Pretty Woman is a 1990 romantic comedy film set in Los Angeles. Written by J.F. Lawton and directed by Garry Marshall, the film stars Richard Gere and Julia Roberts, and features Hector Elizondo, Ralph Bellamy (in his final performance), and Jason Alexander in supporting roles. The story ofPretty Woman centers on the down-on-her-luck Hollywood prostitute Vivian Ward who is hired by a wealthy businessman, Edward Lewis, to be his escort for several business and social functions, and their developing relationship over the course of Vivian’s week-long stay with him. Originally intended to be a dark cautionary tale about class and prostitution in Los Angeles, this motion picture was reconceived as romantic comedy with a large budget. It was widely successful at the box office, and it became one of the highest money-makers of 1990. Today it is one of the most financially successful entries in the romantic comedy genre, with an estimated gross income of $463.4 million. It has reached near cult status among romantic comedy aficionados and is considered by many critics to be the most successful movie in the genre. Pretty Woman is considered to be one of the most popular films of all time; it saw the highest number of ticket sales in the US ever for a romantic comedy, with Box Office Mojo listing it as the #1 romantic comedy by the highest estimated domestic tickets sold at 42,176,400, slightly ahead ofMy Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002) at 41,419,500 tickets. The film also received a moderate amount of critical praise, particularly for the performance of Roberts, for which she received a Golden Globe Award, and a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress. In addition, the screenwriter J.F. Lawton was nominated for a Writers Guild Award and aBAFTA Award. This movie was followed by a string of similar romantic comedies, including Runaway Bride (1999), which re-united Gere and Roberts under the direction of Garry Marshall once again. Edward Lewis (Gere), a successful businessman and “corporate raider”, takes a detour on Hollywood Boulevard to ask for directions. Receiving little help, he encounters a prostitute named Vivian Ward (Roberts) who is willing to assist him in getting to his destination. The morning after, Edward hires Vivian to stay with him for a week as an escort for social events. Vivian advises him that it “will cost him,” and Edward agrees to give her $3,000 and access to his credit cards. Vivian then goes shopping on Rodeo Drive, only to be snubbed by saleswomen who disdain her because of her unsophisticated appearance. Initially, hotel manager Barnard Thompson (Hector Elizondo) is also somewhat taken aback. But he relents and decides to help her buy a dress, even coaching her on dinner etiquette. Edward returns and is visibly amazed by Vivian’s transformation. The business dinner does not end well, however, with Edward making clear his intention to dismantle Morse’s corporation once it was bought, close down the shipyard which Morse spent 40 years building, and sell the land for real estate. Morse and his grandson abandon their dinner in anger, while Edward remains preoccupied with the deal afterward. Back at the hotel, Edward reveals to Vivian that he had not spoken to his recently deceased father for 14 and half years. Later that night, the two make love on the grand piano in the hotel lounge. The next morning, Vivian tells Edward about the snubbing that took place the day before. Edward takes Vivian on a shopping spree. Vivian then returns, carrying all the bags, to the shop that had snubbed her, telling the salesgirls they had made a big mistake. The following day, Edward takes Vivian to a polo match where he is interested in networking for his business deal. While Vivian chats with David Morse, the grandson of the man involved in Edward’s latest deal, Philip Stuckey (Edward’s attorney) wonders if she is a spy. Edward re-assures him by telling him how they met, and Philip (Jason Alexander) then approaches Vivian and offers to hire her once she is finished with Edward, inadvertently insulting her. When they return to the hotel, she is furious with Edward for telling Phillip about her. She plans to leave, but he apologizes and persuades her to see out the week. Edward leaves work early the next day and takes a breath-taking Vivian on a date to the opera in San Francisco in his private jet. She is clearly moved by the opera (which is La Traviata, whose plot deals with a rich man tragically falling in love with a courtesan). While playing chess with Edward after returning, Vivian persuades him to take the next day off. They spend the entire day together, and then have sex, in a personal rather than professional way. Just before she falls asleep, Vivian admits that she’s in love with Edward. Over breakfast, Edward offers to put Vivian up in an apartment so he can continue seeing her. She feels insulted and says this is not the “fairy tale” she wants. He then goes off to work without resolving the situation. Vivian’s friend, Kit De Luca (Laura San Giacomo), comes to the hotel and realizes that Vivian is in love with Edward.