Pretty Woman

Movie review by
Ellie Woodward, Common Sense Media
Pretty Woman Movie Poster Image
Cinderella meets the Sunset Strip.
  • R
  • 1990
  • 125 minutes

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 6 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The main character is a prostitute. Other characters are consumed by greed and materialism. However, by the movie's end, consequences are realized and the main characters learn from their mistakes.

Positive Role Models & Representations
Violence

One scene of attempted rape.

Sex

Prostitution, sexual imagery, and discussion. Main characters do promote safe-sex behavior.

Language

Few isolated incidents of profanity.

Consumerism

Luxury brands and high-designer lines are glamorized in the film.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A few scenes of drug dealing, alcohol and tobacco use, though not blatant.

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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byTaraC 2 October 31, 2015

Mature, but really funny!

The main character is a prostitite, but if you are mature enough to handle that, it will be fine. I am thirteen and I thought it was a great movie and really fu... Continue reading
Adult Written bySaskiwi August 9, 2013

Just don't...

Its a movie about a prostitute. Need I say more? Not suitable for children Unrealistic for teens Brain dead pap for adults Just say NO
Kid, 12 years old February 10, 2014
I think that a mature child could handle this. I handled it just fine. Yes, it does revolve around a prostitute and a wealthy man who hires her for her services... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byMy1ten0baby January 31, 2014

Not For My Age

This show is not for my age, too much language, sex, viloence, consemerism and drinking, drugs, smoking.

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?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

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.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate