Movie Review: The Proposal (Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds, Betty White) 2009

Posted: December 9, 2012 in Comedy



Margaret Tate (Bullock) is an editor at a major New York City publishing house.  She’s a tough boss, and is universally hated by everyone in the office including her assistant Andrew Paxton (Reynolds) Margaret is also a Canadian, and close to being deported.  Desperate to stay in the United States, Margaret asks Andrew to marry her and threatens him with being fired if he does not comply, which is illegal.  Legalities aside, Andrew agrees to cave to her blackmail and marry her.  Almost immediately an INS agent named Gilbertson (Denis O’ Hare) is tipped off that this might be a phony marriage.  To prove their love is real to Gilbertson and the world, they go to Alaska to celebrate Grandma Annie’s (White) 90th birthday.  In Alaska, Andrew proposes to Margaret, raising the eyebrows of his hardnosed dad, Joe (Craig T Nelson)  Andrew is also surprised to see his ex-girlfriend, Gert, (Malin Akerman) in Alaska. Does Gert still have feelings for Andrew, do Andrew and Margaret develop feelings for each other after spending the weekend together?  Does Mr. Gilbertson ever find out that the marriage is a sham?


Don’t bother watching this movie.  I wanted to like it.  I like Sandra Bullock, but she’s not really a comedic actress, falling down a lot does not equal physical comedy.  She has tried to carve out a niche as the clumsy, awkward, yet attractive girl next door. Sometimes it works (Miss Congeniality) sometimes it doesn’t.  I like Ryan Reynolds too, he was great in Van Wilder, and Definitely Maybe, but here he’s kind of a crabby non-likable character.  The problem here is the writing, which eschews character development and goes for gags, which look more like something out of a sit-com then a movie.  Betty White in Native American garb doing some kind of nonsensical chant, Betty White making Bullock try on a wedding dress that doesn’t fit, an unfortunate strip tease scene featuring a paunchy Hispanic character named Ramon, who then becomes a running gag for the rest of the movie.  Finally, the whole concept of marrying to stay in the country, it’s been done to death. Maybe with a little sharper writing, and more chemistry between the lead actors (Bullock and Reynolds have none) this could have been an enjoyable romantic comedy, alas it’s not.


The Proposal.  Turn it down


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