The Proposal

by | Jun 17, 2009 | Culture

proposalTouchstone Pictures | Starring Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds, Betty White, Mary Steenburgen, Craig T. Nelson | Rated PG-13

Will you see The Proposal?

In a world that witnessed the reality game show Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire? the premise of The Proposal isn’t so far-fetched. When Margaret Tate (Sandra Bullock) finds herself facing the possibility of deportation and job loss from her high-profile publishing job, she demands the help of her long-abused personal assistant Andrew Paxton (Ryan Reynolds). If Andrew marries Margaret, she can stay in the country, keep her job and Andrew even has his own shot at promotion.

That business-modeled marriage is the basis for the comedy, which of course unspools to find the main characters recognizing that marriage is more than a business proposal. Helping them arrive at that point are Andrew’s family members, including his grandmother (Betty White), who goes into overdrive to accommodate what they think are two lovebirds.

White, a veteran television actress (Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Golden Girls) is a national treasure and a treat in pretty much every scene she’s in. Bullock and Reynolds also succeed, being able to deliver not only believable slapstick laughs but also moments of contemplation, which are required of every dramatic third act in a romantic comedy.

The film is rated PG-13 because of language and sexual innuendo found at several points in the story. One semi-nude scene where Andrew and Margaret accidentally run into each other is played for laughs, but is nevertheless a little too drawn out. Also played for more uncomfortable laughs is the women’s trip to see an exotic dancer played by Oscar Nuñez (from TV’s The Office).

Ultimately, The Proposal is not a movie that asks “Will you marry me?” but one that asks whether marriage can be entered into without love. Thankfully, the filmmakers help the characters rise above their own professional agendas to see the sacredness of the wedding vows.

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