The Proposal

Posted on October 14, 2009 at 8:00 am

Think “Taming of the Shrew Wears Prada.” Book editor Margaret (Sandra Bullock) is whip-smart and whippet-thin, ferociously competent, ruthlessly demanding, and just plain scary. When she strides into the office in her spike Christian Louboutin heels, IMs radiate through the company: “The witch is on her broom!” And everyone switches into high-productivity mode. She is all-business, ambitious, and ferocious. When we first see her, she is riding her exercise bicycle indoors front of a video of the outdoors but even that does not hold her attention; she is also reading a manuscript.

Andrew (Ryan Reynolds) is her assistant. For three beleaguered years, he has been at her beck and call 24/7, from her morning coffee to midnight runs to giving up his grandmother’s 90th birthday party so he can work all weekend. She treats him like something between a prop and a galley slave. In other words, they’re made for each other and we will have the pleasure of seeing them figure that out.

The structure is familiar — and overly revealed in the trailer — but the comic timing is impeccable, with Betty White adding sparkle as Andrew’s 90-year-old “Gammy.” Bullock is just the actress to show us the vulnerability that makes Margaret hold on so tightly and Reynolds is strong enough (he was the bad guy in “Wolverine” after all) to keep Andrew from seeming henpecked and deft enough to make us see why he is up to Margaret’s level. The Alaskan scenery is like a commercial for Sarah Palin’s travel bureau and it is spicy without being smarmy, an increasingly rare achievement for date movies these days.

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Comedy Romance

26 Replies to “The Proposal”

  1. “Taming of the Shrew meets Prada” – that a good way of looking at this. I thought the casting is what made this movie work. Sure, it’s predictable, and I guess it has been done before in some way, but it’s funny, isn’t boring, and is a good story overall.

  2. Ryan Reynolds always looks a little befuddled– maybe it’s that vacant look in his eyes, or perhaps they are just too far apart. It’s hard to imagine the loser from Definitely Maybe filling the role you describe.

  3. I like the premise of the film. I believe from your review that it will provide some humor, some a little spicy, but in no way rude or crude. I think Betty White will give the film that little extra humor which will help make this a good “fun” film to enjoy. Now if I can just find time to catch up on those flms that I have wanted to see.

  4. Heard earlier this morning that this Sandra Bullock movie was #1 at the boxoffice this weekend – $34 Mil! I adore Sandra Bullock and I adore Alaska where I lived for two years! YEAH Sandra!

  5. I’m thrilled for her as producer and star of the movie — she is at the top of her game and this is by far her best opening weekend ever. Go Sandra!

  6. I saw this movie on Saturday and absolutely LOVED it! Sandra Bulluck is back to her familiar comedy/love story. I cannot say enough wonderful things about Ryan Reynolds – I have been watching him since he was on the small screen in “Two Guys, A Girl and a Pizza Place.” Their onscreen chemistry is so much fun to watch! A movie you should definitely see!

  7. should my twelve year old girl (going in to the seventh grade) be able to see this movie? i think it’s okay but i wanted to make sure

  8. I’d say 12 is a little young for this movie. While it is on the soft side of a PG-13, it does have some strong language and sexual humor.

  9. I saw the film and thoroughly enjoyed it. I found it to be a good, fun show. I thought the inclusion of Betty White added that little extra humor. I thought Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds worked well together. I would also compliment the director for making a fun film, while being a bit naughty, without being crude, vulgar, or including in your face nudity.

  10. I found the movie disgusting when the guy gyrated on the stage. I mean, gross. I’m surprised anyone else thought that was “mild”. Have we become so callous at such things that we would allow our sweet young daughters to sit next to us at the movies and watch such trash?
    I love Sandra Bullock, and I also enjoy Ryan Reynolds, but that alone couldn’t save it from the gross scenes. And what’s with the dogs humping?

  11. Thanks, Pam. I did not like that scene, either. The MPAA considers “comic” sexuality like that dance number to be more funny than raunchy, and that includes the dogs, etc.

  12. I loved this movie and saw it twice – once on a date with my hubby of 22 years and once with my teenaged daughters as a girls night out. Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds have great chemistry on-screen that they themselves say comes from their long friendship. They reminded me of what I liked about movies like “It Happened One Night” or any of the Tracy/Hepburn movies – fast/funny/intelligent dialogue, funny scenes that don’t smack you in the face and say “laugh”, characters that make me want them to get together in the end. (This is a romantic comedy!) I like the fact that Ryan Reynolds doesn’t over react to all the funny going on around him. He’s more reactive and let’s the laugh come to you. The “nude scene” is more funny than sexy and was meant to be that way. You don’t have to “do it” to make the chemistry come alive. The bachelorette party scene was funny in a silly way because of Sandra Bullock’s reactions.
    I haven’t laughed out loud like this at the movies in a long time!

  13. I am not a “chick flick” type of gal, but this movie was really funny and different, and I LOVED the washrag scene, lol.
    Movie is NOT realistic, but neither is Star Wars. So anyway, I enjoyed the heck out of it and laughed and laughed.
    And for me, the Action/Adventure mom, that is saying alot! (No, I didn’t take the kids, went by myself).

  14. When you say a dozen bad words, what are you calling bad words?
    The world has become desensitized to what I call vulgar language and I hate being surprised while watching a fun comedy. Can you help me out?

  15. I am referring to the usual four-letter words. Most PG-13 movies have some s-words, some d-words, and one or two f-words. If the movie includes words that are unusually graphic or offensive (ethnic slurs, harsh insults), I try to mention that as well. I share your disappointment with the paucity of vocabulary and the crudity of the language in today’s films.

  16. I was very surprised that this was rated PG-13. I was caught off guard by the scenario showing nudity. It was amazing to me that Sandra Bullock showed so much skin. I would not consider this the mild side of PG-13.
    On the good side I found it very funny and found myself laughing out loud. Perhaps this is why I took offense to the unexpected scene.

  17. I’m sorry to say that is what PG-13 is these days, Colorado Kid. Unless body parts you don’t see on the beach are shown, it is still a PG-13. This is actually mild by PG-13 standards in that the behavior of the people involved does not include having sex and while there is some racy humor — the “exotic dancer,” the “it’s the morning” line, etc. — it is about at or below the level you would get on prime time television.
    I’m glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for the comment.

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