Why is it that Richard Gere's character is such a romantic icon when we view UM as a sleaze? Both men hired a prostitute whom he proceeded to emotionally manipulate. Also, why is it that a work from pre-bolshevik Russia is more progressive when it comes to its female characters? Liza doesn't take UM's abuse and walks out, leaving the money. For a single woman in 1860s Russia, that was an incredibly bold and admirable move. She had no guaranteed income so losing a paying client was nothing to sneeze at. In rejecting the UM, she asserts her independence as a woman and denies UM what he wants most: control. Meanwhile, Vivian falls back into Edward's arms as soon as he turns those smoldering eyes on her. He saves her. The real question is, who needed to be redeemed?
So good job, America. Teach our young girls that personal ambition doesn't matter. Just find a rich guy who treats you like crap and turn into whatever he wants you to be. Everything will be like a fairy tale and you'll live happily ever after.