In the dynamic world of streaming entertainment, where new releases jostle for attention, it’s remarkable when a classic film resurfaces and breaks out right in the global charts on streaming platforms like Netflix. This week’s Netflix top ten list has not one, but two Julia Roberts films. While one is a recent release, the other is a blast straight from 1990.
Julia Roberts, the reigning queen of romantic comedies in the ’90s, is currently ruling over Netflix with her timeless hit, Pretty Woman. This beloved romcom has climbed to the third spot on Netflix’s top ten films list globally. It’s in the top ten Netflix list in 76 countries, including the UK and New Zealand.
The resurgence of Roberts’ on Netflix can be attributed to the success of Sam Esmail’s Leave the World Behind. This apocalypse thriller has held its ground for an impressive four weeks on the streaming giant’s global charts. Starring Roberts alongside Ethan Hawke and Mahershala Ali, the film has clearly sparked a wave of nostalgia, prompting viewers to revisit the actor’s iconic role, the unforgettable Vivian Ward in Pretty Woman.
Directed by Garry Marshall and written by J.F. Lawton, Pretty Woman is a romantic comedy that follows the unlikely love story between Vivian Ward, a sex worker, and Edward Lewis, a wealthy businessman portrayed by Richard Gere. Marshall’s adept direction and Lawton’s witty script brought these characters to life in a way that had its romanticised and cheesy appeal.
Interestingly, Pretty Woman was initially supposed to be a grittier film. Titled 3000 (the amount of money Edward pays Vivian), the script by J. F. Lawton underwent significant changes to become the romantic comedy people know and love today. Patricia Arquette, who had auditioned for Vivian’s role, mentioned in Variety’s Actor on Actor interview, “That movie was really dark, and the ending was really heavy. It really read like a dark, gritty art movie.”
Recently, Julia Roberts was quizzed on what she thought Vivian would be doing today—if she were not a fictional character that it is, and she told CBS Mornings, “I think he passed away peacefully in his sleep from a heart attack, smiling. And now she runs his business.”
You can tune in to stream Pretty Woman on Netflix if you, too, are feeling nostalgic.