A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this film contains adult themes, strong sexual references, and sexual imagery. Prostitution is one of the main issues dealt with in the movie. There are scenes of scantly-clad women, drug dealing, tobacco and alcohol use, and an incident of attempted rape. There is also occasional profanity.
What's the story?
PRETTY WOMAN follows the love story of hooker with a heart of gold, Vivian (Julia Roberts), and a stoic, detached, wealthy business mogul, Edward (Richard Gere), who treats all facets of life like a business merger. Vivian is a charismatic, "innocent" prostitute looking to make ends meet. Driving along the Hollywood strip one night, Edward stops and asks Vivian for directions. She drives him back to his hotel and stays the night. Bemused by her company, Edward hires her for the week at a rate of $3,000. Predictably, their relationship develops into more than that of employer/employee.
Is it any good?
One of the top-grossing romantic comedies of all time, the affable Pretty Woman launched Roberts' career and popularized the modern romantic comedy. Despite its formulaic plot, the movie succeeds, due in part to J.F. Lawton's clever script and the performances of Roberts, Laura San Giacomo, and Hector Elizondo as the hotel concierge.
Provided that your teen is mature enough to recognize the implausibility of such a story, Pretty Woman is relatively harmless and surely will outshine the myriad of lackluster and unsubstantial romantic comedies teens normally submit themselves to. However, it's important to remind your child that the reality of prostitution is much harsher than its portrayal in the film.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the harsh realities and dangers of prostitution, as compared to the film's portrayal of it in the film.
Parents could discuss how the film treats the objectification of women.
Does being a prostitute make Vivian a lesser person?
Vivian's physical makeover brings up the issue of appearance and its relation to self-esteem. How does her transformation alter the way she perceives herself and is perceived by other people?
Another good point of discussion is the movie's commentary on greed, morals and materialism in today's society. Does money buy Edward happiness?
Our editors recommend
Top advice and articles
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.