Wednesday, July 1, 2009

THE PROPOSAL (2009)


Written by Pete Chiarelli


Directed by Anne Fletcher


Where & When: Arclight Cinemas, Hollywood, CA. June 30, 2009, 10:00 PM


It's summer. That means that we are going to be bombarded by films about transforming robots, grumpy old men and their flying houses, drunken bachelors, and teenage wizards.

You couldn't pay me to go see the latest "Transformers" movie. I admit I didn't see the first one in the theater but I tried watching it on cable... and I couldn't get through the first five minutes. Don't get me wrong. I do like and go see Hollywood summer films. I LOVED "Star Trek" and "The Hangover" (fun, clever and two of my favorites of the year) but I am particular on what I spend my hard earned dollars on.

So I went to see "The Proposal". Why, you might ask? Well, I saw the trailer and it looked like fun. My rule is if I see a trailer and I am not sold, I don't go and see it. Which is why I avoid most Hollywood summer movies. There are definitely exceptions to my little rule... word of mouth and a lot of good reviews might make me change my mind but I adhere to it for the most part.

Sandra Bullock plays Margaret Tate, "the boss from hell" in a publishing company and Ryan Reynolds plays her unfortunate assistant, Andrew. Now, Margaret isn't exactly evil and nasty as everyone around her make her out to be. She's just rude, self-centered and insensitive (not at all uncommon with supervisors, trust me) but not all bad. And since this is a romantic comedy, I guess she's gotta be somewhat likable.

Margaret is informed that her request for a U.S. visa has been denied and would have to go back to Canada. Not wanting to see all her years of hard work at the company go up in smoke, she quickly tells her boss that she's engaged to Andrew. Margaret convinces Andrew to marry her for exactly three years, which should help with her visa, and in exchange for going along with this insane plan, he will get a promotion to editor.

Andrew takes Margaret to his home town in Alaska for his Granny's (Betty White) 90th birthday to announce their upcoming nuptials. His parents (Craig T. Nelson and Mary Steenburgen) are a little surprised by this announcement, especially since he used to complain about her but they try to welcome her in to the family.

Margaret and Andrew try to play the loving couple in public but bicker and fight in private. She tries to stay focused on the job at hand but finds herself becoming attracted to Andrew and his family. Everyone is so nice and treat her with kindness. So just like the Grinch, her heart opens up. This makes sticking to this crazy plan more difficult for her. Does she go through with the wedding or does she follow her new found heart?

"The Proposal" is very light and predictable but it is also very funny and sweet. The film requires nothing more than to sit back, laugh and enjoy the beauty of Alaska. Ms Bullock is also an executive producer on this as well and wise enough to surround herself with very talented and funny actors. What a great cast, especially Betty White who practically steals the movie from the much younger leads. No one changes into a robot and nothing blows up but "The Proposal" still is one of the perfect summer movies.