Pretty Woman is the first film I formed memories around. It was released the year I was born. I remember the VHS resting against the television set just as clearly and fondly as I remember my favorite stuffed animal Chip (of Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers). My sister played the soundtrack so much, my brother was driven to hide the cassette. And I didn’t quite get Vivian’s occupation until I was about twelve. Hurray for blinders. It’s a nineties classic, save for the oversimplified sex politics. But, perhaps most importantly it erected Julia Roberts as the patron saint of nineties romantic comedies.
With Valentine’s Day just a few days away, it’s only appropriate that I rank Julia’s best turns as doe-eyed/ jilting/ charismatic romantic comedy protagonist.
5. Julianne Potter (My Best Friend’s Wedding)
4. Kiki Harrison (America’s Sweethearts)
3. Anna Scott (Notting Hill)
2. Maggie Carpenter (Runaway Bride)
1. Vivian Ward (Pretty Woman)
All of these titles are available on streaming services. So treat yourself this Valentine’s weekend with romantic comedy meet-cutes, false starts and grand declarations featuring St. Julia.