‘Pretty Woman’ 25th anniversary: 4 ways the Julia Roberts flick changed rom-coms

Fans are still in love with "Pretty Woman." When the movie hit theaters in 1990, the fairy-tale romance, about a call girl who wins the heart of a wealthy businessman, captivated audiences, becoming one of the biggest hits of the year. But the success of the Julia Roberts-Richard Gere flick, a modern retelling of the Cinderella story, reverberated throughout Hollywood beyond its initial release. With the film celebrating its 25th anniversary on Monday, here's how "Pretty Woman" changed rom-coms and the movie biz in general: 1. The success of "Pretty Women" led to a new wave of female movie stars "Pretty Woman" was Julia Roberts' breakout role, and the film's success launched a career that has kept her on top of the A-list for the past 25 years. While there had been successful romantic comedies before "Women," including "Splash" and "When Harry Met Sally," the movie became a pop culture phenomenon largely due to the then 22-year-old actress' star-making performance, earning her first Oscar nod. As the first rom-com with a female lead to earn $100 million, the genre became viewed as capable of creating female movie stars on par with heavyweights such as Tom Cruise or Arnold Schwarzenegger. "It proved that romantic comedies could compete with action films for box office supremacy, " Chicago Sun-Times film critic Richard Roeper told the Daily News. "The 'date movie' meant you'd get men as well as women into theaters." Stars such as Sandra Bullock, Kate Hudson, Cameron Diaz, Anne Hathaway, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Lopez and Jennifer Aniston have seen romantic comedies either launch their careers or solidify their movie star status in the aftermath of "Pretty Woman's" success. In fact, seven of the top 10 highest-grossing actresses of all-time have at least two rom-coms on their resume. Roeper said that it's hard to imagine many of Hollywood's actresses achieving A-list stardom without the rise of the modern-day Continue Reading

Brooklyn driver who rammed into woman as she crossed 21st Ave. in Bath Beach charged under the city’s right-of-way law

The driver who rammed into a woman as she crossed a Brooklyn street, critically injuring her, was charged under the city’s fledgling right-of-way law, police said Tuesday. Alexander Smotritsky, 39, was three blocks from his Bath Beach home when he struck Xiali Yue, 61, Monday morning at 21st Ave. and Cropsey Ave., cops said. She was crossing 21st Ave. walking north in the crosswalk with the light when Smotritsky’s Ford Fiesta hit her while making a right onto Cropsey around 8:13 a.m., police said. The Fiesta struck her with the center of its bumper, cops said. A police source said she was in grave condition. The right-of-way law has been in effect since August and makes it a misdemeanor to strike a pedestrian who has the right of way. Twenty-two people have been charged under the law, including Smotritsky. Steve Vaccaro, an attorney who helped write the 2014 law, said the maximum penalty is $250 and 30 days in jail. “The hope of the people who are behind this law is that it will lead drivers to take these cases more seriously,” he said. “Up until this law was passed it was really common for there to be no charges at all.” A man who answered at a listing for Smotritsky said he wasn’t home. He said he was unable to take a message. Smotritsky also faces a violation of highway safety law for a failure to exercise due care, cops said. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Mets’ David Wright says it’s way too soon to talk about October

