Julia Roberts is an American actress and producer. From Pretty Woman to The Wonder Julia Roberts continued to act in revolutionary movies. By playing non-stereotypical female protagonists the audience was able to relate to her. This made her one of the most known American female actresses.
Pretty Woman is a typical romantic story of the poor girl falling in love with the rich guy. What makes this movie different from the rest is that the poor girl is a sex worker. She is not an innocent or naive female protagonist that the audience was used to. It also addresses issues that were taboo in the 90s as discrimination of the sex workers, the dangers they faced shown when the body of a girl Vivian knew is pulled out of the dumpster or when Richard’s lawyer tries to assault her. Julia Roberts made an unlikable character beloved by the public which shows her charisma and acting skills.
Erin Brockovich is based on the true story of a struggling mother working for a law firm. She was fighting against an electric company that was polluting the water and won the largest settlement in the history of the US. Again, Julia Roberts plays an unrepresented female character in the movie industry, she plays a twice-divorced woman with no education trying to fight to become someone and protect the innocent. The movie is powerful because it spreads an important message to women that against popular belief you can achieve anything with hard work and determination no matter the circumstances.
In The Wonder Julia Roberts doesn’t play the main role, she plays a mother of a 10-year-old boy with a facial deformity. It deals with issues as bullying and conformity. It is again a movie with a very strong message of acceptance and that everyone is special in their own way. Julia Roberts plays a very strong mom who is trying to do what’s best for her son while sometimes ignoring her oldest daughter. She doesn’t play the perfect mom, but more shows the real struggles of parenting being sometimes too overprotective of Auggie or not so involved with her daughter.
The majority of movies until recently were made for men by men. They deal with the hero’s journey and the damsel in distress. Eat Pray and Love which starred Julia Roberts as the main character is targeted mostly towards women. It talks about her exploring the world and herself and reflecting on her failed relationships. The movie is a bit entitled as the main character is able to just travel for a year without responsibilities but it develops the niche in the movie industry dealing with the more subtle issues of being a woman in the modern age.
Throughout her career, Julia Roberts played the not so basic female characters that made her famous. She played the sex worker, the single mother trying to fight a multi-million electric company, the parent of a child with a deformity and the divorced woman trying to find herself. By taking on the roles of women that are not very represented in the movie industry she was able to relate to a new audience that made her resonate and become one of the best American actresses.
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