It was the world’s third most-watched movie on Netflix last week, and yet it’s far from new. Returned to the streaming giant’s catalog on December 23, this cult romantic comedy released in theaters in 1990 rose to third place on the global podium at the end of 2023. The film is even among the top 10 in 76 countries around the world , including France, where it ranks sixth, the United Kingdom, Brazil and even Japan. And if we tell you Julia Roberts and Richard Gere, you’ll know which movie we’re talking about… It is, of course, “Pretty Woman”, a modern adaptation of the Pygmalion myth directed by Garry Marshall.
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Two films with Julia Roberts in the Top 10
The feature film is surpassed in the global Top 10 by the drama “The World After Us”, also starring Julia Roberts, which is a success four weeks after its premiere on the platform, and has more than 34 million hours of viewing. And in first place in the ranking, we once again find “Rebel Moon – Part 1: Child of Fire”, an explosive science fiction blockbuster by Zack Snyder, director of “Justice League”. Two contemporary films, released in December directly on the streaming platform. But the almost 34-year-old romantic comedy is doing better than the recent big theatrical hits: “Top Gun: Maverick” and “Super Mario Bros, the Movie,” respectively, in seventh and fifth place in the ranking.
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A film that has become a cult over the years, “Pretty Woman” follows the story of Edward Lewis, a very rich but sad and disillusioned businessman, who makes his fortune by buying and reselling bankrupt companies. During a stay in Los Angeles, he gets lost in a bad neighborhood and asks Vivian, a prostitute as beautiful as she is charismatic who works on Hollywood Boulevard, for directions. While he hires her for her services, he falls in love with the young woman, to whom he will offer a luxurious getaway worthy of a Cinderella-style fairy tale.
Criticized for its “glamorization” of sex work, the film remains a classic romantic comedy, in a tasty and comforting mix of clichés and gags wonderfully played by Julia Roberts. If its success on Netflix is to be believed, this is a timeless film that still appeals to multiple generations.