Margaret Tate (Sandra Bullock) terrorizes her publishing house co-workers with her abrasive, take-no-prisoners management style, especially her overworked assistant Andrew Paxton (Ryan Reynolds). But when Margaret is threa... more »tened with deportation to her native Canada because of an immigration technicality, the quick-thinking exec announces that she and Andrew are engaged to be married. Ambitious Andrew agrees to go along with her scheme?if there?s a long-awaited promotion in it for him. Everything is going according to Margaret?s plan, until an overzealous immigration official makes it his business to prove that the couple?s engagement is bogus. To demonstrate her commitment to her new fiancé, Margaret agrees to celebrate the 90th birthday of his colorful grandmother (Betty White) ? in Alaska. The editrix?s type-A ways put her at odds with her eccentric future in-laws with hilarious consequences, until the Paxtons teach Margaret a thing or two about family.« less
Fun and entertaining storyline where common themes brought down its greatness.
Don K. from BEAVERTON, OR Reviewed on 8/18/2013...
5 stars for comedy/entertainment value.
Good, solid fun. This is a highly entertaining and very well proportioned film. Everything works, but the best part is the comic timing...impeccable. Ryan Reynolds does comedy like he was born to it. Betty White was, of course, born to it. And Sandra Bullock is so cute, even when she's being a beeeatch, you'll want to see this again and again. And let's not forget the nude scene...these two are in shape. Wow! Add some beautiful scenery and a plot that is much cleverer than the critics would lead you to believe, and the results are a comic gem.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Coleen W. from ALPHARETTA, GA Reviewed on 3/23/2011...
In a word, cute. It was a little predictable, but beautiful scenery and how can you not love Ryan and Sandra?
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Lewis P. (Turfseer) from NEW YORK, NY Reviewed on 8/12/2010...
Deluded masses fall for Bullock's 'straw man'
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
For those who haven't seen 'The Proposal', the plot is rather simple. Faced with being deported to her native Canada, publishing business career woman Margaret Tate (Sandra Bullock), proposes to her assistant Andrew Paxton (Ryan Reynolds) that she marry him, in order to save her job and offer him a chance at promotion. The film has been compared to the 2009 dramedy 'The Devil Wears Prada'. Ostensibly, they both are about smug career women who are universally hated by their employees. But Meryl Streep's Miranda Priestly is a multi-dimensional portrait based on a real person and Sandra Bullock's 'Margaret Tate' is a dopey caricature.
Many internet posters have condemned 'The Proposal' for its predictability. Sure enough, Margaret Tate eventually comprehends the error of her ways and finally softens up; but it's what happens before the predicable ending (the 'softening up') that relegates the film to the trash heap.
There was a time when Sandra Bullock actually showed some talent as a comic actor. Consider Miss Congeniality—the film was humorous due to the cleverness of the fish out of water premise. Sandra's FBI agent character had to adapt in the prim and proper beauty pageant world. And we were attracted to Sandra since her character was realistically tough and confident.
Not so in 'The Proposal'. You would think that a tough as nails editor-in-chief would know how to handle herself, especially in the rarefied world of the Paxton family—both Tate and the Paxtons are quite well off. But no, Bullock plays Tate as a buffoon, someone to laugh at. Somehow, being in the more rural atmosphere of Sitka, Alaska, is supposed to turn Tate into a total klutz. Not only is she unable to efficiently move her luggage or climb down a ladder but she also can't swim! While Miranda Priestly was arrogant and sometimes petty, she also had an aura of competency that made her an attractive and interesting character. Until her sudden epiphanies toward the climax of 'The Proposal', Tate is completely petty and never shows any sign of competence. Take for example, the idiotic scene where the family dog is snatched by the eagle; eventually Tate saves the dog but she's more concerned about her cell phone, after the eagle flies away with it.
