The story is as old as time. It’s a modified Cinderella tale (with touches of Pygmalion) but, in place of a maid and a prince, it has a prostitute and a millionaire businessman. But the chemistry between Richard Gere and Julia Roberts made Pretty Woman a delight to watch. And, of course, there are the little extras that are just as unforgettable as the film itself. The first is Vivian’s (Roberts) wardrobe. The second is the ruby-and-diamond necklace that she wore to the opera. The third is the famous scene when Edward (Gere) snapped the jewelry box close on Vivian’s gloved hand.
Legendary director Garry Marshall dished to ET’s Nancy O’Dell on Tuesday that the iconic scene in Pretty Woman where Richard Gere snaps a jewelry box on Julia Roberts’ fingers – evoking one of the most spontaneously awkward but endearing laughs ever filmed – was originally staged as a practical joke intended for the film’s gag reel.
Many critics agree that this was the very moment the world fell in love with Roberts. [Source]
Obviously, the director made the right decision to use the segment in the film itself.
The ruby-and-diamond necklace was especially designed for the film by French brand Fred Joaillier. I always thought that the rubies were heart-shaped but, according to an article, they were pear-shaped — it was the 18K diamond-encrusted mounts that were heart-shaped. An armed security guard from the jewelry store stood by director Gary Marshall throughout the shooting of the scenes where it was worn. That makes sense. The price that Edward quoted when Vivian asked how much the necklace cost was accurate. Worth a quarter of a million dollars at the time, no one really knows how much it can fetch should it be auctioned today given its now-iconic status.
And the wardrobe? Just like the ruby-and-diamond necklace, Julia Roberts’ Pretty Woman wardrobe was especially designed by Marilyn Vance-Straker — from the padded Lycra streetwalker attire to the magnificent red opera gown and everything else in between.
Pretty Woman celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2015.