Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Champagne and Strawberries

Edward: You should try a strawberry.
Vivian: Why?
Edward: It brings out the flavor of the champagne.
Vivian: Oh. Groovy.

Edward: Are you hungry? You must be. Why don't you sit and have something to eat. I took the liberty of ordering everything on the menu. I didn't know what you'd like.

A "fairy tale" of a romantic comedy, Pretty Woman is more famous for the love scenes between screen idols Julia Roberts and Richard Gere, but the film does have two important food scenes that many moviegoers remember with great fondness. In the first, Edward (Gere) orders champagne and strawberries for Vivian (Roberts), the prostitute he hires. Unused to fine dining, Vivian downs the champagne before Edward can offer her the plate of fruit; only slightly embarrassed, Vivian takes and tastes one berry, so red and large and luscious to symbolize both the sexual basis of their business arrangement and the vast romantic potential underlying their liaison. It's a humorous exchange that is at once awkward and self-conscious, yet sexy and romantic, and viewers who have ever had "stars in their eyes" immediately relate to what the characters are feeling. In the second scene, which takes place the morning after their first night together, Edward orders everything on the menu for breakfast--orange juice, croissants, toast, peaches, pancakes and strawberries, scrambled eggs with bacon and kiwi, muffins--because he wants Vivian to have something she'd enjoy, and he doesn't know what her preference is. It's a touching moment, revealing how much he cares for her--but then, wouldn't anyone want to be treated so richly?

Released March 23, 1990
Written by J. F. Lawton
Directed by Garry Marshall
Starring Julia Roberts as Vivian Ward, Richard Gere as Edward Lewis, Jason Alexander as Philip Stuckey, Laura San Giacomo as Kit De Luca, Hector Elizondo as Barney Thompson
Awards: 1991 BMI Film Music Award (James Newton Howard) and Most Performed Song from a Film ("It Must Have Been Love" by Per Gessle), 1991 Golden Globe Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture-Comedy/Musical for Julia Roberts, 1991 German Golden Screen Award, 1991 Kids' Choice Blimp Award for Favorite Movie Actress (Roberts), 1991 People's Choice Award for Favorite Comedy Motion Picture

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