Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Mini-Movie Review: The Proposal (2009)

The Proposal (2009)

Director - Anne Fletcher
Release Date: 19 June 2009


Margaret Tate - Sandra Bullock
Andrew Paxton - Ryan Reynolds
Grandma Annie - Betty White
Joe Paxton - Craig T. Nelson

In 1994 Sandra Bullock had her breakout role in Speed, a high-action suspense movie that did quite well with audiences. Since then, it seems as if she has put out at least 2 movies every year, constantly in the press, but not really what I would call a superstar actress.

The Net (1995), A Time to Kill (1996), Forces of Nature (1999), Miss Congeniality (2000), Crash (2004) - all movies I've seen with Bullock playing a role, and I would say that 28 Days (2000) is probably my pick as her finest work. Missing from this list for the most part are romantic comedies. I missed them. On purpose. So maybe I'm a bit biased when I continue.

The Proposal is a pretty awful romantic comedy, and like-wise, a pretty awful movie. It is completely formulaic with absolutely zero twists you don't know are coming. The main characters are caricatures of roles past and all supporting cast members add very little. Audiences who enjoy these types of movies will probably find some slight relief from Grandma Annie (Betty White) who pops up throughout the film with some lines that will make you smirk, but not make you forget what you are watching.

The plot is spelled out almost entirely in the trailer, if you happened to catch it, but runs very much something like this: High power and highly hated exec Margaret Tate (Sandra Bullock) has just days to figure out a way out of being deported back to Canada (don't ask) and, in her infinite wisdom, blackmails her assistant of 3 years Andrew Paxton (Ryan Reynolds) into marrying her to make it all good again. Paxton is a scared pushover of a man who loathes his boss. So, in an effort to trick the deportation office into believing it is all on the up and up, a trip to Paxton's home in Alaska to meet the family is in order. What ensues is a bunch of blah blah blah blah blah, with little to no innovation and a whole lot of nothing exciting.

Unlike an earlier released film Duplicity (2009) which I reviewed, starring Julia Roberts and Clive Owen (which I found much more watchable) this film fails to reach us on any real emotional level and instead goes straight for the obvious, re-hashed story lines and old jokes.

* 1/2 out of 5

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