Life lessons learned from Pretty Woman

From opera etiquette to fine dining tricks, 25 years on there's plenty to be learned from this beloved rom-com


Twenty five years ago today Pretty Woman strutted its way onto cinema screens. Sure, it had the traditional rom-com formula – girl meets guy, girl falls in love with guy, lives happily ever after – but throw in Julia Roberts as a prostitute and Richard Gere as the loveable rich bloke who actually asks for directions and you have a box office smash hit.


Two and a half decades on, this film still ticks all the right boxes for chick flick lovers and there’s plenty to be learned from Vivian and Edward…

Stuck with all those forks at a fancy dinner? Count the tines. Four means dinner. Three means salad.

Always carry sachets of ketchup. God only knows when someone will order you snails for your meal *shudders*. 

… ps. snails are slippery little suckers and will fly off your plate if you’re not careful.

Alone in a hotel room? Always run and dive on the bed. Always. 

Laugh like Julia Roberts. It’s adorable.

Carry dental floss. You shouldn’t neglect your gums. Strawberries and champagne may seem romantic, but a mouth full of pips is no fun for anybody. 

Always sing along to Prince in the bath. Out of tune is A-OK. Who can hit those high notes, really?

The length of your foot is the same as from your elbow to your wrist. You’re trying it right now, aren’t you?

Vegging out means to be still like vegetables or, in Vivian’s words, to “lay like broccoli”. 

When someone asks you if you liked the opera, they’re not asking about your bladder. 

If you think your opera binoculars are broken, check you’re holding them the right way up. 

There’s a right and a wrong way to cheer at polo.

Think the good girl never makes it? Just remember Cinder-f***ing-ella.

Shop staff aren’t nice to people, they’re only nice to credit cards.

… but when they refuse to serve you, make sure you go back to prove it was a “big mistake”. Preferably while wielding enough bags of clothes to see you through the next decade.

If you spend an obscene amount of money in a shop, the staff will give you anything. Including the tie they’re wearing. 

Stressful day? Take off your shoes at lunch and pad about in the grass. It makes you see sense.

Wait for the fairytale.

And if your man’s holding a jewellery box, mind your fingers. 


See the cast of Pretty Woman reunite for the 25th anniversary