This Summer was packed with some of the most exciting movies of the year (“Transformers,” “Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince,” “Star Trek” and the list goes on,) and somewhere lost in the middle of the cinematic awesomeness was “The Proposal,” starring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds.
I’ll admit that I am a fan of the romantic-comedy genre, and this film delivers some cute, good laughs. But that is about it.
The story begins with Margaret Tate (Bullock); a successful, uptight and generally hated editor-in-chief of a publishing company, who is told she is being deported back to Canada. To save her life in America, she forces her assistant who despises her, Andrew Paxton (Reynolds), to marry her in exchange for a promotion. To make the engagement seem legitimate, Andrew drags Margaret to a secluded Alaskan town that his family owns. Yes, Andrew’s family is filthy rich, and yet it is his goal to become an editor without the financial help of his family. He wants to make it on his own. He’s the touchingly typical good guy.
Upon reaching Andrew’s hometown, Margaret meets his family, including sweet, eccentric Grandma Annie, played by Betty White. The family buys into the fake romance. Margaret is treated to all the bridal festivities, including a very strange striptease from the town waiter/evangelist/wannabe Chippendale’s dancer. This is when Margaret starts feeling the consequences of her actions. She grows a heart and feels guilty for lying to Andrew’s entire family, all the while falling in love with him. And, surprise surprise, Andrew begins falling in love with her; only he does not realize it until Margaret leaves him at the altar (and it takes a strong woman to leave Ryan Reynolds, even if it is for the right reasons). But never fear, Andrew has a revelation and flies back to New York City just in time to save Margaret’s job and love. It’s disappointing that real life can’t be this way, but that’s what Hollywood is for.
The Pros and Cons
Let’s be honest here, the main characters are gorgeous. That’s attention grabbing in itself (no girl is going to say that seeing an almost naked Ryan Reynolds would not make their day, and even the guys wouldn’t mind a little peek at Sandra Bullock). Bullock and Reynolds are an easy-to-love comedic pair. Reynolds is likable with his easy sarcasm, while Bullock has to work for the audiences love in such an uptight role, but she pulls it off well. 1 point for Pros.
While there are some good comedic moments, such Grandma Annie (White) encouraging Margaret and Andrew to have premarital sex with the uber-gross family “baby maker” blanket or Margaret singing “Window to the Wall” with said grandma in the middle of the woods, there is really nothing new or fresh. The acts will still get a chuckle, but it is still nothing special. It’s the same jokes, puns, and stunts audiences have seen before. 1 point for Cons.
Perhaps the saving grace of this movie is, of course, the romance. It’s totally unbelievable that Andrew, who hated Margaret so much for a number of years, could fall in love with her in such a short amount of time. Some could argue that’s true love, I say that’s crap. But it is still a sweet thought and I’m a complete sucker for happy endings. The audience will know how this story ends before the previews even start, but the truth is, that’s just fine. It’s a typical, expected ending viewers will eat up. 1 point for Pros.
The Final Score
This movie, however stereotypical, is still enjoyable. It’s as cute and sugary sweet as chocolate bunnies at Easter, and everyone could use some candy once in a while. Viewers probably won’t believe the ending, but they’ll still feel better knowing it ended correctly.
See it or Skip it?
See it. It’s not wonderfully awesome, but it is worth renting (since it is now out on DVD and Blue-ray). I would suggest renting before buying, however, because some of you may not be suckers like I am. It’s a perfect date movie or for a night-in with friends. For this movie, expect the expected and you’ll come out happy.
Photo from TouchStone
Video from YouTube