December 31, 1990 12:00 PM

Gamine warmth, twitchy intensity, fine-boned fragility, inner strength, radiant good humor—these all swirl, like her wild auburn hair, into an intriguing tangle. To say that Julia Roberts lives up to the title of Pretty Woman is to say that Audrey Hepburn—to whom the 23-year-old is sometimes compared—is a Fair Lady. It wasn’t on Roberts’s looks alone that Woman outlasted such summer action-packers as Total Recall—lasting long enough, in fact, to become the top-grossing romantic comedy in movie history. Of course, the startlingly supple mouth and those long, long legs didn’t hurt. What really counted, though, was the first full appearance of a quirky star-presence that previously had only been glimpsed in a handful of films. “Julia,” says Pretty Woman director Garry Marshall, “has a magic up there on the screen.” And, unlike the sleight-of-hand variety, it’s not over in a moment. Roberts could continue to charm well into Pretty Matriarch.

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