It's easy to understand why Bullock would be attracted to the 'straw man' character of Margaret Tate. As the dictionary tells us—a straw man is a "fabricated or conveniently weak or innocuous person, object, matter, etc., used as a seeming adversary or argument." The shrewd businesswoman that she is, Bullock realizes how the masses (the film going public) despise such characters as Tate, since most of us have encountered such arrogant people one time or another during our employment history. In reality, such people never realize the 'error' of their ways and usually are rewarded for their amoral behavior (take Miranda Priestly in 'The Devil Wears Prada' as the perfect example). Since the masses can't face reality, they would rather indulge in wish fulfillment by cheering on the comeuppance of a straw man. And that's exactly what Bullock has done here—provided a buffoon that the masses can sneer at—while she knows full well that a real tough as nails editor-in-chief would never be anything like a Margaret Tate who "hates shopping and sightseeing" and hasn't had sex for a year and a half!
Before 'The Proposal' gets all mushy with the failed marriage ceremony and Ryan Reynolds rushing back to NYC where he convinces Bullock that he's truly fallen in love with her, numerous bloggers and internet posters have taken note of many other unfunny scenes in 'The Proposal', that crop up before the sentimental denouement. A few that come to mind include: Bullock and Reynolds clumsily falling over each other while in the nude, Bullock being entertained by an amateur Hispanic 'Chippendale's' stripper and Betty White playing the grandmother dressed up as a Native American, performing a bizarre Native American dance for Bullock (followed by her equally bizarre hip hop dance in response).
Despite Ryan Reynold's sincere performance as Andrew Paxton, the character also doesn't make much sense. Paxton supposedly holds himself as being true to himself (as well as being an anti-materialist) when he rejects his father's demand to come back home and take over the family business. But at the same time, he's willing to compromise his values by accepting Tate's illegal (and immoral) proposal, in order to further his career.
Even if one's 'heart strings' are pulled by the sudden transformation of the lovers' affection for each other at the film's climax, the bulk of 'The Proposal' is 'comedy' of the lowest sort. And Bullock too has hit new lows by agreeing to be part of this enterprise. The next time around, she should look for more excellent screenplays. One is named "The Devil Wears Prada".
3 of 7 member(s) found this review helpful.
Linda M. (bonbons99) from GLEN, NH Reviewed on 1/8/2010...
1 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Janice J. (dizzheart) Reviewed on 12/13/2009...
Ryan Reynolds was great with Sandra Bullock - wonderful comic timing. I got a little tired of the family stuff, and the male stripper guy, and some scenes seemed contrived, but then it's a comedy so they would be contrived. It was good light fun and held my interest to the end. It was great to see Betty White still working, and she had some great lines. All in all -- nice light entertainment.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Lisa K. from BOTHELL, WA Reviewed on 12/1/2009...
Cute, funny movie, though I did feel like it just ALL OF A SUDDEN wrapped up and it was time to leave. That's it bam it's over go home now. Other than that, great movie. A nice, fluffy movie to own.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Jorge S. (jorgito2001) from WESLEY CHAPEL, FL Reviewed on 11/30/2009...
Saw this over the Thanksgiving weekend with a family of about 14 & at times we DROWNED THE MOVIE OUT with our LAUGHTER! The movie is hilarious! Never thought Sandra Bullock could play someone so unlikable (especially at the beginning of the film) but she PULLS IT OFF! Ryan Reynolds is spot on. The rest of the cast is great & it was a BLAST! High recommend!
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Xtra Info: Special Features
Lorelai | Texas | 09/19/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For some reason Amazon is not listing in Product Details what is actually included in the 2 disc DVD other than a movie description. So for those like me who like to know what Xtras (+ Digital Copy) you're getting here it is:
Alternate Ending Deleted Scenes Audio Commentary Featurette "Set Antics": Outtakes And Other Absurdities Subtitles: French, Spanish Disc Two: Digital Copy of Feature Film"
I DO (love this comedy)...
Shopper | USA | 09/13/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you have just survived another tough week at the office and are looking for a weekend pick me up, "The Proposal" is your sure bet. Yes, I laughed outloud often, and so did most of the audience. The comment frequently heard as the credits rolled was: "Ooohhh, that was sooo goooood!".
