Choreographer turned director Anne Fletcher’s The Proposal is an attractive package at first glance but follows the path of a typical situation in which two lovers are faced in a game of deception.
Manhattan book publisher Margaret Tate is a tyrant who bullies co-workers, especially her secretary, Andrew, who has to witness Margaret’s heartless actions and jump to her commands. She goes as far as blackmailing him into acting like her fiancé to prevent herself being deported to her native Canada. Gilbertson, who is in charge of the case warns the couple that if he smells fraud Andrew will be fined and sent to five years in prison while Margaret will be immediately banished from the scene. The couple agrees to the terms. The forced romance also coincides with a major family reunion in Andrew’s home.
The strength of The Proposal lies in the fact how these two unlikely candidates would endure each other during the weekend with warm, friendly country folk from Andrew’s home town, Alaska. Though Andrew was horrified and unwilling at the beginning he uses the scam as an opportunity to turn the tables on Margaret by asking her to make him the editor and accept his book for publication. She reluctantly agrees but not ending their feud there they exhibit their dislike for each other by putting their companion in a series of hilariously uncomfortable positions.
One of the weak points of The Proposal is that some of the jokes are lewd. For example the scene in which Margaret dances with Andrew’s grandmother to some upbeat tunes does not fit into the story. The same goes for the scenes in which Margaret and Andrew ‘bond’ by discovering similar interests in music. Andrew screeching Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock’s duet It Takes Two aloud in a whiny voice does not bring on the intended laughs.
Similarly the scenes in which Margaret is made to get up on stage and dance with the locally famous exotic dancer, Ramone, too seem far fetched. Screenplay writer Pete Chiarelli seems to have taken things too far in his attempt to add comedy to the rom-com.
Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds as Margaret and
Even the conflict between Andrew and his father seems out of place in this set up and bores rather than makes the audience perk up. But the icing on the cake of The Proposal is its utter predictability: everything that you think is going to happen does happen.
The movie sees Sandra Bullock in a different role, a villainess turned heroine. She steps into the character of a detested corporate bigwig in as much ease as she has mastered the role of the goofy and cute persona that she is known for.
Ryan Reynolds is not convincing as the white knight in shining amour who rescues Margaret from drowning, Gilbertson and herself. Mary Steenburgen, Craig T. Nelson, Betty White, Denis O’Hare, Malin Akerman and Oscar Nuñez make up the rest of the cast of The Proposal.
This could have been a dream run through but not even a gifted comedienne like Bullock can help the story from falling apart before it reaches the altar because it lacks heart and humour in crucial instances
Ruwini JAYAWARDANA - Daily News