The Proposal Review: Taking The (Wedding) Cake

July 20, 2009 by  
Filed under - Home, Film Reviews


THE PROPOSAL: On general release across the UK from Wednesday 22nd July 2009

Sandra Bullock recently said that she wouldn’t do any more rom-coms because they were all rubbish, so she was going to be putting her money where her mouth is when she signed up for The Proposal, a rom-com as predictable as Hugh Grant’s hair is floppy.

But despite its complete dearth of originality, it’s actually pretty decent with some good laughs thanks to a tangible chemistry between the lead actors.

Margaret (Sandra Bullock) is a no-nonsense hard-ass executive for a major publishing company. So afraid are her colleagues of her that they message each other when she’s coming so they can look busy and not incur her wrath.

Mere mortals tremble in her presence. Bearing the brunt of her ire is her personal assistant Andrew (Ryan Reynolds), striving to get ahead in the publishing business and therefore willing to indulge her every diabolical whim.

All this is turned on its head when immigration catches up with Margaret and threatens to deport her to Canada. Desperate to stay, she blackmails her schmuck of an assistant into a marriage of convenience. But in order to convince immigration officials that they’re a couple, they’ll have to spend a bit more time in each others company, so jet off to Andrew’s parents’ house in Alaska.

You can fill in what happens next; the plot is almost as old as history itself. Search some caves in Africa and it’s probably etched in the Neolithic rock somewhere: when Og first met Ug, they hated each other but eventually fell in love after Ug discovered the secret of fire.

But the metronomic predictability of the plot is saved by the chemistry between Bullock and Reynolds, who work together to make a likeable and believable couple: the catty put downs and zippy dialogue is frequently very funny and enough to make you forget the contrivances of their relationship. The film falters badly with some hammy physical elements which don’t live up to the standard of the snappy dialogue but there are some choice moments involving veteran actress Betty White – still hilarious at 87.

There’s nothing here you won’t have seen before – predictable ingredients bake a very familiar cake but the performances from the lead actors make it more than palatable. It’s not going to set your brain a-buzz with new ideas but as a diverting piece of fluff, it’s a fun and entertaining little snack and perfect Saturday night date fodder.

Jez Sands

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