With a record crowd at Citi Field Monday, Mets fever is alive and well in Queens. And while the the Mets talked all winter about being a playoff team, David Wright says it’s way too early to start worrying about October baseball. He even said this team should not be compared to the 2006 squad that rolled to the NL East title or the 2007 and 2008 teams that fell just short. “Let’s not go crazy,” Wright said Monday of the Mets’ 4-3 record. “It’s early but I love the energy that these guys bring. I like the personality and the clubhouse atmosphere that we have.” RELATED: METS FANS SET TO FLOCK TO SEE MATT HARVEY'S RETURN TO CITI But Terry Collins welcomed the challenge, saying “it’s time” for a new bar to be set. “You should be expected to win, with the pieces we added,” said Collins. “Look at last year — without Harvey in the rotation and not a healthy David Wright, we played pretty stinkin’ good. I’m not afraid to talk about it, talk about winning.” GM Sandy Alderson had a more measured approach, saying he saw “encouraging things about the first six games,” including the bullpen’s effort over that stretch. “I think we’ve got depth, not totally proven, a little bit inexperienced. I like the pieces that we have.” THAT’S GOLD, JERRYMets fan Jerry Seinfeld and new relief pitcher Jerry Blevins, who has been nothing short of dominant since he was acquired in a trade with Washington last month. The southpaw pitched a scoreless eighth inning Monday against the heart of the Phillies’ batting order, getting lefties Odubel Herrera (flyout) and Chase Utley (groundout) before whiffing Ryan Howard to end the inning. RELATED: DEGROM, METS LOOK PERFECTLY FLAWED IN HOME OPENER “It definitely can’t hurt to see the guys beforehand, know their type of swing,” Continue Reading

New Jersey cop driving wrong-way in fatal Staten Island crash was busted for drunk driving in 2011, when he smashed car into deli

The off-duty Jersey cop at the wheel during a wrong-way fatal accident on Staten Island had been busted for drunken driving after crashing into a deli in 2011, police records reveal. Pedro Abad Jr., a Linden police officer, swerved off the road in a black 2010 Audi A5 and hit a bus stop sign, a street sign and a stop sign before slamming through the side of New Way Supermarket in Roselle, N.J., at 3:46 a.m. on Jan. 22, 2011, according to a police report. His car ended up inside the store, causing heavy damage to the building. Ravi Patel, 26, who co-owns the deli with his dad, recalled getting a call in the middle of the night that the store’s alarms had been triggered. “We didn't know it was a crash,” Patel told the Daily News Wednesday. “It wasn't until we got to the corner. We saw the car inside — the whole car!” It took three months for all the damage to be fixed and the damage was so extensive the store was closed for the first three weeks of repairs. “Everything was messed up,” Patel said. “The register was on the ground, everything. The door doesn't even shut still because of the crash.” Reeking of alcohol, Abad, 27, was rushed from the scene to University Hospital in Newark, where he was charged with driving while intoxicated and careless driving. Inside the ambulance he admitted to having two mixed drinks at a local club, according to the police report. "He should have learned his lesson," Patel said. "You don't screw up again. That's just wrong. Look at how many lives he took." Investigators are continuing to probe whether Abad was drinking with his three passengers at Staten Island strip club Curves before Friday’s crash. Abad was driving a Honda northbound in the southbound lanes of the West Shore Expressway when he hit a tractor-trailer head-on at 4:50 a.m., killing two men in the car. Hours before the deadly crash, Abad recounted in an online post his Continue Reading

SEE IT: Comedienne shows two-way mirror facing women’s toilet at suburban Chicago bar; owner claims ‘no hanky panky’

A horrified comedienne showed the world a two-way mirror allowing views of a women’s toilet in a bar. But the comedy bar’s owner says it’s part of his horror show and he plans to keep it. Performer Tamale Rocks demonstrates how anyone who accesses an unlocked closet at Cigars and Stripes BBQ Lounge in the suburban Chicago town of Berwyn can watch female patrons do their business in a YouTube video that’s attracted 1.2 million views since she posted it on Sunday. The footage displays how the women’s restroom at the bar is clearly visible from the cleaning supply room opposite the looking glass. But bar owner Ron Lottz defended the creepy setup in a profanity-laced and hostile interview with feminist blog Jezebel and then invited local reporters to the bar on Monday to show it off and defend himself against accusations that he’s a peeping tom guilty of “hanky panky,” WMAQ-TV reported. The closet is also discernible from inside the one-toilet bathroom and the comedy club’s employees have been using it for practical jokes for years, especially during the Halloween season, according to the Chicago Tribune. Officials at the Berwyn Police Department caught wind of the mirror and investigators also took a full gander at the bathroom themselves on Monday, the newspaper reported. But even though Berwyn Police Chief James Ritz told the Tribune he “absolutely” understands people’s unease over the unobstructed view from the closet, law enforcement officials heard from the bar’s employees that regulars are well aware of the setup and determined that it doesn’t appear to be a breach of privacy. That determination did little to mollify Rocks, who told local media that she’s heard from supporters across the country angered by the mirror and Lottz’s refusal to get rid of it. She had earlier Continue Reading

