Pretty Woman: 15th Anniversary Special Edition Garry Marshall

Just a few weeks after her alleged retirement from acting, the film that made Julia Roberts a star gets the inevitable "15th Anniversary" treatment (apparently the "10th Anniversary" edition a half-decade back wasn't enough). Pretty Woman, the "hooker with a heart of gold" story that made a truckload of cash back in 1990, is an extremely clichéd but undeniably lovable film and has even gained respectability with age. In a time when the general offerings in the way of romantic comedy are mundane entries often starring "actresses" like Sandra Bullock or Ashley Judd, Pretty Woman reminds us of a time when just because a film wasn't offering anything substantial didn't mean it had to be garbage. It also exposes why everyone fell in love with Roberts in the first place, and why the new starlets of today seem incapable of gaining her star power. Roberts plays Vivian Ward, a prostitute who finds her luck seriously changed when she meets billionaire Edward Lewis (Richard Gere). Edward ends up extending their one-night escapade into weeks of companionship, and the film essentially plays out like Cinderella, The Hooker somehow would. The plot is not really the film's strongest attribute, it's the charm the script and performances gracefully throws at the viewer. Pretty Woman is a really fun way to spend an hour-and-a-half, even if it leaves your mind a few minutes afterward. As aforementioned, this is Pretty Woman's second "special edition." Other than an anamorphic widescreen transfer (ideal for those with widescreen televisions), there are not many substantial differences between the editions. There is a cast reunion extra that is generally entertaining, but most of the bloopers, featurettes and deleted scenes are not worth much time, just as they weren't five years ago. However, as frustrating as blatant commercialism can be, the fact remains that Pretty Woman is a great addition to any romantic sucker's DVD collection, whatever edition it may be. (Buena Vista)