Martina Devlin: There is no happily ever after in the red light zone
Society is comfortable with the happy hooker image. 'Pretty Woman' was a lucrative romantic comedy, in which a tart with a heart was wooed and won by her Prince Charming.
Predominantly female audiences smothered every last smidgen of their critical faculties to thrill at the deliberate fairytale evocation, in which Richard Gere leapt from a white limousine in lieu of a white steed and climbed a fire escape to rescue his damsel.
It was far-fetched, but it was box office. 'Pretty Woman' was the third highest grossing film worldwide in 1990, the year of its release, and its frothy escapism ensures it is still screened on television regularly.