Pairing wine with movies! See the trailers and hear the fascinating commentary for these movies, and many more, at Trailers From Hell. This week, we pair drinks with movies about – how shall we put this delicately – working girls. Y’know, hookers.
The 1990 rom-com Pretty Woman has Richard Gere hooking up with Julia Roberts. The meet-cute happens after his girlfriend breaks up with him, leaving him dateless for a business soirée. How dare she! No girlfriend? Just call a hooker to take her place. Maybe it was that sort of behavior that caused her to leave him.
Of course, the business bastard is reformed through his relationship with the whore-with-a-heart-of-gold. In the end, he gets the girl and she gets the white knight about which she has always dreamed. Not bad for a film that started out as a dark story about L.A. prostitution and drugs. The studio wanted a more “feel good” approach.
Word has it that both starring roles were turned down by every A-list actor and actress in Hollywood before Gere and Roberts finally agreed to do the film. The movie turned out to be a money machine. Would it have been so popular with, say, Al Pacino and Meg Ryan? Your guess is as good as mine, but my guess is “no.”
There was a Napa Valley Cab from Edward Lewis Cellars called Pretty Woman a few years back, but it seems to be MIA these days. Edward Lewis was Gere’s character in Pretty Woman, and the winery still offers other bottlings. Washington’s Olympic Cellars has a line of Working Girl wines. However, they refer to girls more along the lines of Rosie the Riveter, not a high-priced Beverly Hills call girl. Aah, let’s pop the cork anyway and celebrate wines made by women.
1933’s Baby Face stars Barbara Stanwyck as a woman who “had it, and made it pay,” according to the film’s tagline. It’s nice how they left it to your imagination. It was a pre-Hays code picture, and is widely credited with helping bring the Motion Picture Production Code into the business.
Who else but Stanwyck could have played this role after she showed how it was done. Her character got what she wanted from men by offering up what they wanted. It. The line, “Can’t we talk this over?” never held so much sexual energy.
There is sex, seduction, scandal and suicide in the story – which was ultimately whitewashed for general release. The moguls decided Americans were depressed enough in the Great Depression. The unedited version was lost for more than 70 years before being found and restored.
Napa Valley’s O’Brien Estate has a wine called Seduction, and it looks as tempting as it should for a pairing with Stanwyck.
Bus Stop, in 1956, starred Marilyn Monroe as a singer in a small-town diner. What I wouldn’t give for a Denny’s with Marilyn Monroe serenading me while I enjoyed the Moon Over My-Hammy, with a senior discount to boot.
Monroe’s character has a shady past, but it is merely hinted at, when a hick rodeo rider falls off the horse for her. She explains that she has had a lot of “boyfriends,” which was the Hays Code way of saying “I’ve been a floozie.” In the end, the cowboy rides off into the sunset – in a bus, not on a horse – with his second love at his side. His first love was, no doubt, a bucking bronco.
Since Bus Stop is set in Arizona, let’s pair a wine from Arizona Stronghold winery. Their Dala Chardonnay is as blonde as the movie’s star, and a bit more direct.