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An analysis of the opening sequence of Pretty Woman written for an A level media studies book

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Introduction

An analysis of the opening sequence of "Pretty Woman." Written for an A level Media studies text book Pretty Woman is an American romantic comedy motion picture that was one of the top films at the box office in 1990. The title character, a prostitute named Vivian Ward, was played by Julia Roberts, who received a Golden Globe award for her role. She was also nominated for an Academy Award, Best Actress. The male title character is a businessman Edward Lewis who is played by Richard Gere. While ruthless in business he is an Asset striper. Pretty Woman is the highest-grossing film of the romantic comedy genre, and probably the most well-known. Set in Hollywood during the 1990s, its themes include the tension between romantic love and social class: the main characters are complete opposites in social class and money, while both working in occupations which do absolutely nothing for the environment they live in. The sequence itself runs for approximately 13 minutes. It is preceded by the name of the company which produced the motion picture, Touchstone pictures. ...read more.

Middle

A sense of comedy is now introduced to the movie. There are close ups of both Edward and Philip's faces with one's face very calm and joyous and another very stressed and worried. Edward drives off and slowly the camera zooms out into a low angle crane shot following the car and as He comes to a corner Edward stops and says "Shit" because he is going the wrong way. Then finally continues on and eventually the camera cuts to a bird's eye extreme long shot of Hollywood at night. Nearby, in a small hotel an alarm clock goes off. This established shot cuts to a close up of a shapely pair of thighs, they turns to reveal black lacy panties and a red T-shirt on the upper half of the girl's body. An arm stretches out from the bed silencing the alarm at five to nine. Around her a few torn snapshots of herself with different men. Their faces have been scratched out. The girl eases on a stretchy cream top, attached by a metal ring to a short blue skirt. ...read more.

Conclusion

With Edward it is him braking up with his girlfriend but with Vivian it is all the pictures on her wall with faces cut out. Also they both seem to be staying in the top rooms of their apartments or offices. Lastly most obviously they are both escaping from someone e.g. Vivian running away from land lord and Edward running away from his lawyer. Their characters are also very similar as later in the movie Edward points out how very similar their occupations are. He says "We both screw people for money!" The music also plays an important part in the opening sequence. At the end of Edward's opening sequence the song "King of wishful thinking" is playing in the background whilst he is driving. It seems to be a kind of cheering song as he has just broken up with his girlfriend. It says the message that "I will get over you..." During Vivian's opening scene the song "Wild women do" is playing also in the background. It seems to just show how Vivian is not really like an ordinary woman and that she is very adventurous, uncontrollable and wild. ...read more.

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