Los Angeles was a very different place back in 1990. Hollywood was seedy. Beverly Hills was desirable. Over-the-knee boots and sideless tops were considered horrifyingly trashy. That's the place Pretty Woman showed audiences when it was released 25 years ago today—the tonally odd romantic comedy tells the story of a very nice sex worker named Vivian (Julia Roberts), who is forced to spend a week providing social cover for a soulless corporate raider named Edward (Richard Gere), all the while being condescended to and humiliated by snooty shopgirls and George Costanza.
In JF Lawton's original script, which was called $3,000 for the amount of money Edward pays Vivian to spend the week with him, Edward literally drags Vivian out of his car onto Hollywood Boulevard, then drives away as she picks her money out of the gutter. While the finished movie—directed by Happy Days creator Garry Marshall—makes offhand allusions to murdered prostitutes, abusive boyfriends, and controlling pimps, it's overall just a heartwarming fairytale of a woman so charming —she's Julia Roberts—that she can make a man completely forget that the whole reason he hired a sex worker in the first place is that he's too selfish for an actual girlfriend. Awwww.
Pretty Woman was twisted and molded from the original into the classic Los Angeles fantasy, where a gal from Georgia can get off the bus in Hollywood and end up in Beverly Hills, who cares the exact route she took to get there (Melrose Avenue, weirdly)—in the last lines of the movie, some random dude walks down the street muttering: "This is Hollywood. Always time to dream, so keep on dreamin'." Here, mapped on this anniversary, are the Los Angeles places of Pretty Woman: