Iycee Charles de Gaulle Summary Film studies pretty woman Essay

Film studies pretty woman Essay

Film studies pretty womanPopular images presented on the big screens unceremoniously depict prostitution as a temporary course of action.  In the end, the heroine finds love and happiness and rarely suffers few, if any, enduring scars from the brief existence on the streets. Reality rarely mimics the movies; Prince Charming does not materialize and save the “pretty woman” selling her wares on the streets. For the majority of streetwalking prostitutes, the movie reel continues, days turn into months and months turn into years; there are few, if any, ways out.Involvement in prostitution for many began out of economic necessity, or was due to drug addiction. “Interestingly, however, drug use, particularly as an addiction rather than as a recreational activity, began for many after entering the sex industry.

In addition to supporting their own drug habits through prostitution, many participants reported supporting the habits of their partners as well. And, in contrast to Barry’s (1995) findings that 80% to 95% of all prostitution is pimp controlled, only 39% of the participants reported working for a pimp.”[1]Pretty Woman begins with a parallel montage sequence that introduces its two principals and establishes that despite the very apparent difference in their economic circumstances, Edward and Vivian each stand in need of rescue. That the film presents the lives of both corporate raider and street prostitute as damaged goods suggests that we are in for a wide-ranging social critique.

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Pretty Woman wraps itself in the romance of a rich emotionally-repressed corporate raider and a beautiful working-class street prostitute who is smart, sexy, and truly virtuous. “Though the film might be considered feminist in many respects (particularly with regard to its sexual openness), it did little to improve on the traditional story of Cinderella with its message that men are a source of self-worth, protection, and financial security for women.”[2]In essence, a depiction of how the film uses specific narrative and representational strategies to contain the critique of class and gender privilege that it initially promises. For example, cross-class romances frequently employ the trope of transformation — one partner’s class position being adjusted up.Can anyone believe they can predict the success of human relationships on “story compatibility”?: e.

g., “If one longs to be rescued like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman and the other wants a partnership like the lawyer on the television show ‘The Practice,’ the relationship may not go very far.” In the interest of brevity, let me point out only the most obvious fallacy in this theory.

“Story compatibility” overlooks the possibility, if not likelihood, that a single individual may have various sub-personalities. If both of the potential lovers have these protean tendencies, and the respective sub-selves of each all have their favorite scripts, the result would obviously be “story chaos.”[3]Once more, the combination of sex and work in the figure of the prostitute (and the female star) provides a way of talking about class difference.

At one level then, Pretty Woman offers a fairly transparent fairy tale in which the working-class woman achieves advancement through heterosexual romance. Yet the film also underlines the work involved in romance (and for the ‘working girl’). Though on rather different terms from the story features a class cross-dresser. Different in that the characters is not so much involved in achieving freedom through crossing classes, but providing freedom for employer Edward/Richard Gere.

“The prostitute teaches him to relax and to conduct business ethically; he starts to build things (ships) rather than rip companies apart. Her cross-class movement via heterosexuality is, that is, involved in shoring up rather than questioning masculinity.” [4]            Still this view thru Pretty Woman is a scenario in which ‘the proletarian woman “moves up” out of her class through her charming personality, moral integrity, and prowess in bed’.  [5]  However, the film is very aware of its move to simultaneously be informative or fueled by feminism.

Thus the narrative scenario, although deeply indebted to the screen history of the whore with the heart of gold, would be unimaginable without second-wave feminist comments and position on sex-work.At the level of gender, class and race, the narratives through cross-dressing accepts the very questions through the act of crossing over as it appears.  Through the different configurations of prostitute/career girl/professional woman and whatever you could conjure, the image of the ‘working girl’, simultaneously conceals and reveals the complex interdependence of gender and class within popular serious discussion concerning between interested groups.But because Pretty Woman refracts its economic options through reasonable Freudianism — rebellious offspring, in this case, daughter and to some degree, son is reconciled to the rule of a benign father from the not too distant past.

“In general one can ignore the bogus economics, rejoicing at the male character (Gere) successful resolution of his relating to his Oedipus complex travails and accepting, along the way, the terms of the film’s portrayal.”[6]Accordingly the film does not rely on a simple disjunction between Vivian’s profession and her moral character but instead presents prostitution as a feminist form of venture capitalism: more usual narrative involves a transformation of one of the partners that eliminates the class difference between them. Such narratives of class relocation can take one of two basic narrative forms. “The first depicts the social ascent of one of the characters that thereby comes to share the higher status of the other. Its been commented that both Pygmalion (Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion plays on the complex business of human relationships in a social world) and Pretty Woman are examples of the former.“Pretty Woman is a film in which the performance of femininity was much fore grounded- to the evident enjoyment of huge audiences, but considerable ambivalence from feminist critics.

” [7]Reference(s)Rochelle L. Dalla, 2000, Exposing the “Pretty Woman” Myth: A Qualitative Examination of the Lives of Female Streetwalking Prostitutes. Journal Title: The Journal of Sex Research. Volume: 37. Issue: 4. Page Number: 344.Speaking Volumes: Musings on the Issues of the Day, Inspired by the Memory of Mary Joe Frug. Journal Title: Columbia Journal of Gender and Law.

Volume: 12. Issue: 3. Publication Year: 2003.

Page Number: 660+.Letters. Magazine Title: Psychology Today. Volume: 33. Issue: 6. Publication Date: November 2000. Page Number: 6. COPYRIGHT 2000 Sussex Publishers, Inc.

;Yvonne Tasker, 1998,  Working Girls: Gender and Sexuality in Popular Cinema. Publisher: Routledge. Place of Publication: London. Page Number: 44.Thomas E. Wartenberg, 1999 Unlikely Couples: Movie Romance as Social Criticism. Publisher: Westview Press.

Place of Publication: Boulder, CO. Page Number: 84.Charlotte Brunsdon, 1997, Screen Tastes: Soap Opera to Satellite Dishes. Publisher: Routledge. Place of Publication: London. Page Number: 86.

[1] Rochelle L. Dalla, 2000, Exposing the “Pretty Woman” Myth: A Qualitative Examination of the Lives of Female Streetwalking Prostitutes. Journal Title: The Journal of Sex Research. Volume: 37. Issue: 4. Page Number: 344. COPYRIGHT 2000 Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, Inc.

;[2] Speaking Volumes: Musings on the Issues of the Day, Inspired by the Memory of Mary Joe Frug. Journal Title: Columbia Journal of Gender and Law. Volume: 12. Issue: 3.

Publication Year: 2003. Page Number: 660+.[3] Letters. Magazine Title: Psychology Today. Volume: 33. Issue: 6.

Publication Date: November 2000. Page Number: 6. COPYRIGHT 2000 Sussex Publishers, Inc.;[4] Yvonne Tasker, 1998,  Working Girls: Gender and Sexuality in Popular Cinema. Publisher: Routledge.

Place of Publication: London. Page Number: 44.[5] Yvonne Tasker, 1998,  Working Girls: Gender and Sexuality in Popular Cinema. Publisher: Routledge.

Place of Publication: London. Page Number: 44.[6] Thomas E. Wartenberg, 1999 Unlikely Couples: Movie Romance as Social Criticism.

Publisher: Westview Press. Place of Publication: Boulder, CO. Page Number: 84.[7] Charlotte Brunsdon, 1997, Screen Tastes: Soap Opera to Satellite Dishes.

Publisher: Routledge. Place of Publication: London. Page Number: 86.