Movie Review: "The Proposal"

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I don’t think anyone seeing “The Proposal” won’t know how this one is going to end. The point is rather how the characters get to the conclusion that makes this a worthy film.

Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds are at their best, well comedic best, and the two are a perfect cast for this bickering duo. Reynolds is his normal sarcastic self and Bullock looks better than ever! There is everything you would expect from this romantic comedy including the incredibly cheesy lines, the over dramatic perfectly written love saving speeches, and the very touching sweet moments that people go out to see romantic comedies in the first place.

I am not the biggest fan of romantic comedies as in most cases they follow a strict structure and are most definitely predictable. “The Proposal” is no different than others in this genre. Saving this film from a mushy disaster is the laugh-out-loud comedy and great chemistry the film stars have with one another. This wonderfully casted, well written, beautiful film stays true to itself and keeps in mind that this is a fun summer chick-flick.

“The Proposal” starts when Margaret, the wicked queen of a big time New York book publisher (Sandra Bullock), is on the verge of losing her job and being deported back to Canada because she did not renew her visa. In order to save her career Margaret improvises and announces she is engaged to be wed with her executive assistant Andrew (Ryan Reynolds). The not expecting assistant finds himself faced with a hefty fine and jail time if the two are caught in fraud. Andrew however uses his bosses plan as leverage by bribing her to promise the editor position if he goes through with it. Margaret must visit Andrew’s family to make this marriage appear legit while at the same time she does not comprehend what a toll this will have on her, and possibly her heart.

The film’s main setting appears when the two arrive at Andrew’s home in a cute little dainty town in Alaska, (actually filmed on Massachusetts’s shore). Upon arriving Margaret is quick to figure that Andrew’s family is actually quite successful and a loving family, something unexpected and also obviously missing from her life. It is here that the two must lie to Andrew’s family to make their “business plan” a success. Not expecting to one another, Andrew’s mom has canceled Margaret and Andrew’s hotel plans and the two are now forced to sleep in the same room. Of course it’s the time spent together that makes this one of those “two people that weren’t meant to fall in love…” stories.

Andrew’s family is played by Mary Steenburgen and Craig T. Nelson as the parents and the magnificent golden girl Betty White as the blunt grandmother. The family does a fabulous job of portraying a loving family who only wants what’s best for their son. Margaret’s transformation begins with the family. Of course she winds up in outrageous situations that make her see things in another light. Some of these comical bits are extremely funny, but a few are just bizarre or just downright ridiculous.

In one circumstance Margaret runs into Andrew’s grandmother in the woods where she joins in with crazy spiritual chants to free her body, well I suppose that’s what they were doing. It is followed by Margaret chanting an old hip-hop song “Get Low” by Lil’ Jon and Bullock shaking her booty. I don’t see how this really fits her character at all. I understand that she is starting to open up, but it is quite hard to believe that she knows this song word for word due to the way her role is in the beginning of the film. Perhaps she had this secret side of her that no one knew about, but I don’t buy it.

By the time the two spent a few days together and ran into each other naked in another absurd yet funny scene, Sandra Bullock’s character quickly changes from an evil witch to a caring innocent young lady. She begins to express a little too much heart for such a little amount that has happened. I suppose there is only so much they can show while keeping the audience’s attention. It would have been great to see the two hit a larger climax before their character makes that turn.

For those men out their “forced” to see this movie with their girlfriends, I don’t believe you will be pulling your teeth out. I expect most to get a great laugh out this situational comedy and perhaps be quite pleased with how great Sandra Bullock looks. I’ve never been too attracted to her however there is a great scene for all those guys out there where Sandra Bullock practically shows it all if it wasn’t for a small mitt and forearms. I wasn’t let down. Stay clear if you don’t care for Ryan Reynolds humor, but if you have liked his sarcastic comedy dating back to “Two Guys, A Girl, and a Pizza Place”, then this is Ryan Reynolds gold. As for the ladies, you get Ryan Reynolds shirtless and sweaty that you all seem to love, which I am sure will become obligatory for his future films.

“The Proposal” isn’t your stand out movie of the year, but it is your feel good romantic comedy of the summer. I was on the verge to give this a fourth star, but after much assessment I must stick to three. Yes, this delivered everything we are promised from this genre. It executed the story and jokes well. I rooted for them the whole way. However, in the end there is no real purpose to the film. There is no heart or moral to the story. I didn’t feel that anyone felt this story had to be told. It sure made me laugh and entertained me, but what did I take away from it? Maybe this is not required out of a movie to be considered good. It will still be my light hearted comedy choice of the year.

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