The Proposal
Huh … there’s something different about Ryan Reynolds in this picture.

Theatrical Release Date: 06/19/2009
Director: Anne Fletcher
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds, Mary Steenburgen, Craig T. Nelson, Betty White, Malin Akerman

I should just say something right off the bat.

I am not really a romantic comedy sort of gal. Rom-coms are for cute little girls in healthy, happy relationships. If I am going to go see something mindless, I’d prefer a good old slasher flick or inappropriate comedy 9 times out of 10.

So I went into “The Proposal” with relatively low expectations; Which it met, and then some.

In case you don’t watch television commercials (which is a distinct possibility in this brave new DVR world), “The Proposal” is a film about Margaret Tate (Sandra Bullock), a bad tempered, elitist senior editor at a prestigious publishing house in New York. When her Visa status is denied, she forces her assistant Andrew (Ryan Reynolds) into marriage to avoid deportation back to Canada. He takes her to his hometown in Canada to announce their engagement at his Gammy’s birthday party. Naturally, hilarity ensues as she meets his family, friends, and ex-girlfriend.

All in all, it was a solid movie. I found myself truly laughing often, especially at the beginning of the movie, before it got a bit bogged down by the romantic conflicts that come with this type of movie. The Alaskan backdrop is beautiful, a nice contrast to the hectic New York pace at the beginning of the movie.

The acting is very solid as well. Everyone is well cast. Mary Steenburgen and Craig T. Nelson are perfect parents, and Malin Akerman is a good choice to play the pretty high school sweetheart. Bullock is her usual adorable self. She does a decent job of playing a meany, but she is best in the moments where her character lets her guard down and really connects with her soon-to-be new family.

Reynolds is turning out to be a true leading man in this genre. He is an appealing cross between the wry, slightly self-deprecating style of John Cusack and the chiseled charm of Matthew McConaughey. Seeing him shirtless (and more!) certainly doesn’t hurt either. The chemistry between Bullock and Reynolds is good- it’s subtle, but builds as both of them start to gradually trust each other enough to open up. Their relationship is a contrivance, but doesn’t feel as fake as most on-screen romances.

Of course, the best part of the movie is Betty White. She is hilarious as 89-year old Gammy. Her antics are the starting points for the best comedic scenes in the movie, but she is truly the heart of the movie as well.

So, I would say that this is a good date movie- nothing too embarrassing, but funny enough for men to survive while trying to impress their dates by taking them to something they want to see. It was a light, fun way to spend a few hours. As long as you aren’t looking for unexpected plot twists or some sort of deeper meaning in the film, you’ll enjoy it (and if you are looking for those things, why did you go to a romantic comedy?). I give “The Proposal” a solid 3 out of 5. If you are a chick, or are trying to impress one, go see it.