Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Learning from movies - the first turning point

This is my second lesson from Pretty Woman, and concerns the first turning point. Before this point we've learned a bit about Julia Roberts' character, Vivienne. She dresses in her 'hooker outfit' (well, okay, I know its not her, but her body double, but lets suspend disbelief for a moment). She sneaks out of the apartment that she shares with another, more seasoned prostitute, Kit, avoiding the landlord who they owe rent to, then goes back into the apartment to discover that Kit has raided the rent money. In the sequence that follows, we discover that she's new at the game, is responsible (she berates Kit for spending the rent money on drugs), and doesn't want to be a prostitute long term. We also get a hint here that Vivienne is a caring, nurturing personality (I reckon she's an enneagram type 2) in the way that she cares for her friend, Kit.

She has her inciting incident on her way to the club to find Kit when she discovers a prostitute has been murdered and dumped.

When Edward's Lotus Esprit pulls up she shashays forth to earn money. But Edward doesn't want a hooker, he wants directions, so she climbs in and offers to direct him to his hotel.

At the hotel, Edward thanks her for the ride. It's over. She says she's going for a cab, then sits at the bus stop. And here is the point where the story takes a different turn. The first turning point.

Note the difference also in the way that the characters speak. Edward is worldly, sophisticated, rich and well educated. His choice of words reflects that. Vivienne is uneducated, but with a natural wittiness that charms Edward. Her vocabulary is much simpler.

Edward thinks for a moment. Then walks over.
"I was thinking," he starts. "Did you really say $100 an hour?"
"Yeah," Vivienne replies.
"Well, if you don't have any prior engagements, I'd be very pleased if you would accompany me into the hotel."
"You got it." Vivienne drawls. She asks him his name, and discovering that it is Edward, says that its her favourite name in the whole world. "I'll tell you what, this is fate, Edward, that's what this is."
(We, the audience know it's fate, but the screenwriter cleverly rams it home at this point, making sure that we understand it.)
~And there it is, in a nutshell. The first turning point.~


  1. Love, love, love Pretty Woman :) But watching Vivienne climb down in those shoes is not for the faint hearted. Crazy woman!

  2. I know, Lacey! And no stunt double!!

  3. Sally, you are a wicked woman. I really, really, really want to watch Pretty Woman again now!


  4. Do, Rach. Its got an awesome 2nd turning point, see if you can spot it before my next blog post!

  5. I want to watch it now too! Argh! Nice one, Sally. :-)

  6. Another brill post, Sally. How I love that film! Gotta go dig it out for later now. You're GOOOD. jx

  7. Gee (blushes) thanks, Judy. I love watching movies, and if I can pretend its for 'research' so much the better!