After a two-year hiatus, Sandra Bullock is back in romantic comedy The Proposal with Ryan Reynolds, Mary Steenburgen, Craig T. Nelson and best of all, forever Golden Girl in my heart, Betty White. Sadly, the tagline “Here Comes the Bribe” is the most clever thing to do with this movie. Aside from a handful of laugh out loud moments and the scenery, The Proposal is chock full of enough clichés that even the romantic comedy aficionado will be screaming “oh come on!”
Check out the good, the bad, and the plot below…
Margaret (Bullock), a prominent and constantly PMSing New York book editor who forces her assistant Andrew Paxton (Reynolds) into marrying her, lest she face deportation back to her native Canada. He begrudgingly agrees and in an effort to avoid speculation from a nosy INS agent, they set off to Andrew’s hometown of Sitka, Alaska to meet his parents (Steenburgen and Nelson) and his quirky grandmother (White). Soon city girl Margaret, finds herself in all sorts of unfamiliar situations in the backdrop of Andrew’s scenic small town of Sitka, Alaska.
- Ryan Reynolds - Though Sandra Bullock portrays snarky Margaret quite well, it’s Ryan Reynolds’ that shines with his stoic looks, great line delivery and interaction with other characters. When Margaret comments on his choice of drink, he replies “It’s like Christmas in a cup!” That line could fall flat for others, but Reynolds’ facial expressions and predicaments make him very believable and entertaining.
- Betty White - If there’s one reason you should go see The Proposal it’s the magnificence that is Betty White. With hilarious lines like “Do you prefer to be called Margaret or Satin’s mistress?”, and her pop culture appeal and antics, this scene stealer will be the cause of most of your laugh out loud moments and she’ll make you miss your grandmother.
- Scenery – The picturesque mountains, trees and lakes will make you want to head out on the first plane to Alaska, until you find out that they actually shot the film in Rockport, Massachusetts. Either way, one look at the wide angle shots of the town, along with the glorious Paxton house that sits on a hill and you’ll be itching for a nature-themed vacation.
- Laugh Out Loud Moments -In one scene Margaret lands on Andrew while she’s trying to make her way out of the bathroom after an encounter with the family puppy – a scene that would have been funny on its own, but brings the laughs more so as both of them are stark naked. In another memorable moment, Margaret improvises the best version of “Get Low” by Lil’ John and the Eastside Boys that has eve been captured on film. What can I say, it’s stupid, but I laughed!
- Lack of Chemistry – Though the genre suggests that The Proposal is a romantic comedy, I frankly found nothing romantic about it. Bullock and Reynolds are great in their roles and their snippy interactions with each other can be appreciated, however even that needed to be counterbalanced with some chemistry and sexual tension. The film needed more awkward romantic interactions that would have broken up the comedy and provided the audience with at least a good make out scene to indulge in.
- Clichés Galore – From the addition of the cute furry puppy to wreak innocent havoc, to Andrew’s tense relationship with his father and Margaret and Andrew’s uncomfortable situation that must be kept secret from family and friends, The Proposal draws material in many ways from its romantic comedy predecessors like Meet the Parents and The Wedding Date. It’s a formula that works and I don’t know why I expected anything more, but it was too hard to get past the overdone plot lines for me to enjoy the film.
If you’re looking for an easy laugh, The Proposal is right for you, but don’t expect anything new or original in this 107-minute distraction from reality. If you’re looking for eye candy, this film will also satisfy you – there’s no need to state the appeal Ryan Reynolds holds, but at 45, Sandra Bullock looks amazing whether she’s in New York City or Alaska.
Opens on June 19, directed by Anne Fletcher, written by Peter Chiarelli, produced by David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman. Executive producers, Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Mary Mclaglen and Sandra Bullock; director of photography, Oliver Stapleton, B.S.C