Viewed – 01 April 2012 Blu-ray
For all the gory horror movies and violent gangster films I may watch, every now and then I sure can appreciate a chick flick … and as far as chick flicks go, this is one of the all time classics. Julia Roberts, in her breakthrough performance (if you don’t count Mystic Pizza) stars as a hooker who gets picked up by hotshot business tycoon Richard Gere, who then pays her to spend the week with him. Now this could have been a 9 and a half weeks style sleaze fest, but turns out to be a great example of the fish out of water, as Roberts finds herself thrown amongst the L.A. rich crowd and has to find a way of fitting in, and quick – usually with very funny and highly memorable results.
This is a movie that starts out like on thing, perhaps a sexy date movie, then turns into a really heart-warming love story about two people lost and lonely in their subsequent lives, who find escape in each others arms. Awww. Roberts is great and incredibly likable, whilst Gere proves more than his usually ladies man beds them all stereotype, with a surprising amount of depth. Support from the likes of Seinfeld’s Jason Alexander (playing seriously against type) and the always enjoyable Laura San Giacomo (Sex, Lies and Videotape) prove more than set dressing also. Yet this is Roberts & Gere’s show and their chemistry is convincing and well observed. Also for a movie about a prostitute, the story is mature enough not to gloss over the oldest profession of them all, and knows when to hit the viewer when necessary. Add to this a great soundtrack (especially Roy Orbinson’s title track) with colourful direction and plenty of personality – this remains one of the defining movies of the era.
The Blu-ray, whilst not a complete let down does suffer from that eighties / early nineties soft-focus look, but still appears fairly vibrant, especially during out door daytime scenes. Close-ups have a fair amount of detail too, but it is still clear the movie would benefit from a complete remastering. Thankfully, the soundtrack is clear, the music jumps out of the speakers, and dialogue is clear throughout. Extras-wise we get an audio commentary, a featurette, some footage from the movie’s wrap party, a music video and a trailer. Not too shabby.
(the movie) 5 /5
(the blu-ray) 3 /5