Taking Tidal’s Temperature: Jay Z’s new streaming service has a long way to go to prove itself

Another day, another headline-making “exclusive” from Tidal. On Wednesday, the splashy new streaming service from Jay Z and friends, floated its latest, and longest, lure: Jay will perform a full show viewable only by Tidal subscribers on May 13, featuring a set list based on obscurities from his catalog suggested by fans. The announcement joins a flurry of other big name, Tidal-only teases over the last few weeks, including a song by Rihanna, a home video by Beyonce and behind-the scenes-footage of Madonna. More than anything, the swiftness with which these specials keep coming emphasizes the need for this service to prove itself and fast. Fairly or not, Tidal has turned into a pinata - both for its fans and for its powerful competitors. The service’s all-star kick-off last month succeeded only in presenting the new portal as a way for already rich stars to get even richer. The starry line-up failed to communicate their deeper and worthier cause - to better compensate the struggling artists it carries, along with fairly remunerating the hot shots at the top. Tidal has also failed to make a case for its sustainability with the numbers it's provided. After the company fell out of Apple’s Top 700 app list last week, Jay took to Twitter to say everything was going just peachy. He reported that Tidal already has 770,000 members. To put this into perspective, Spotify has 60 million, 15 million of whom pay up. Of course, that company had a decade long jump on Tidal. Even so, the new organization’s figure of 770,000 subscribers provides no genuine measure of the site’s value because listeners haven’t yet had to pay. We’re still in the “first-month-free” zone. It will be interesting to see what happens deeper into May when that deal expires. After all, isn’t paying the real issue? Continue Reading

Top 5 ‘Mad Men’ music moments: Don Draper’s journey from ‘Zou Bisou Bisou’ to ‘My Way’

“Mad Men” has been the story of Don Draper – and an integral part of telling his story has been through music. Some of the most important moments in Don’s life have been scored to '60s-era pop songs, charting his personal journey on the show. With the series taking place over the course of a single decade, the songs also illustrate that "the times they are a-changin'." Here’s a look back at the iconic character’s most memorable musical moments, in chronological order. Don returns to an empty home as Bob Dylan sings “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” (“The Wheel,” Season 1, Episode 13) Don is forced to confront that the perfect family life he described in his masterful pitch to Kodak does not fit reality, as he is stricken to come home and realize that Betty and the kids have already departed for the Thanksgiving holiday. Dylan’s portrait of a fractured relationship not only closes out the show’s first season on a melancholy note, but also foreshadows the eventual demise of Don and Betty’s marriage. Fun fact: Even though the season finale takes place in 1960, “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” wasn’t released until 1963. Creator Matthew Weiner explained that the anachronism was on purpose due to the fact he wasn’t sure if the show would be renewed for a second season. “I didn’t know if the show would be picked up,” he told the New York Times in 2009. “I was saying: ‘Here’s this song. This is what’s coming.’” Megan serenades Don with “Zou Bisou Bisou” (“A Little Kiss,” Season 5, Episode 1) Megan’s birthday serenade is the moment Don realizes that life with the second Mrs. Draper will be very different from the Continue Reading

Russia outlaws memes showing public figures in ways that contrast their ‘personality’

