We’ve all either seen or are somewhat familiar with the movie “Pretty Woman;” it was Julia Roberts’ first breakout performance as the prostitute with the heart of gold. Roberts’ character, Vivian Ward, had an urban street-smart shell that eventually falls off to reveal a softer, more refined character.
We see the same story line happen in “The Princess Diaries” as well, although this one is intended for younger audiences. The character Mia is an unfortunate looking and socially awkward teen who is rescued from her seemingly pathetic existence by her rich grandmother and transformed into a striking beauty who, by the end of the movie, manages to land the guy and realize that she likes herself for who she is.
Am I the only one who finds it rather ironic that she finds all this out only after she gets rid of her unibrow and her knobby knee socks are replaced with nylons? This transformation is the quintessential Cinderella story: the princess is rescued from the tragedies of poverty and whisked away to riches and fame to live, well… happily ever after.
While we all toil away at our 9-5 jobs day in and day out, we can’t help but be completely enraptured by this idea of complete transformation and rehabilitation, so much so that we can only assume (if rather naively) this transformation and rescue leads to happiness. This may be why movies like “Pretty Woman” and “The Princess Diaries” are still making money in the box offices. When the daily grind gets too tedious, we all wish Prince Charming would come rescue us, but if he’s too busy, like the rest of us, maybe a movie is the next best thing to actually living happily ever after.