Vector8 Journals

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Pretty Woman

"For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Matthew 16: 26)
Last night, I saw the movie Pretty Woman again. It is about an "emotionless successful businessman" who picks up a prostitute and the relationship that develops between them.

At one level the movie can be read as a modern Cinderella fairy tale where a woman living in a desperate situation (hooker) is rescued by her Prince Charming (millionaire). On another level, this movie is about Love.

Edward, played by Richard Gere, is a businessman who specialises in taking over companies, breaking them apart and selling them off in small pieces. This process has made him very wealthy and yet he's not happy. Vivian, played by Julia Roberts, is a hooker who has sex for money. Edward asks Vivian to be his escort for the week while he's in town. Edward discovers they are both very similar. As he puts it "we both screw people for money." As the week progresses they grow to appreciate each other's qualities. Edward's attitude towards his job changes. He finds he is no longer interested in taking over his rival's company, even though he's very close to achieving his objective. Edward decides he would rather become a partner with his associate and help make the company a lot more successful. What changed? Love happened.

The ego, also known as the carnal or mortal mind, is portrayed in this movie as that which breaks up and sabotages itself. This mind doesn't understand harmony. It's idea of love is to possess and what it possesses it has to destroy. Edward and Vivian are ruled by the ego. As they get to know each other, they become appreciative of each other. Vivian doesn't believe in herself. Edward encourages her that she could be so much more. While Vivian reminds Edward that there is more to life than work. At the end of their week, Edward still wants to continue seeing Vivian. He suggests that he gets her an apartment where they can meet in future. Vivian doesn't think it's a good idea. She's been given an insight into another life, the realm where all things are possible, and she wants it all. Either Edward wants to share his life with her or not. Edward surrenders to Love. At the end of the movie when Edward reenacts Vivian's fairy tale of knight in shining armour rescuing her, Edward asks her what happens after he's saved her. Vivian responds that she saves him right back.

It's interesting how many people think Pretty Woman is a fairy tale and this kind of situation is not likely to happen in "real life." A prostitute ending up with a business man? Please! When I first saw it for the first time years ago I also thought this story was a fairy tale and not likely to happen. I've changed my mind about it. Now I know that the Love portrayed in Pretty Woman is "real life;" any other type of love is the fairy tale.

I see Pretty Woman as a perfect demonstration of surrendering to Love. When we allow Love to express through us Love removes the need to self-destruct and attack others. With Love there is no longer a need for defence. With Love everybody wins. With Love there is only wholeness.

Highly recommended. Great soundtrack!

With love,

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