Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Proposal


I don't see near as many movies in the theater as I used to, so I never got around to seeing The Proposal starring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds earlier this year. As it turns out, this is one film I wouldn't have regretted paying to see in the theater. I tend to like Sandra Bullock movies - While You Were Sleeping, Two Weeks Notice, and The Lake House rank among my favorites. She's so pretty but not in a stand-offish kind of way, and with the right script she can be oh so funny. In some respects she reminds me just a tad of Doris Day (not all the time by any stretch, and just a smidgen mind you! *wink*).

The story in a nutshell concerns one Margaret Tate (Bullock), an editor who rules her publishing house domain with an iron fist (think Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada), who discovers she's about to be deported thanks to carelessly flouting US immigration laws, all in the name of advancing her career. She blackmails her long-suffering assistant Andrew (Reynolds) into agreeing to marry her - only of course this contrived story doesn't fly with the immigration official. And sure, you could argue that this is just another contrived rom-com, but there are enough fresh and funny moments inserted into the script that I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. For one thing, the gender battle between Margaret and Andrew is a heckuva lot of fun to watch. I can't think of another film offhand where the guy, who's playing second fiddle to an extremely powerful, by all appearances self-assured woman, is just as smart and as bright as his female counterpart - instead of falling into the trap of being likable but goofy/silly/stupid male lead. Does that make sense? When Margaret has to acknowledge that she actually needs Andrew's willing cooperation in order to stay in the country, and they have to kind of recalibrate their relationship, the "hiccups" in that process are a lot of fun to watch. :)

Bullock and Reynolds have some terrific on-screen chemistry. And let me be honest here, Reynolds is just a doll. He's an absolute sweetheart in this movie. His ability to balance being drop-dead gorgeous, sincere, and romantic with the comedic aspects of the role reminded me a bit of Cary Grant - he wasn't afraid to be wonderfully silly either. In fact the whole tone of The Proposal comes about as close as one could wish to the tone of the more classic romantic comedies, particularly the Doris Day/Rock Hudson gems. If it wasn't for the inclusion of Sandra Bullock's first nude scene - which is silly, stupid slapstick, and completely unnecessary to the flow of the story in my view - this movie would hit even closer to the mark of aspiring to the tone of the classic romantic comedies. The movie has a lot of pretty positive things to say about marriage and family and relationships that are quite refreshing to see portrayed in a positive & funny light. The family angle of the film is anchored by the always enjoyable Betty White as Andrew's grandmother - and she may be 87, but let me tell you that woman is an inspiration. She steals every single scene she's in. :)

If you missed The Proposal when it was in theaters I highly recommend checking it out. It's by turns super sweet and laugh-out-loud funny, and definitely my favorite romantic comedy of the year. (For the record I've seen Confessions of a Shopaholic and really enjoyed it (hello Hugh Dancy!!), thought New in Town was mediocre, and My Life in Ruins was so blah I'm not going to waste a blog post on it.)

11 comments:

Laura Frantz said...

Oh, I was just holding my breath hoping you wouldn't brand Margaret or Andrew T.S.T.L.! Your posts are more entertaining than the movies you review:) And very well written, I might add! A bright spot always.

Ruth said...

Haha, no T.S.T.L. characters were to be found in this movie (thank goodness)!! And thanks so much, Laura. If you see The Proposal (like tomorrow, can I just suggest that? *g*), please let me know what you think!!

Renee said...

This move is awesome! I loved it too and have to agree that I love Sandra!

xoxo~ Renee

heidenkind said...

I didn't see The Proposal in theaters, either. I like Bullock but I don't really see the appeal of Ryan Reynolds unless he's not wearing a shirt. :D Plus I'm still a little shy of movies involving Bollock in a suit every since Two Weeks Notice. :P

Lori (sugarandgrits) said...

I was so disappointed to have missed this movie! I love Sandra Bullock! =)

I also want to see The Ugly Truth!

~ Lori

Liv said...

Ruth, I watched this last night and I really enjoyed it, more than I thought I would. I admit it wasn't nearly as FUNNY as I was promised by someone who shall never read this, so ok, my mom, added about 100 funny's to the description, but it was funny and cute and definitely entertaining. I'd watch it again.

Ruth said...

@heidenkind - Ryan does get a shirtless moment in this movie... :)

@Liv - Agreed. It wasn't as constantly laugh-out-loud funny as I was led to expect - but there were some really cute moments throughout. Glad you enjoyed it too! Definitely a cut above most rom-coms!!

Christy--Southern Sassy Girl said...

Your review was fantastic, and I'm so sorry that you missed seeing it in the theater. :(

My hubby took me on a date to go see it, and I loved every minute of it! He even picked it up for me on DVD the other day, and I really wish I could find 2 spare hours to watch it. :o)

Ruth said...

@Christy - Thanks, Christy! I will definitely be adding The Proposal to my DVD collection as soon as possible! Hope you can find a few spare hours to enjoy it again soon. :)

Laura Frantz said...

Ruth, Just took a trip to NYC and Sitka, Alaska last night and had a great time:) My husband even liked this movie! Lots of LOL moments, esp. in the first 30 minutes. Andrew did have a Cary Grant-ish quality though he kept reminding me of James Dean for some reason. I think your review is even better than the movie though - looks like I'm in good company:)

Ruth said...

@Laura - Yay! So glad you & your husband enjoyed it too. And excellent call about a James Dean-like quality to Ryan Reynolds performance...I don't think I would've gone there but now that you've gotten me thinking about it, I can definitely see the resemblance!