hire Hollywood Boulevard hooker Vivian Ward as his escort for the week 24/7. He does so because he wants to have a professional who would be committed to the work, yet not have any commitments to her after the week is over. Beyond their chance encounter, ...Written by
The film's budget was not limited, therefore producers could acquire as many locations as possible for shooting on their estimated USD 14,000,000. The majority of the film was shot in Los Angeles, California, to be specific, in Beverly Hills. The escargot restaurant scene was filmed at the Rex, now called Cicada. Filming of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel lobby interior was shot at the now torn-down Ambassador Hotel. Filming commenced on July 24, 1989, but was immediately plagued by countless problems, including issues with space and time. This included Ferrari and Porsche, who had declined the product placement opportunity of the car Edward (Richard Gere) drove, because they did not want to be associated with soliciting prostitutes. Lotus Cars UK saw the placement value with such a major feature film. This gamble paid off as Esprit sales tripled between 1990 and 1991. The company supplied a Silver 1989.5 Esprit SE, which was later sold. The film's primary shooting was completed on October 18, 1989. See more »
Vivian's hair changes from long to short and back again. It also changes color from scene to scene. See more »
Magician at party:
No matter what they say, it's all about money. So let's imagine, ladies, that you're a savings and loan officer. Watch - one, two, three; see, you've got it all, and we've got nothing. You've got all four, take a look.
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The TV version has Kit saying "Cinderella" rather than "Cinde-f**kin'-rella" when she's trying to cheer Vivian up. Scene is re-shot so Kit's mouth matches dialog, rather than just a re-dub. See more »
What can I say that hasn't been said? This immensely popular, modern fairy tale romance is a fantastic 'feel good' must see. I can't resist watching it every single time it comes on TV. To tempt you if you haven't seen it...it's the story of a feisty, good hearted hooker named Vivian Ward, who is hired for a week by a wealthy businessman, Edward Lewis, to serve as his escort at a number of business related social functions. Needless to say, the relationship doesn't stay 'just business' for long.
Rather than the plot itself, the beautiful Julia Roberts makes this movie...and not simply because of her 88 inches of leg! Always endearing in her roles, she is at her absolute MOST endearing portraying Vivian in this picture. She brings a real vulnerability to the role, showing us that just like everyone else, prostitutes do indeed floss their teeth! Richard Gere pulls off quite convincingly the role of Edward, the ruthless, calculating millionaire businessman, who takes over companies only to sell them off piece by piece, quite unmindful of the interests of any people involved. To give Gere credit, I was quite impressed that he actually plays the piano in one of the movie's scenes.
Naturally, given Vivian's membership in the 'oldest profession', there is sex early on...though I, old fashioned and strict as I am, wouldn't hesitate to let my young teen see this movie. (There's worse in TV commercials today!) Oddly, the most truly intimate moment in this film is not during the more explicit sex but rather, simply a kiss.
Ohhhh, lots of romantic scenes, from a picnic in the park to jetting off in a private plane for a Big Night on the Town. And etiquette lessons...Vivian displays charming, amusing, curious innocence when she experiences with Edward her first opera (all the while looking knock out gorgeous in a stunning red gown), her first polo match, and her introduction to escargots. As the movie progresses, she is transformed Pygmalion style, from the street smart hooker provocatively dressed in tall black boots and mini skirt, to a sophisticated looking, elegantly gowned and coiffed young lady. But it's merely appearance...Vivian's heart of gold and her vulnerability both remain unchanged.
The status conscious snobbery of Beverly Hills dress shops and ritzy hotels, judging people by wealth and class, is well depicted here. When Vivian goes shopping for a 'more appropriate' wardrobe at some exclusive Rodeo Drive boutiques, she is not 'well received' by the sales ladies, who like all too many of us, are overly inclined to judge by appearance. You'll want these snobs to get their comeuppance. Actually, perhaps the most touching relationship in this entire film is the one between Vivian and Barney, the quite proper but kind desk manager at the high class hotel (where she is sharing a penthouse suite with Edward), who is able to see beyond appearance. He develops a genuine fondness and even more importantly, respect for her.
Other characters of interest...Kit is Vivian's appealing and sympathetic room-mate, also a hooker (Vivian's a loyal friend), and Stuckey is Edward's sleazy and despicable business colleague, portrayed by Seinfeld's Jason Alexander, a TV show which I must confess is not my favourite.
As events unfold during the film, it becomes clear that, while Edward might not understand too clearly the meaning of 'prostitution', Vivian clearly does. And, it's another shining film illustration of that pearl of wisdom from Eliza Doolittle (of My Fair Lady) who enlightened us, 'The difference between a flower girl and a lady is not how she behaves, but how she is treated.' Or, in Vivian's own words, 'People put you down enough, you start to believe it'.
Great Cinderella movie...don't miss it.
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