Somebody Save Me!

Pretty Woman is a pretty old movie, and I know that. It’s not a flick I have watched over and over again, but last night I caught the tail end of it and was appalled. I don’t have much to say, really, except my perceptions have  changed so much as I’ve matured.

I remember watching it as a very impressionable teen and finding the whole thing tremendously romantic. Seriously, what could be better than a down-on-her-luck girl being rescued by a handsome and rich prince?

My 16 year old self would answer that question with, “Nothing could be better.”

My ____ year old self would answer that question with, “A flick about a hooker who gets her own self out of her situation instead of pining for someone to rescue her (who magically appears and does just that).”

The overtones of “woman needs man to save her” were blatant in Pretty Woman, and I really didn’t remember that at all. The one redeeming thing about the movie was that Julia Roberts’s character did also manage to change Richard Gere’s character…but that wasn’t the thrust of the movie. The primary moral of the story was that women need men to save them.

How many women see these kinds of movies as girls and retain that fairy tale wish and mindset all their lives?

Comments

  1. scarlett says

    I was thinking of PW when I watched one of the Bond movies (the one with Halle Berry in it) They’d trumpeted Berry’s character Jinx as a new-age Bond girl who does things for herself. But when she’s trapped in an ice room which is quickly melting, how does she get saved? By Bond crashing a car into the room. What was so bloody wrong with her saving herself? Same with PW. It would have been much cooler if she’d, say, talked her way into a ‘legit’ career and THEN decided weather or not she decided if she wanted to be with Gere.

  2. SunlessNick says

    Plus, she doesn’t really do anything but be beautiful. (Allegedly beautiful anyway – I think she’s far more so in the Pelican Brief, where something other than her character’s appearance matters). She doesn’t act, she just exists; so it’s not just waiting for a fairy-tale, it’s “be what the man wants, and he’ll save you from everything in your life that isn’t him.”

    It would be interesting to see how a gender-switched version would be received.

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