Pretty Woman: The Musical has received mixed reviews from critics after its West End debut.
The show, which has already had success on Broadway, opened on Monday at the Piccadilly Theater in London.
Aimie Atkinson and Danny Mac take on the roles played by Julia Roberts and Richard Gere in the 1990 film.
“From the start, it was a heartwarming recitation of the film – sensual, sexy and full of meaning,” Howell Davies wrote in The Sun.
“It is truthful for the iconic film and does not try to modernize it with quick changes to the much-loved story, which the audience will be grateful for.”
Pretty Woman tells the story of a wealthy businessman who hires a prostitute on a business trip to Los Angeles.
The couple – Edward and Vivian – spend an entire week together and end up falling in love as they try to bridge the gap between their very different worlds.
Writing in The Evening Standard, Nick Curtis said that Atkinson “brings both power and depth [Vivian’s] big numbers, “adding:” This surprisingly delicious show could do for her what the film did for Roberts. “
He described the musical as “a triumph of exuberant zest on a questionable subject. It corresponds to the charm of the film but has its own subversive energy”.
But Natasha Tripney in The Stage drew attention to the series’ male creative team, arguing that it somewhat alleviated the feminist message the musical was trying to convey.
“Produced in 2020, created mainly by men but marketed by women, it is nostalgia by figures covered with ballads, as cynical as capricious,” she writes.
The musical has a male director (Jerry Mitchell) as well as male screenwriters (Garry Marshall and JF Lawton) and composers (Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance).
“The musical format gives her at least a little interior life and a little history – Vivian sings her wish to go out on the street and to sort out her life – whereas in the film her character was above all to watch: it is true there in the title, “continued Tripney.
“It’s just that the songs are pedestrian at best and riddled with lyrical clichés, in some cases fading from memory while being played.”
Dominic Cavendish of the Telegraph said, “There are empowerment slogan T-shirts on sale, but the party doesn’t have a progressive bone in her body.
“Yet it is also quite harmless, a disinfected opportunity that is almost as chaste as a parish bulletin, the pedestrian numbers serving as anaphrodisiacs.”
“Shallow and obsolete”
“Can history still conquer us? Not exactly. It sounds like a superficial and sometimes tasteless spectacle, but, according to the rules of a romantic comedy, it works in its central schmaltzy love story despite all the odds” wrote Arifa Akbar in The Guardian.
“There is also an attempt, even a dazzling one, to update the sexual policy of the story … Whatever the end of the story, Vivian at least wins Edward on his own terms.”
Akbar also noted the words of a song from the musical, in which Vivian sings: “It’s me who controls” I say who, I say when, I say how much. “
But Alexandra Pollard of The Independent said the feminist adjustments did not go far enough, writing that the musical “offers a superficial and obsolete version of sex work, female agency and femininity.”
Sarah Crompton of WhatsOnStage awarded two stars to the show, writing: “If Pretty Woman: The Musical had any conscience, it would adapt to the actors who played it and the era in which it was launched.
“The fact that he just wants to be a facsimile of a once popular movie reveals the ugliness at its core.”
According to Clive Davis in The Times, the musical on stage could not match the expensive look of the Hollywood film.
“It takes a while to adjust to the lack of glitter,” he writes. “If the film was a celebration opposite Gucci and Chanel, the sets of the musical are more basic than Beverly Hills.
“Everything seems rather cheap and impermanent … Severe lighting adds a cruise ship atmosphere in the first half of the evening.”
“Fans can rest assured that the show faithfully follows the film,” noted Patrick Marmion of the Daily Mail.
“And although it is fine without being dazzling, in the end it offers what we all want most: a song to sing for the title song of Roy Orbison.
“So even if the queues for the ladies’ loos seemed like a long time to knit to the knees, I’m planning big deals with bachelor parties.”
follow us on Facebookor on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts. If you have a story suggestion email .