Vladimir Putin will likely never ride a shark, an eagle or a giant Ritz cracker. But it's whether that's for personal or physical reasons that may determine whether memes showing him doing so are illegal. That's according to a newly enacted law in Russia which has reportedly outlawed memes depicting public figures — like the Russian president — in a way that has nothing to do with the individuals' "personality." "These ways of using (celebrities' images) violate the laws governing personal data and harm the honor, dignity and business of public figures," reads the new law obtained by Roskomnadzor and translated by the Washington Post. It also forbids fake online accounts and websites created for public individuals. Those who feel that their dignity has been compromised from such activity have the option to file a lawsuit if a request for the illegal information to be taken down is ignored or denied. Internet users, responding to the news on Twitter Friday, showcased some of Putin's best memes. They also shared a few of their own. One such photo showed the president with a long Pinocchio nose and cap. "This is the only Putin meme you need..." @GotaLightBoycaptioned the image. Continue Reading

Giuliana Rancic addresses ‘Fashion Police’ comments: Zendaya hair joke ‘was not edited in the proper way’

Giuliana Rancic is facing her harsh reality. The E! correspondent sat down with the "Today" show Monday to further address the criticism she's received over the past few months. Rancic has made headlines for topics like her skinny physique and her controversial comments about Zendaya Coleman's red carpet look at this year's Oscars. "I'll tell you Savannah, because it's something I want to be really clear about that happened," she started explaining to "Today" co-host Savannah Guthrie. "I made a reference to the hippie culture ... and in the editing process, some of the gestures I made, some of the things I said were taken out for time. So I made peace signs, I said 'bohemian' twice. Those were taken out for time, so when the joke aired, some people were offended by it," she said of suggesting Coleman smelled of "patchouli oil and weed." "I find racism reprehensible," Rancic stated. "I don't tolerate it at all. Nor have I ever. And I think that's really important for me to get that out there, because that's been the hardest part of this, is that someone could believe that I actually would have racial undertones in the things I do." "I thought the joke was not edited in the proper way. That's just something I have to live with," she added. "It's very important for me to get out there and tell the real story." Rancic first broke her silence on the controversy in last week's issue of People, telling the mag she quickly started "getting death threats" after the remarks aired on the post-Oscars episode of E!'s "Fashion Police." Rancic, 40, who is currently promoting her new book, "Going Off Script," also talked to Guthrie about her weight loss. "I do not have an eating disorder," Rancic said. "I never have had an eating disorder. I wanted to be very clear about that. In fact, I eat a lot. People always love to tweet: 'Eat a burger.' I eat burgers. It's not working. Continue Reading

Bratton: How the NYPD lost its way

As New York’s crime and justice conversation has been caught up in a national one, a critical, underappreciated fact is that as the city got safer over the past two decades, many fewer people were locked up here. Still, as crime kept falling, the impact of aggressive policing on the very communities that ask for protection has been magnified. Talking recently with the Daily News editorial board, Commissioner Bill Bratton laid out his view of where the NYPD went wrong after his first stint here in the mid-’90s, and his standard for what policing in a much safer city should look like. Lightly edited for clarity and flow, here’s the top cop’s view of his department’s past — specifically, how it lost focus on “the baddest of the bad guys” and began “over-policing” — and how he’s working to fix that: “There are others who would argue that police are not being as productive or active as they should be. I’m sorry. I don’t see it that way. This is something I talked about back in 1998 and predicted should happen, in a speech for the Manhattan Institute in which I first talked about the peace dividend. “And by that I meant that in ’94 and ’95 working with Giuliani, we would increase arrests and enforcement actions significantly in the city for a period of time. But like a bell curve, once the city became safer, the peace dividend would occur in that police would be making fewer arrests, issuing fewer summonses. And that has finally begun to happen, and we’re seeing the acceleration of it over this past year since I’ve been commissioner and de Blasio was elected mayor. “You would expect in a city that has 80% less crime than it had in the ’90s that there should be a lot fewer interactions — and that is in fact happening. The overall crime rate is down another 10% so far this year. There’s a level we’re going to Continue Reading