Every Little Girl's Dream?

     I often find myself wondering what has had the most impact on my life. Is it my parents? Is it my teachers? Or is it television and movies? I then take a step back and wonder what shapes other twenty-two year old female college students' attitudes on love and relationships. I would definitely have to say that for myself it is movies that molded my attitudes on love and relationships at an early age. One such movie is Pretty Woman, directed in 1990 by Gary Marshall. It shows a spunky young woman catching the eye of an older wealthy man. Never mind that she is a prostitute. Played by Richard Gere, this man shows the young woman, portrayed by Julia Roberts, how to be a refined member of high class society. Most of the members of the upper class would have no idea that this woman is in an ill-reputed profession. She is considered the underbelly of society.

     My mind then wanders to what this movie is based on. It is based on the 1913 play Pygmalion, by George Bernard Shaw, filmed in 1938 by directors Anthony Asquith and Leslie Howard. This play probably influenced many women's views of love, class, and glamour of that day. The story revolves around, Eliza Doolittle (Wendy Hiller on screen), a poor flower girl from the wrong side of the tracks. She is taken in by the more mature and wealthy Professor Higgins (Leslie Howard in the film).

     In both instances, the spunky young woman at first annoys the rich old man. She then in her own way helps the men. In Pretty Woman, the woman helps the rich old man find his way back to his hotel. In Pygmalion she helps him study accents and proves that one's accent can change. The more time these man spend with the ladies the more captivated the men are by them. The men eventually fall in love with them. But first both of them protest that they are not in love with them. They make the girls feel bad about themselves and where they come from. But in the end, as with all love stories, they end up happily ever after, at least on screen, where Eliza comes back to Henry. In the play, she is more or less happy with Freddy Eynsford-Hill. I find this gives young girls the mentality that only a man can raise them from their background and make them feel good about themselves. This just is not true. There need to be more movies that demonstrate what love is truly like. It is hard!!!!!!!!!!

Colleen Klein

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