Reviewer's Rating 3 out of 5   User Rating 4 out of 5
Pretty Woman: 15th Anniversary Edition DVD (1990)

It was 1990 when Pretty Woman made a star out of Julia Roberts. Although she portrays a Hollywood streetwalker, her million-dollar style had audiences buying into the idea of her glamorous romance with a minted businessman played by Richard Gere. It was a box office smash for director Garry Marshall who later failed to recapture the magic with the ill-conceived Runaway Bride.

Hooking The Audience

Unfortunately this 15th Anniversary Edition doesn't include much in the way of fresh material. As opposed to a retrospective look at the making of the film and its global success, we're palmed off with the original 'making of' featurette. It's barely four minutes long which is just enough time for Marshall, Gere and Roberts to outline the plot and tells us how gosh darn great this film is gonna be. Thankfully, Marshall has recorded a new audio commentary, which is loaded with behind-the-scenes info. He even acknowledges script doctors like Barbara Benedek who were denied credit on the final film.

Pretty Woman: 15th Anniversary Edition DVD main menu As Marshall explains, Benedek did a vital job in making Richard Gere's hardnosed character more sympathetic. "You always want to create vulnerability in your hero," says the director, " hence Edward's fear of heights. On top of that, Marshall isn't shy about revealing the studio's initial apprehensions about the plot and their frankly stupid attempts to remould it. He specifically recalls getting script notes from executives, asking, "Does she have to be a prostitute?" Thank goodness Roberts "didn’t play it too slutty". Apparently though, she spent a lot of time in a walk-in clinic on Hollywood Boulevard, which is frequented by streetwalkers and homeless people to get a sense of the character.

A Pretty Picture

You can’t help but feel there's a lot of the real Julia Roberts in Vivian. In a vintage blooper reel she sits awkwardly for a posh dinner scene and eventually gives in to a fit of nervous giggling. The chemistry between Roberts and Gere is also a joy to behold as they crack each other up and then try desperately to get the scene back into focus. We're also given rare access to the wrap party where Gere, Roberts and Marshall perform a rendition of Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood - badly.

Marshall takes you on an interactive tour of the various LA locations in a fun but throwaway addition to the package. Stops include the super exclusive shopping mile of Rodeo Drive ("They make you shoot on Sundays because they don't want to lose a dollar!") and The Beverly Wilshire Hotel ("designed in the Italian Renaissance style with a neo-classical French influence").

With minimal input from the stars in grainy archive footage, this Special Edition DVD only just about makes the cut. In fact Marshall's new commentary is the only major selling point - if you don’t count the corner of Hollywood Boulevard.

EXTRA FEATURES

  • New audio commentary by director Garry Marshall
  • Original production featurette
  • Live From The Wrap Party featurette
  • LA: The Pretty Woman Interactive Tour
  • Blooper reel
  • Wild Women Do music video by Natalie Cole
  • Technical Information

    REGION SOUND MENUS RATIO
    2 Dolby Digital 5.1 Animated, with music 2.35:1 (anamorphic)
    CHAPTERS SUBTITLES AUDIO TRACKS
    21 English, French, Dutch English, French
    CAPTIONS EXTRAS SUBTITLES CERTIFICATE
    English The special features are only subtitled in French and Dutch. PG

    End Credits

    Director: Garry Marshall

    Writer: J F Lawton

    Stars: Richard Gere, Julia Roberts, Ralph Bellamy, Jason Alexander, Laura San Giacomo, Hector Elizondo, Alex Hyde-White

    Genre: Comedy, Romance

    Length: 119 minutes

    Cinema: 1990

    DVD: 12 September 2005

    Country: USA