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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Movie Review: THE PROPOSAL


The Proposal is a 2009 romantic comedy directed by Anne Fletcher. It follows the relationship between big-time editor-in-chief Margaret Tate (Sandra Bullock) and her assistant Andrew Paxton (Ryan Reynolds). When Margaret, the resident office witch, learns that her work visa has expired and she is going to be deported back to her native Canada, she quickly informs her superiors that she and Andrew are engaged to be married. This comes as a shock to Andrew who knew nothing of the sort. In an attempt to convince immigration services of their apparent "love," Margaret reluctantly agrees to join Andrew in his weekend visit to his parents' home in Alaska. Upon their arrival, the two do their best to maintain their charade in the hopes that they can make Andrew's father (Craig T. Nelson), mother (Mary Steenburgen) and grandmother (Betty White) believe their story without letting them be hurt by the truth. As time continues to pass, however, Margaret and Andrew start to learn more about one another, and feelings they didn't know they had start to surface.

If the above synopsis sounds like every other romantic comedy you've ever seen, then you've had hit the nail on the head. There's really nothing entirely new or original thrown on-screen in The Proposal, which falls into the rote storyline of nearly every romantic comedy I've ever had the "privilege" to see. The whole deportation to Canada isn't something I'd heard before, but that just works as the centerpiece for a film that brings nothing else to the table, story-wise. Some of the dialogue is decent, but it's nothing to rave about and applaud. Overall, the screenplay is a little bit of a bore, never truly hooking you into any aspect of the film.

Fortunately, we do have some halfway decent performances in the film, ultimately making The Proposal relatively watchable. I really only watched this movie because of Ryan Reynolds, who I tend to enjoy. This is by no means my favorite Reynolds role (for that, you'd have to take in 2005's Waiting...), but he does his best with what he's given this time around. Bullock is also very good - she nabbed a Golden Globe nomination for the role - also despite the screenplay she's given. One of the selling points of the film is probably the chemistry between Bullock and Reynolds. Their arc from hating each other to loving each other is actually pretty believable, so kudos to them.

We've also got some pretty good supporting performances, although I felt like some of the actors were a tad bit under-utilized. The ever-present and always-hilarious Betty White easily draws the most laughter. There's something about someone so elderly being so irreverent that just provides for perfect comedy. I would watch her in anything, to be honest, but that's neither here nor there. Oscar Nuñez is also very funny in a limited amount of screen-time. And even Malin Akerman makes a few appearances, but I thought she should have played a much more important role considering her character. Oh well, I guess. The filmmakers must have thought otherwise.

Overall, The Proposal is a serviceable, if entirely predictable, romantic comedy. When they start making truly ORIGINAL rom-coms again, someone please give me a call. I'm down to watch any type of movie, romantic comedies included, but if they can't figure something out with this unoriginality thing, I might have to dump these entirely.

Movie Review Summary:
Grade: C-
Thumbs Sideways

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