The Proposal (Anne Fletcher, 2009)

“Margaret, will you marry me? Because I'd like to date you,” asked Andrew.

Does the above line make any sense to you? Actually it does in this movie. Never mind the reversal act. Marriage will keep the odd couple together, the dating CAN comes later.

The plot premise has been done to death:

1) Two mismatched persons loathe each other at first;
2) They get to know more about each other;
3) They begin to discover mutual genuine feelings;
4) Lastly, they fall in love.

Ignore the cliché-ridden plot, romantic comedy like The Proposal need chemistry from the lead characters which Sandra Bullock and younger counterpart Ryan Reynolds duly deliver. Add those ingredients with some belly laughing moments such as the pair’s ad hoc storytelling on how he proposed to her, or how Andrew’s
“morning glory” disgusted Margaret.

The movie follows Margaret Tate (Sandra Bullock) as an obnoxious, bitchy chief editor in a book publishing firm. She is fittingly a typical boss from hell. All the workers including her personal assistant, Andrew Paxton (Ryan Reynolds) detest her; finds himself tough to cope with the demand of his ungrateful lady boss. Little known by others, Margaret is a Canadian without US citizenship, one day her boss informs that her visa application was rejected and has to be deported. In a nick of time, she pretends she is engaged to Andrew to avoid being fired from the job and deportation. They will stay married for a year or two and then divorce. Andrew unwillingly accepts the proposal with conditions that he will be promoted and his manuscript will be published.

Things, however, are not as easy as it turn out to be, because some agent from the government immigration department subjects the couple to a series of interviews to ensure there is no phony marriage. On top of that, the agent is tend to visit to their parents’ place. Hence, during the weekend, the newly engaged couple’s 1st stop is Sitka, Alaska, where Andrew announced their engagement in front of their parents and relatives during his grandma’s 90th birthday. Andrew’s family is like Kennedy’s in Sitka as Margaret aptly claimed. From there, watch the sparks fly (not all are love sparks, mind you) as they slowly grow feelings. All she need is someone like Andrew to enkindle and melt her heart; all she need is a gentle reminder to realize what she has been lacking all the while. Will the two of them end up fall for each other? Should you ask the question?

Sandra Bullock must have known she is probably at awkward phase now; she is no longer as the image of the young sweetheart in movies, nor her recent flicks was exactly hits. The Proposal is a personal welcome triumph for her. Ryan Reynolds deserves the plaudit as the likeable rom-com guy. Betty White stole the show as Andrew’s grandma in every scene she is in. Also, it is good to see Mary Steenbergen as Andrew’s mother. Gosh, she looks the same as in Back To The Future III 20 years ago. Botox’s wonder anyone?

As I said, The Proposal is predictable and based on a recycled plot, but its strength lies on the charming lead characters with clever dialogues. It’s warmth, funny, sweet but not over saccharine. Unlike other usual pairing of love interest (I mean you, Sean Connery), it is refreshing to see the pairing of older female lead with male counterpart. Sandra and Ryan definitely have natural charisma to grace the screen.

1 star = Pathetic, SowYau feel ashamed of watching it
2 stars = Off the mark material, approach with caution
3 stars = Generally good, you should watch it if it's your favourite genre
4 stars = excellent, strongly recommended
5 stars = A classic status? only time will tell. But it is definitely in SowYau's Hall of Fame List


Anonymous said...

Totally can't agree with the 5 star rating. Your recommendation disappointed me, albeit for the first time. There is no chemistry between the couple.

Anonymous said...
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