Friday, June 17, 2011

Canon Movie Review: The Proposal

Sorry about the delay. I would have done this earlier, but then the Canucks lost the Stanley Cup and I had to go out and everyone started rioting, so I chose to watch stupid people tip over cars and jump onto burning cars. Anyway, this is the last installment of the Ryan Reynolds Extravaganza, and after this I can say to all those that have shunned me before that yes, I have watched Ryan Reynolds movies. The movie featured today is not one that I would say is in my wheelhouse, so to speak, the 2009 romantic comedy The Proposal. Produced by Touchstone Pictures and directed by Anne Fletcher, The Proposal stars Reynolds, Sandra Bullock, Mary Steenburgen, the one and only Craig T. Nelson, Malin Akerman, and Betty White. In The Proposal, a pushy editor at a giant publishing company (Bullock) is shocked to find out that she's about to be deported back to Canada. In order to keep her job and stay in the country, she forces her assistant Andrew (Reynolds) to fake an engagement with her. During this facade, Andrew and his new fiance go back to his home in Alaska, where hijinks ensue. A few notes about this film.

- I'm trying to start this review on a positive note, so I will first mention that I thought the dog was the best part of the film. Kevin, a half Eskimo half Samoyed breed (which was actually played by several dogs), nearly managed to steal the show from his human costars. Heck, if it wasn't for Betty White, Kevin would have provided the few laughs this film had, although I guess I should give credit to Bullock for playing so well off of the dog.

- Now that I've tried to be positive, let's shift to the negative. I'm going to assume that most of you reading this probably have a good idea of what happens at the end, the mystery is just how the ending came about. Well, I'm still trying to figure that out to, because at no point in this movie was there a real turning point between Andrew and Margaret's (Bullock). Oh sure, they might have got to a point where they could stand each other instead of Andrew out and out despising Margaret after a rendition of Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock's "It Takes Two". But still, there was no point in this whole movie where you really saw the two of them connect. Then I guess you're supposed to suspend your disbelief that Andrew would start to fall for the woman he once referred to as "Satan's Mistress" over a wacky weekend. I guess we are left to assume that somewhere along the way, Andrew forgot about all the misdeeds this evil woman performed on him over the years, even holding him back as an editor for her own personal gain, and somehow fall head over heels for her.

- The scriptwriter for The Proposal is a man by the name of Peter Chiarelli. Well, I refuse to believe that he wrote a script as much as borrowed every romantic comedy cliche he could think of and ram it into one movie. Let's see, there's a grandmother who likes to talk about inappropriate subjects for comedic effect (White), there's a doting mother who desperately wants grandchildren (Steenburgen), and there's a gruff father that doesn't agree with his son's career choice and wants him to lead a lifestyle similar to the father's (Craig T. Nelson). The makers of this movie also throw in the old flame that's happy to see Andrew once again (Akerman), but at least her character is mature enough to know that life goes on and she has successfully moved on with her life instead of waiting like an obsessive ex-lover for her beau's return, which some other movies might have done. The most forced of these cliches was definitely the father-son feud between Andrew and Craig T. Nelson, as it seemed to be thrown in there just to introduce another obstacle.

- As far as the acting goes, White is easily the standout of this movie as Gammy, as she brings a few laughs to the table here. Steenburgen and Akerman weren't too bad in supporting roles, although they had little to do, while Craig T. Nelson is still Craig T. Nelson, so your mileage may vary. Meanwhile, the leads in The Proposal weren't able to overcome a shoddy script and a scatter shot premise. Bullock really didn't seem mean enough as the proverbial ice queen, and even though she was nominated for a Golden Globe for this movie, this was not one of her better performances. Meanwhile, Reynolds seemed to fall back to his typical sarcastic wise-ass character a bit too much in this film, and didn't seem to have a whole lot of chemistry with Bullock in the film.

- The town that the movie was set in (Sitka, Alaska) was supposed to be small, but was it so small that one guy has four different jobs? Well, I guess so, as Ramone (Oscar Nunez) is not only serving food at a party for the returning Andrew, he also runs to general store and is the priest at the wedding. Not only that, but he's also the town's lone male exotic dancer. I can honestly say that I could have gone my whole life without seeing Oscar from The Office shaking his ass in a thong in Sandra Bullock's face. Yeesh.

Overall, while I'm willing to admit that this film isn't exactly catered to people like me, there's not a lot in The Proposal that I would consider good or even average. Not to mention that I talked to other people who are big Ryan Reynolds fans about this movie, and they weren't very high on it either. The Proposal is a cliche ridden film where the two leads in the film show very little romantic spark and seem to fall for each other for no reason other than it was called for in the script. Even with Kevin the dog, I'd give this a 2.3 out of 10. Well, thanks for reading, and if you have thoughts about this movie or feedback on The Canon Review in general, then share those thoughts either by leaving a comment or by sending me an e-mail at

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