Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Julia Roberts in "Pretty Woman"

Julia Roberts received her second Oscar nomination for playing Vivien Ward in Pretty Woman.

Pretty Woman may have audiences all around the world under it's spell, but I certainly not a fan of such an oblivious look at prostitution. Sure, it's good to suspend belief and enjoy the romance that suddenly springs out of the two characters. However, the romance is hardly believable, even to the average viewer. It's easy to see why Ken Russell made "Whore" one year later with Theresa Russell to show how real prostitution is. But, I digress - Pretty Woman is the story of a wealthy businessman who hires a prostitute for one night - however the two soon become infatuated with either, and he fulfills her Cinderella story.

Julia Roberts plays Vivien, the sassy call-girl with a heart of gold. She has no past, loves romance and her dignity, and likes being apart of Richard Gere's social society. She is scoffed at for not being "refined" but doesn't care what anyone says. For a fairytale film like Pretty Woman, it's appropriate Julia Roberts played the part with absolutely zero credibility. Vivien is a healthy hooker, no diseases, doesn't have a drug/alcohol/addiction problem, doesn't even have a pimp (how exactly does she get work in LA?) and Roberts isn't a beautiful woman, but certainly looks too good to be a convincing hooker.

It's not just the lack of credibility that hurts Roberts' performance. She injects her usual annoying style within the character that makes her a plastic robot who tries to turn every line into a charming classic. It doesn't work for me - it's not natural or even funny. Even when Vivien is able to show her strong, smart mind to the upper-crust society, Roberts blows it by trying to show some kind of Acting 101 vulnerability she never knows how to handle. Overall, Roberts' nomination here is just as disappointing and terrible as her nomination for Erin Brockovich. Just like in that film, she tries many things and acting choices & never knows how to fulfill them completely. She has no charm for a romantic comedy, just an annoyance that lasts and lasts.


hey deanie said...

I agree – I really don't understand the supposed "charm" and "charisma" she has in this film.

Louis Morgan said...

If you do not like Roberts' style you won't like this performance, so since I do not like Roberts' style as an actress, I completely agree.

Dazzling Aura said...

With that rate of 3.5 she will be last for sure.

I like Roberts in "American Sweetheart" but thank God she didn't get nominated for that film and yes no chance at all. But I like her in "Closer" too bad she was outshines by Clive Owen.

joe burns said...

Ouch, too bad. I don't hate her, she's fine, entertaining, but not Oscar-worthy.

dinasztie said...

I really liked her here. :)