A Pretty Woman but not a Pretty Man

Remember the Movie “Pretty Woman”? Think of it from a business/political perspective.

This is another letter from my friend Richard. After surviving cancer and its treatment, he seems to be able to look at life from a slightly different perspective than most of us. He recalls an old movie filled with fun, sex, love, and beautiful people, but sees it from a business and ethical point of view. Gere is a venture capitalist, money is his God, and making money is his religion. Helping people is incidental and rare. Richard compares Gere to Romney. Both are venture capitalists and are good at transferring money from struggling businesses into their own wallets and letting the businesses die. Romney claims this qualifies him to be President. But, why making money qualifies someone to be President of the nation I do not know. The following is Richard’s story in his words. Well done my friend.

I watched the 1990 film "Pretty Woman" last night for the first time since it was
initially released. It is featured on AMC this week and I saw it through very different eyes. I remembered it as a "feel good" chic flic unconventional love story using the conventional "whore with the heart of gold" theme and I remember enjoying it. Richard Gere and Julia Roberts as the main characters were well cast and generated audience sympathy for their respective characters. It was a fluffy love story and very nicely done. However, the first time I saw it I completely missed the secondary story. That of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital.

Gere's character, "Edward", is a Vulture Capitalist who is single, obscenely
rich and hires the Robert's character, a Beverly Hills prostitute, to be his 'companion' for the week while he is LA conducting his business. He prides himself in his business dealings as being a 'bastard' and totally ruthless. He is supported aggressively by his long-time attorney play as another ruthless snake, Jason Alexander (George from the Seinfeld show). Early on, Robert's asks
him what he does. He responds that he seeks out troubled business on the verge of failing and buys them and, after stripping them of their assets or loading them up with debt, he sells them overseas and pockets the profit and moves on to the next 'wounded animal'. She notes that he must get them at real bargain prices if they are already suffering financial problems. He responds that 'that's the point'.

Later in the movie, after Alexander has worked his magic and pushed them into a corner in negotiations, Gere is in his attorney's office discussing the pending deal which will net them millions as planned after the company is shut down and liquidated, Gere starts to carefully place one glass after another on Alexander's desk on top of each other. The attorney, anxious to close this deal, asks him what he is doing. Gere says "these are building blocks". "You know, we don't build anything…we don't MAKE anything." Alexander replies, in frustration, "We MAKE MONEY!!"

Gere's intimacy with Robert's over the course of the week has caused him to reevaluate his version of making a living. In the end, in typical Hollywood fashion, Gere upends the deal, ends his relationship with Alexander, helps the company survive and save the jobs of its employees and runs off with the girl. Really romantic fantasy…especially the part about seriously rethinking one's role as a 'vulture capitalist'. Too bad these fantasies never come true in real life.

Originally, I paid no attention to the secondary story. This time, it was impossible to miss.

Sincerely, Richard

Thanks again Richard. I look forward to seeing the movie again from a different perspective. Craig

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About cgosling

I am a retired medical/scientific illustrator who has given up illustration to write about science, superstition, and secular humanism. I consider myself all of the following: atheist, agnostic, secular humanist, freethinker, skeptic, and nature lover. I have several published books but the mass of my writing is unpublished. I write children's fiction, poetry, essays, and several plays and radio theater shows, that are available as free downloads to be used on secular podcasts and meetings. They can be heard on Indy Freethought Radio. I hope some of my writings will be of interest to like minded freethinkers who I cordially invite to respond.
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2 Responses to A Pretty Woman but not a Pretty Man

  1. seanobr@comcast.net says:

    Craig,

    Richard did a fantastic job with this story. You should post it everywhere you can! In case you haven’t seen this, Robert Reich does an excellent job explaining why private equity companies like Bain do so well and how they work.

    Cheers

    Sean O’Brien

  2. Richard D. Boyle says:

    Thanks Sean for your generous comment and to you Craig for selecting it to post. It is hard to believe that the venture capitalist secondary theme came from such an old movie. If it were to be the theme of a movie this year, I can just hear the screaming coming from the Republians at the liberal bias of Hollywood and the not-so-veiled reference to the Romney like character…although Richard Gere as “Edward” did regain his humanity at the end and become the “nice guy hero”, unfortunately, that was fantasy. Richard

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