(out of 5)
After you have finished enjoying the adorably plucky Julia Roberts, don’t you ever notice that you’re watching a romantic comedy where a man falls in love with his sex servant? Roberts plays Vivian, a worldly prostitute who turns out to be a big virgin when her latest sugardaddy (Richard Gere) hands her a big wad of cash and she can’t spend it because the Beverly Hills salesgirls are mean to her (it makes her cry). What are they trying to put over on us? Roberts is game for the material, she’s quite fun, but watch Laura San Giacomo as Vivian’s best friend to see a more believable depiction of a prostitute. Gere is charming, relying mainly on his squinty good looks, while Hector Elizondo brings lightness to his scenes as the manager of the hotel who begins to get suspicious of his guest’s new companion. The film was a runaway hit in the summer of 1990, establishing Roberts as the first female box office star in years and leading to a terrific career for her (as well as a resurgence for Gere, who had waned since he appeared as both an officer and a gentleman).
Directed by Garry Marshall
Screenplay by J.F. Lawton
Cinematography by Charles Minsky
Music by James Newton Howard
Production Design by Albert Brenner
Costume Design by Marilyn Vance