The Proposal – 3 Stars (Good)
The drive to become successful in corporate America can involve total commitment, long hours, stiff competition, and the necessary talent to overcome the obstacles. When your name is Margaret Tate, it can also mean having no life before, during and after work.
Welcome to “The Proposal” starring Sandra Bullock as Margaret Tate, an always-in-control, unfeeling editor-in-chief for a major book publisher in the Big Apple.
Tate forces her assistant Andrew Paxton (Ryan Reynolds) to marry her in order to avoid being deported back to Canada. Paxton accepts under the condition that he achieves his primary goal in life, to become an editor. When the government investigates what appears to be a sham effort to avoid deportation, the two conspirators are forced to spend a weekend with his parents in Alaska.
Once there, Margaret Tate finds her entire life slipping out-of-control, and Andrew Paxton begins to see a totally different side of his dictatorial, intemperate boss. Could there be an underbelly to Margaret that will unravel when she encounters the close-knit Paxton clan?
Pete Chiarelli gets major props for writing a good romantic comedy here that reminds us of some very basic values that have gone out of style in our modern relationships, like truthfulness and integrity. Chiarelli’s story slowly brings us back to one of the greatest decisions we will ever make in relationships, knowing when to bite the bullet, regain your senses, become humble, and go after what you want-the person of your choice.
Director Anne Fletcher brings The Proposal all together in the end, like a perfect bow on an exquisitely-wrapped wedding present. It is not easy to direct romantic comedies, the tendency is to get sappy, sophomoric, sentimental or silly. Anne Fletcher does none of this, thanks in part to Sandra Bullock.
I have become a huge fan of Sandra Bullock. When I see her again in The Proposal, I am struck again by her ability to play the part without ever appearing to be an actress or acting.
Sandra Bullock is not drop dead gorgeous like Catherine Zeta Jones, but she is obviously an attractive woman. If you were to see her on the red carpet for the first time, you would not think arm candy. You would be stunned by her understated simplicity, depth and presence.
Bullock’s appeal on the screen is becoming even more popular. Part of this growing awareness of Bullock may be due to women moviegoers who, when looking at Catherine Zeta Jones, know they will never be able to relate fully to such a gorgeous creature, whereas, with Sandra Bullock, she could be the girl next door that could also be them.
Women can see themselves as Bullock, she is not out of reach. Moreover, guys can look at Bullock and actually think about asking her out on a date. The average guy could only fantasize about Catherine Zeta Jones, but he thinks he could date Bullock, that’s huge.
Ryan Reynolds does enough with his role to get second and third looks as a leading man. Hollywood is starving for younger leading men. Yes, there is Brad Pitt, Leonardo De Caprio and Johnny Depp, and women love them. Problem is, they are not leading men. We continually find them in action adventures, not romance dramas or romantic comedies.
Watching the film, I thought, “If this is what Alaska looks like, I want to go.” However, in life, people and things are not always as they appear to be. The Proposal was actually filmed in Boston and on Boston’s North Shore. And all of those snow-capped mountains? They were added later digitally.
If you liked watching “Sleepless in Seattle” my guess is that you would enjoy The Proposal.
Copyright © 2009 Ed Bagley
By Ed Bagley
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