Compare And Contrast Pretty Woman And It Happened One Night

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Where do cows go for entertainment? To the moo-vies! Just like this joke, romantic comedies can be a bit cheesy, but still entertaining to the audience. However, not all romantic comedies are just a simple “chick flick” or “date movie,” there are some that portray significant conflicts that relates to the real world. It Happened One Night is a romantic comedy, with components of screwball comedy, directed by Frank Capra in 1934 and starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert (“It Happened One Night”). The movie follows a runaway heiress and reporter as they travel to reunite her with her fiancé, but they fall for each other instead. Pretty Woman is a 1990 romantic comedy directed by Garry Marshall starring Richard Gere and Julia Roberts (“Pretty …show more content…
While one film had a poor man and wealthy woman fall in love, the other pairs a struggling woman with a well off man. This is significant in that Pretty Woman was “originally intended to be a dark cautionary tale about class and sex work” (“Pretty Woman”), so the gender specific role was to display the relevant issue. Whereas in It Happened One Night, if Ellie, Colbert’s character, was a male, the thought of a man running away would appear weak, and the male character would lose the masculinity Peter held. Thus, the film had to place the genders for specific roles, so Gable’s character doesn’t lose the limited masculinity he had. Each film had its own execution for the casting of which gender will play which have which role to portray their individual …show more content…
To the audience of that time, “Ellie might as well have been wearing a business suit and Peter a French maid uniform” (Hood), because it is a rare sight to see the man in the relationship do housewife duties, like preparing a meal. Peter is emasculated by his inability to be “a Hero… a Hunter/Gatherer… and a Provider” (Hood) for Ellie, which is humiliating for a man – to not be able to provide for his significant other. Their relationship is not like the stereotypical relationships people of the 1930’s would picture, it defies what is expected of both genders and gives each a quality the other gender possesses. Whereas, Pretty Woman does not dive into the aspect of switching gender roles. Edward is seen to be the breadwinner of the relationship as he is the one that has a job and money, while Vivian stays in his penthouse, shops with his money, and becomes an accessory to Edward for social gatherings. Their relationship, although different, shows the typical roles each gender plays in a

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