25 things that Pretty Woman taught me

Last week the cast of Pretty Woman celebrated the 25th anniversary of the film which was released on 23 March 1990. This film wasn’t an epic saga of adventure and courage, nor was it a forlorn tale that teaches generosity or gratitude. No, this film is about a hooker landing a pretty big score and falling in love… yet it has probably taught me more than most films. Whether you love it or you hate it, you would probably still be able to pick out a poignant moment/quote/scene that has stuck with you over the years. I thought of 25 such moments, some light hearted and yet others quite thought provoking!


  1. Wigs can look incredibly hot
  2. But so does natural and unruly hair – especially that gorgeous auburn red!
  3. Big spa bathtubs for two people are a must have for any couple….
  4. And for one person it’s practically a private pool, so whack on some Prince and sing like no ones listening.
  5. Conservative clothing is very elegant. Sexy doesn’t always equate to flashing the flesh.
  6. Beauty is also often a woman that carries herself with confidence….
  7. But it’s also nice to go all out every once in a while and put on a sexy posh frock. Wearing a cocktail dress will make you feel like the ultimate glamour puss and should be done at least once in your life!
  8. Seriously though, those thigh-high boots!
  9. Every woman must own at least one piece of beautiful lingerie it’s so feminine… And an array of dressing gowns too, including a silk floral one just like Vivian’s!
  10. It is useful to learn the art of attending and throwing a dinner party, including things such as how to dress a table and which order to use cutlery in. You never know when you might need this information! Such as…
  11. Dinner forks usually have 4 prongs, whilst salad forks usually have 3
  12. And it is useful to know how to eat shellfish to save any embarrassing moments – ‘slippery little suckers’
  13. Strawberries bring the flavour out in champagne….
  14. Floss after eating them though… ‘you shouldn’t neglect your gums’
  15. ‘I never joke about money’……  I love this – Vivian (Julia Robert’s character) taught me some very fundamental principles of life. Money does unfortunately rule the world, yes it probably shouldn’t, but you can make the importance of money positive thing just as you can with all aspects of life. You always have a choice to live positively or negatively. Don’t blame problems on on lack of or excess of money and do wise and good things with it.
  16. Class systems still exist. A contentious issue I know but I think if people do not recognise and accept this, we can never move on from it. Recognise adversity and the circumstances of other people and find ways to celebrate your differences. You will make friends from all walks of life and help society move one step closer to reducing that social equality gap.
  17. Customer service is key – especially if you work on commission! This lesson has stuck with me over the years and I have often experienced terrible service from shop assistants that have assumed I can’t afford the products they are selling. The cliché ‘never judge a book by its cover’ exists for a reason. Its funny as when this has happened to me in shops I have always referred to it as a ‘Pretty Woman’ moment.
  18. Meeting adversity with anger or crudity is pointless. In the scene where Edward first takes hooker Vivian back to his hotel, Vivian says she isn’t wearing any pantyhose in an effort to shock the woman at the lift who is staring at her outfit. Once in the lift she apologises to Edward and says ‘sorry I couldn’t help myself’. I love Edward’s reply: ‘try harder’. This is a great lesson – there will always be someone who doesn’t like something about you, but if you react with anger or brutishness you are behaving as badly as them. Rise above it and be the better person.
  19. Everyone has a story – you shouldn’t judge someone based on first impressions. Or at all for that matter.
  20. ‘If people put you down often enough you start to believe it…. The bad stuff is easier to believe’
  21. ‘People’s reactions to opera the first time they see it is very dramatic; they either love it or they hate it. If they love it, they will always love it. If they don’t, they may learn to appreciate it, but it will never become part of their soul.’ I love this quote from Edward, it is so true. I was amazed to find that I absolutely loved the Opera and could understand everything that was going on despite the language barrier and the fact I couldn’t keep up with the translation on the screen! In a broader context this teaches you that you should try new things and find out for yourself if you like them or not. Don’t guess it, do it!
  22. It’s ok to dream big and wish for that fairy tale, however ludicrous it might seem
  23. ‘So what happens after he climbs up and rescues her? She rescues him right back’. In an age of feminism we are not supposed to say, as women, that we need rescuing. I’m sorry but I believe that sometimes we do, I know I certainly did (in my case it happened to be by a man but could have easily been a woman). But being rescued does not mean that we are solely reliant on that person and in most cases I have found that they also need rescuing to. Couples are equal and relationships are reciprocal. You will rely on each other and provide each other with different things, it is this continually evolving support that will make your relationship work.
  24. Someone will take advantage of you at least once in your life. You will come across many ‘Phils’ in your life (Philip is a chauvinistic character who tries to force himself onto Vivian). This scene always taught me that you do not have to put up with someone taking advantage of you (and not necessarily in the sexual sense), you can choose to fight back – even if that means passively by telling someone about it. Do not suffer in silence, you have done nothing wrong and these people should not be allowed to get away with it. Bullying is toxic and the sooner the world is rid of it, the better.
  25. But remember, as Edward says, ‘not all men hit’. Take each person for their own character and personality, do not measure someone’s worth on assumptions and past experiences. I think this is particularly important for new relationships.

and a little bonus lesson:

26. Life isn’t all limousines and roses. I actually drove past the apartment block you see in the final scene, where Vivian lives, when I was visiting Los Angeles, and I was surprised that it was small, rough and downtrodden in real life. But you know what, it goes to show that with a bit of imagination, passion, nurturing and a bloody good camera you can make something from nothing! This goes for life too – there is no such thing as dreaming too big 🙂

Whilst some of these will only make sense to those who have seen the film, the majority are broad life lessons that we can all appreciate – including men. It just takes a little thinking to reverse the gender scenarios but you can figure it out 🙂


You may also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *