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The Proposal (2009)

Review: written Feb 2010

Adequate but underwhelming addition to the rom-com genre

The Proposal (2009)

You know, Sandra Bullock can make even a mediocre movie like this one enjoyable. But it's a bittersweet enjoyment watching her in a half hearted comedy like this, while waiting for the next `interesting' role to come along.

Bullock plays the uptight and unpleasant, but high flying editor of a New York based book firm, and Ryan Reynolds her long suffering assistant who actually is a nice guy with his own quietly held ambitions. Her character is Canadian, and when (in an unlikely twist) Immigration come calling to deport her, on the spur of the moment she enlists her assistant.. to marry her. However, this then involves a trip to Alaska to convince the Immigration authorities their sudden love is genuine.

The Alaskan scenery is gorgeous, and the cast believable - but come across as uninspired by the material. On the plus side we have his relatives in Alaska, particularly the good value Betty White (Golden Girls) as his grandmother. Then there's Bullock, who can do these kinds of shenanigans in her sleep. On the down side, the plot is both predictable and hard to believe (aside from the unlikely Immigration Officer, there's the eagle carrying away the dog, the Mother Earth grandma chants, not to mention the resolution). It's one of those movies you watch with a faint smile crossing your face now and again, and afterwards you remember it had a few funny moments... but that's about the extent of the impact it has, mostly because it takes too long to show any likeable side to either of the main leads, so that in the end the ‘will-they won't-they’ aspect hardly matters. All you're left with then is the humour from various fish-out-of-water gags as Bullock's high heeled cosmopolitan comes to terms with the wilderness and what it means to have a real family. If ‘harmless rom-com with no brain engaged, but perhaps some nice scenery’ is what you're after, then by all means rent.. but this is really quite disposable fluff, devoid of the chemistry or `je ne sais quois' that makes these things truly sparkle.

Scrapes a pass mark, but only if you're a Bullock fan, and even then only because the Alaskan scenery was nice.

The Proposal (2009)

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