Before the credits even roll, we know how The Proposal will end. Allow me to retract the previous statement. Before the previews even roll, we know how The Proposal will end. It is a formulaic, by the numbers romantic comedy that uses a script riddled with cliches and lets it rest on the shoulders of the charismatic stars who in the end keep this film afloat. There are scenes in the film where viewers will probably say to themselves “I feel like I’ve seen that before.” I’m here to tell you that you have, but it’s okay.
Sandra Bullock stars as Margaret Tate, who is like Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep’s character in The Devil Wears Prada) lite. She is a stoic book editor, who walks into the office and strikes fear into the hearts of everyone who works underneath her. Her assistant, Andrew (Ryan Reynolds) isn’t so much always scared of Margaret, but annoyed by her. Little does he know, she is going to become a much bigger nuisance, more than he ever dared to imagine.
The thing about Margaret is, she is Canadian. Her Visa status has expired and she is faced with the threat of being deported back to Canada. Margaret, who puts her job before anything else in her life, is shocked and appalled by this threat, mainly for the reason that she will no longer be able to keep her job as editor. But, in walks her outlandish idea! She tells her superiors that she can’t be deported because she and her assistant Andrew are engaged.
Andrew is baffled by the idea of marrying the ice cold Margaret, and refuses to go along with the outrageous plan unless a few of his demands are met once they are married. Margaret agrees to his demands and they begin to make their engagement legitimate.
First stop is Andrew’s home in Alaska. Now, Andrew and Margaret are not really fans of one another, so making it seem like they are madly in love in front of his family is going to be a difficult feat to accomplish. Andrew’s mom, Grace (Mary Steenburgen) is more than welcoming to Margaret. However, Andrew’s father, Joe (Craig T. Nelson) is skeptical because he knows his son has never really cared for his boss. But, it is Grandma Annie, or “Gammy, who off-sets the family tension. She is played by the scene stealing Betty White.
As the film progresses, it digs itself deeper and deeper into one big cliched whole. I feel if anyone else was in this film, I’d be advising you to stay away from it and not even give the film a second thought. However, I have never enjoyed Sandra Bullock more than I have in this picture. Since her last film was two years ago, and it was the horrid Premonition, The Proposal doesn’t seem so bad. She and 87 year old White give the film the laughs that it needs to save it from completely bombing.
The director, Anne Fletcher, gets the best out of her stars here. This is Fletcher’s third directorial effort, and compared to her first two (Step Up and 27 Dresses), The Proposal is a welcomed bribe to audiences to have a little faith in Fletcher.
Director: Anne Fletcher
Starring: Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds
Rated: PG-13 (for language, brief nudity)