The Proposal is a sexist, unromantic, unfunny, unoriginal film. Once again, a romantic comedy takes a stereotypical view of the successful woman: single and bitchy—as Margaret [Sandra Bullock] comes into the office, instant messages get sent around: “It’s here!” or “The witch is on her broom.” Even her manager says, “Here are our fearless leader and her leash.” These ice queen roles are so predictable. When the woman thaws out due to the man’s charms, she figures out that she likes the guy right in front of her after all. I like Sandra Bullock and it’s such a disappointment.
Margaret [Bullock] is an editor at a publishing company and Andrew [Ryan Reynolds] is her beleaguered assistant. Somehow she’s let her work visa expire. She’ll lose her job and be deported [all the way back to Canada] until she announces that she and Andrew are getting married. As a trade off, he wants to become an editor and have his manuscript published. Off to Sitka, Alaska the duo go for the 90th birthday party of Andrew’s granny [scene-stealing Betty White].
Silly plot points: Margaret cannot swim; Andrew’s father is still mad at him for not working with the family businesses; the pair literally run into each other in the nude; Margaret admits to being a Rob Base fan [they start dueting “It Takes Two”]; and Margaret starts to soften her demeanour when she interacts with Andrew’s mother [Mary Steenburgen] and grandmother.
Reynolds and Bullock start off with an amusingly caustic give and take and good chemistry but it fizzles out quickly as the script quickly falters. The screenwriter threads together some old jokes and predictable scenes. Director Anne Fletcher [27 Dresses] clearly does not care about engaging the audience because these characters remain two-dimensional. The Proposal is a lazy retread of every other romantic comedy you’ve ever seen before.
DVD Extras: an alternate ending even worse than the original; supposedly hysterical out-takes [anything but]; director commentary
STEELE SAYS: SKIP IT!