Pretty Woman

There’s an area in Bournemouth – where I’d currently hang my hat if I wore won – known as the local red light district, and unfortunately it’s on the road upon which I live. Let’s get one thing cleared up right now: hookers do not look like Julia Roberts, and if they did, they probably wouldn’t be struggling for money, regardless of how much their flatmate spends on drugs.

Remarkably, Aisha had neither seen nor heard much about this chickiest of chick flicks, filling the role of girly film of the decade between Dirty Dancing and the Notebook. And just like those two films, for anyone with a Y chromosome, this film is terrible. Firstly, Roberts’ streetwalker Vivian Ward is a horrendous role model. Not only is she a prostitute, by the end of the film it is clear she would have remained one forever were it not for Richard Gere’s ridiculously wealthy businessman Edward Lewis. The moral here kids is don’t worry, you’re live may turn to crap, but someday someone will come along, wave their magic credit card shaped wand and give you everything you’ve ever wanted. Essentially an, ahem, adult retelling of a fairy tale – Cinderella and Rapunzel are both namechecked – the film retains every sense of logic and reality of its inspirations.
It’s only saving graces are from the supporting cast – Jason Alexander as essentially a more successful George Costanza and the great Larry Miller as a preening store manager (“She has my [credit] card” “And we’ll help her use it, sir.”), but otherwise the story is one-note and the lead performances average at best, with the actors feeling very robotic and over-directed. And even worse, Aisha has now added it to her Amazon wish list.
Choose life 4/10

Ocean’s Eleven

Sneaking its way onto the list at number 500 of Empire’s top 500 films is the 2001 remake of Ocean’s Eleven, one of the few remakes on the list to surpass its original. This film relies on the complexity of the genius heist plot and the easy camaraderie and star wattage of its leads to create an enjoyable and cerebral popcorn flick. But as usual it’s the small moments of humour that meant the most to me, especially how the story and characters play with the real-life personas of the actors playing them. For example, at the beginning of the film Brad Pitt’s Rusty Ryan and George Clooney’s Danny Ocean are teaching ‘movie stars’ how to play poker. The so-called stars they are schooling include small screen heartthrobs Topher Grace (That 70s Show,) Joshua Jackson (Dawson’s Creek) and Holly Marie Combs (Charmed), each playing themselves, and here dubbed as major movie stars, being photographed by the paparazzi whilst Pitt and Clooney, at the time two of the most famous faces in the world, are ignored by everyone. Another parallel is Pitt and Clooney’s teaching of Matt Damon’s rookie conman Linus Caldwell, in a sense showing Pitt and Clooney teaching Damon how to become a star as renowned as them, with Damon continuing his meteoric rise to fame with the Ocean’s Eleven, arguably reaching the same level as Pitt and Clooney. Finally, Pitt’s performance as a fake doctor parodies Clooney’s stint on ER, especially his flamboyant overacting.

Choose film 9/10