Pretty Woman tells the story of Gornick Vivian’s rise from streetwalker to high-bourgeois consort. The crucial maneuver in the bait-and-switch strategy is to depict Vivian’s ascent as the rectification of an earlier injustice. In celebrating her reversal of fortune, Pretty Woman conjures away its own awareness of the inherent unfairness of hierarchical social structures. Pretty Woman begins with a parallel montage sequence that introduces its some principals and establishes that despite the very apparent difference in their economic circumstances, Edward Lewis and Vivian each stand in need of rescue. Pretty Woman is less committed to developing the critical potential of the beginnings than to showing that there are ways to mitigate their critical bite. Before turning to an analysis of Pretty Woman’s strategies of containment, the chapter explores prostitution’s significance for the film’s narrative. The conventions of romantic comedy in general and of ascent narratives in particular generally require virtuous heroines.