Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Proposal (2009)


After finding out her visa has been revoked, uptight book firm boss, Margaret Tate (Sandra Bullock) forces her young assistant, Andrew Paxton (Ryan Reynolds) to marry her in exchange for a job promotion. In order to keep up the look of a couple the two must convince Paxton's family, who are celebrating the 90th birthday of Grandma Annie (Betty White), they are truly a couple.

You know I'd love to come on here and tell you The Proposal is a funny generic romance filled with light hearted humor and a solid romance.... but I can't even really do that. To be honest, the movie isn't really much of anything but generic. The jokes are predictable, and fall flat more often than you can begin to imagine. The character development, if you want to call it that, manages to be nothing more than the uptight exec with a sad past, and the prodigal son with daddy issues. Now I will say Bullock and Reynolds were casting genius, and they have a great natural chemistry that makes their scenes work.

Which forces me to beg the question: WHY AREN'T THEY TOGETHER? The duo work so well together, it's shocking the movie seems in a hurry to pull them apart and hop into quirky situations. Spending time to setup falsetto moments of drama, the movie tries too hard to force a romance, when all they really had to do is keep the two main characters together. Instead Bullock goes on a series of adventures with Paxton's family, talks about herself to him in a sad voice, and they share about 15minutes of drama. Beyond that everything that happens to setup these characters feelings seems to have happened before the movie began, making what is shown practically unnecessary. In fact we're watching the final stages of them getting together, not the journey that leads to it, and be honest... why?

Of course you also have the age old working women dilemma. How do you make a romance film about a working woman without making it seem as if working women are always incomplete without their man? Well, apparently you don't. Bullock plays what I think we should start calling, The Katherine Heigl... A women career minded who hasn't found the right guy, but desperately needs him, until they realize he's been with them all along *women insert unnecessary awww here*. But, much like my gripe with Sex and the City, where's the romance? The connection that draws these characters together. Simply being the male and female leads in a film isn't enough to make me buy them as a romantic couple. There has to be something more, something that combines them, draws them into each other... and it's in this department that The Proposal has nothing to offer.

Just about the only thing The Proposal does have to offer is Betty White. She's rather funny in a few of her scenes, but her scenes feel as if she's being held back. Almost forced to play these stupid scenarios out in hope that they get a laugh, when if you've ever seen Betty White on TV, she's rather hilarious when she just plays herself. Even then, I don't think she could have saved this movie. Though she most definitely could have elevated it from watchable to amusing.

For all the pieces it manages to put together, The Proposal is a romantic comedy that is light on comedy, and forced on romance... it's just not worth the effort to watch.

6 better thoughts:

Rae Kasey said...

Sandra Bullock is THE example of an actress who is unbelievably talented and yet makes horrible career decisions.

So. Frustrating.

Tom said...

I agree, her movies aren't always the greatest.

filmgeek said...

I actually found Betty White kinda irritating but Ryan Reynolds is worth watching in anything. Loving your Audrey Hepburn poll by the way. She's my favourite actress of all time

That Show Sucks said...

The Proposal sucked! The first 15/20 minutes maybe were good but then it crashed landed. It was trying to be 2 genres at once, a chick flick and a comedy and failed miserably at both.

Univarn said...

@Rae&Tom Very true, though somehow she still manages to be very bankable.

@filmgeek I can see where you're coming from, I think White's character was way too forced. Though I do agree Reynolds has a great on screen persona, very likable... he just makes bad film choices. Could his under use in Wolverine have been more annoying?

@Sucks I agree completely.

filmgeek said...

I was expecting a lot more screentime in Wolverine. Hopefully Deadpool will give fans what they were hoping for

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