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Written by Claire Cornwall
Vivian Ward is a very attractive young woman in her early twenties. Despite having had dreams and goals earlier in her life, a series of bad decisions, plus a tendency to attract and fall in love with the wrong sort of boy, culminates in her finding herself working as a prostitute on the streets in the turgid area of Hollywood Boulevard. Vivian works alongside her room-mate and best friend, Kit. Although initially it was Kit who protected Vivian, she is currently the more responsible and capable of the pair.
When Edward Lewis loses his way on the way back to his hotel, he pulls over to ask Vivian for directions. An uncharacteristic stroke of luck means that she is able to drive him back to his hotel herself - growing up with brothers, Vivian is a tomboy with an interest in cars, handling the car's stick shift in a way that the limousine-riding Edward cannot.
Vivian delights in shocking people but this masks a vulnerability that is one of her most endearing characteristics. She is self-deprecating and full of contradiction; in an industry where many of her friends die after drug overdose, Vivian is a stickler for dental hygiene, even taking the time to floss after a romantic evening of champagne and strawberries. She is feisty and will stand up for herself to a degree, but in the face of someone being mean, or clearly looking down on her, she withdraws immediately, feeling worse than she did before.
Vivian is eager to improve herself and her life and has a deeply touching awareness that she is not the person she had anticipated. Her sincerity in learning the basics of fine dining, wearing the right clothes and making a good impression draw her together with Barney Thompson, the hotel manager, who helps her learn the correct silverware to use and which stores to shop in. With every day that passes Vivian lets her true self shine through and is ultimately rewarded for lowering the walls around her heart by capturing the heart of her Prince Charming and her happily ever after.
Edward Lewis is a second generation business tycoon who is wealthy and successful but because of a remote father is rather cold and remote himself. He is a man of little sentiment who is not close with his own family and who therefore struggles to appreciate the deeper emotional bonds that other families hav with each other. He is a business barracuda known for buying struggling companies and breaking them up to sell them piece by piece, often launching a hostile takeover.
Edward views relationships and personal entanglements as a headache which prompts him to ask Vivian to spend the week as his social companion as a business arrangement. He does not anticipate falling in love with her and does not recognize the feeling when it happens. Although it appears that he has created a change in Vivian, he is changed also, softening and beginning to understand sentiment and connections to others, ultimately deciding that rather than taking over the company he currently wants to acquire, he will instead invest in it and manage it back to health with its current owners.
Mr Thompson is the manager of the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel and is extremely proud of his achievement in reaching this position. He is extremely protective of the hotel and its reputation which is his inspiration for helping Vivian to be one a little less conspicuous. He is proper and a stickler for the rules but is also a kind, good-hearted man who becomes fatherly in his dealings with Vivian. His kindness is meaningful and surprising and he is gentle and patient. His support is instrumental in helping Vivianbecone the classy woman she was meant to be, and his unobtrusive interference prompts Edward Lewis to chase after her and convince her to give their relationship a try.
Kit De Luca
Kit is Vivian's best friend and room-mate and when Vivian arrived in the neighborhood Kit helped her acclimate to the prostitution industry. Kit has been a prostitute for a long time and is both hardened to it and oblivious to its effects on her. Kit is highly disorganized, often forgetting to pay the rent, being outrageously untidy and making reminder notes on the toilet seat with lipstick. Kit is good hearted and supportive and has grown so accustomed to thinking the worst of herself that hearing she has potential brings her to tears. Kit's life is also looking more positive as the movie ends and she decides to trade life on the streets for cosmetology school.
Stuckey is a shameless yes-man who is as ambitious as he is insincere. Although promoting himself as Edward's closest friend he is in reality hanging on Edward's coat tails in order to get ahead. He is extremely superficial and very shallow, rarely taking the time to develop genuine social relationships. To Stuckey there are two kinds of people; those who can do something for his career and those who cannot. He rarely wastes time or effort on the latter group.
stuckey is rather manipulative and often leads Edward to the action that is most beneficial to him and his subterfuge. He is extremely sleazy and although married tries to hire Vivian as an escort. When she turns him down he reacts very badly and he assaults her. Stuckey is not a likable character and certainly not a character who generates any respect.
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