Dreams Do Come True

         In Covent Garden, dreams do come true especially for Eliza Doolittle in George Bernard Shaw’s 1913 play, Pygmalion, filmed in 1938 by Anthony Asquith and Leslie Howard and in 1964 as My Fair Lady by George Cukor. She is discovered by Henry Higgins and her life changes dramatically. Eliza is a poor flower girl that wants and dreams for a new life and a chance to become a true lady and gain respect like in the 1990 movie Pretty Woman, directed by Garry Marshall and starring Richard Gere and Julia Roberts.

         Henry Higgins (Leslie Howard/Rex Harrison), a phonetics professor, meets Eliza (Wendy Hiller/Audrey Hepburn) and bets that he can change her and fool everyone in to believing she is wealthy and educated. She is his guinea pig, and with her he can prove to everyone that he is the best. He is that confident that he can accomplish this. Eliza fools everyone at the ball into believing she is a Hungarian princess, and her dream comes true. She now has everything she has wanted thanks to the to the arrogant Henry.

         It reminded me of Pretty Woman in a lot of ways especially with the intelligent, wealthy man, Edward Lewis (Richard Gere) lending his services to help a poor woman, Vivian Ward (Julia Roberts). He helps her change her life and they fall in love. He is her mentor.

           Also, Henry develops feelings for her, and so does Eliza for him, but she realizes that he is not the one for her and she decides she needs a respectful man. She meets Freddie and he sweeps her off her feet, but she goes back to Higgins in the two movies, as Vivian goes back to Edward after having run away.

         Eliza changes dramatically. She goes from the uneducated, loud woman to a witty, sophisticated woman. She also gives Henry a taste of his own medicine. Although, Henry does realize he messed up and professes his feelings for Eliza, that is not enough for her, and so the movie ends in one version. In Pretty Woman, he rescues her and they end up being together.

Misty Hays

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