By EW Staff
Updated October 17, 2005 at 12:00 PM EDT
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PRETTY WOMAN: The Everett Collection

The answer: Each of the films features a makeover as a means to advance the cause of an “ugly duckling.”

Often these makeovers are conveyed using a tired montage in which hair is coiffed, fingernails are buffed, and trifold mirrors are treated to cutesy dance moves — all in 30 seconds or less. (Matt Stone and Trey Parker brilliantly satired the trope in Team America: World Police.)

The makeover montage reached its “apex” in Pretty Woman. As Roy Orbison croons, America’s Sweetheart Julia Roberts (left) tosses her glossy mane, selects sensible shoes, and shimmies into something more comfortable so her john will think her a proper lady who can “woof, woof, woof” at the polo match instead of the skanky ho he picked up on Hollywood Boulevard in thigh-high boots and a pageboy wig. Aw.

Emily Anderson, Melissa Becker, Heather Bray, Theresa Hunter, John Niles, Janice Syme, Charles White — celebrate your correct answer by singing “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” into a hairbrush; you deserve it!

Meanwhile, our former colleague Rachel Lovinger (who is surely violating several rules of the FCC, SEC, and the Time Inc. intramural softball league by even submitting an answer) was one of a few who cited a different common thread among the films: the time-honored love triangle. While it’s true that the motivation in selecting this question was how banal and clichéd these makeover montages have become (see: the trailer for Queen Latifah’s new film, Last Holiday), having a love triangle as a plot device is hardly novel; most screenwriters use them to express a film’s central conflict.

As a result, it’s almost too clichéd to qualify as the acceptable answer. But as I’ve said time and time again, you get points for creativity, and since I didn’t think of it, we’ll call it creative.

Kristi Kohl and Danielle Brennan get gold stars for identifying both possible answers. Their prize? Go get Daddy his slippers and I’ll tell you a bedtime story about my weekend titled “Must Not Be the Drunkest O’Connor at the Wedding” (Thanks for helping me out, Nana!)

I’ll talk to you Friday, blogchildren — until then, beware the flying garter belt!

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