The story: a tough lady-boss (Bullock) is being deported to Canada for willful non-compliance with the US immigration department. To save herself, she directs her doormat of an assistant (Reynolds) to marry her. He reluctantly agrees to play along, after she "helps" him understand the virtues of being employed. If you think you know where this story is going... well, you are right. The "happily ever after" cannot be avoided. 'Tis a comedy after all...What is fresh is how skillfully the writers and the director allow the story to veer away from the "happily ever after" course, keeping us on the edge of our seats until the satisfying end, which we have known all along was bound to arrive.
The chemistry between the two leads is another pleasant surprise. I am not a particular fan of either Bullock or Reynolds. Though each smoking hot and talented, neither has made many inspired project choices. However, the roles here suit the pair's natural acting styles reasonably well, which in turn further enhances the believability of their characters. The look of constipated doom on Reynold's face, as he's being informed he's engaged, is side-splitting! I do regret Bullock does not play "mean" better; the intended juxtaposition of her supposedly tough as nails character against her overly compliant secretary is lost at times. We are TOLD she is a witchy boss, and yet she comes accross nothing more then efficient (Sandra: call me! I'll give you some pointers. In return you can teach me how to find a secretary as hot as Reynolds ;0) ).
Another gem in this comedy is Ms Betty White (of "The Golden Girls" fame), an octogenarian in real life as well as playing one in "The Proposal". She has made an art of delivering "campy" with emotional intelligence. She does not dissapoint here either.
Final verdict? Will this film change the course of modern cinematography?
Not a fat chance!
Did it chase my blah's away until Monday morning?
AFFIRMATIVE!!! ...Till Wednesday... at least! "
Betcha can't watch this just once
J. Milligan | Florida | 10/02/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this at the theatre 3 times. It is so funny. I was laughing out loud all through the movie. This is not a chick flick. Lots of men were in the theatre with me and they were laughing louder than me and my girlfriends. The acting doesn't get much better than this. The director has to be pleased with this one because these actors showed up knowing just what to do. Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds were so good together. Ryan was great even when he wasn't speaking. Just his facial expressions were hysterically funny. He also gave singing a try which was even funnier. Betty White played his grandmother and was as good as ever. Sandra and Ryan try hard not to like each other but it just didn't work. Sandra Bullock looks great. Girl can't help it, she is just too pretty. I don't write much about the story because it is described on the Amazon listing and I don't want to spoil anything. Go watch this movie. It is the comedy of the year. I like spontaneous type comedy and not fake made up comedy and The Proposal is just that. You will watch this movie over and over."
Fun Extras for Decent Time Waster
Cubist | United States | 10/13/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There are two deleted scenes with optional commentary by director Anne Fletcher and writer Peter Chiarelli. There is a nice scene with Andrew's parents (Nelson and Steenburgen). We also see Margaret and Andrew getting a little more comfortable with each other. They are nice enough scenes but not essential and one can see why they were cut.
There is an alternate ending with optional commentary. Fletcher and Chiarelli talk about why they didn't use this ending and another one that they didn't use as well. The humour in this scene is much broader than the rest of the film and seems out of place.
"Set Antics: Outtakes and Other Absurdities from The Proposal" is a montage of the cast goofing around on set. It looks like they had a lot of fun making this film.
Finally, there is an audio commentary by Fletcher and Chiarelli. They start off explaining the dichotomy between the two main characters. Fletcher says that Bullock loved the screenplay and gave Chiarelli all kinds of notes to make her character nastier. He talks about the mechanics of the story while she talks about the challenge of working on location. This is a fairly decent track by two people clearly proud of their film."
Bullock and Reynolds Rise Above Formula
James A. Strong | Atlanta, Georgia United States | 10/26/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Things have changed a fair bit for Sandra Bullock since the release of "While You Were Sleeping," and "The Proposal" reflects those changes. In the earlier film, she was a newcomer with a "girl next door" image who had a brightness of spirit and innocence about her that made the viewer buy into the whimsy (which looks pretty thin, in retrospect) of that film. This time around, fourteen years later, Bullock has several romantic comedies under her belt and she has developed her screen persona gradually over time. The comparison is warranted, however--the two films have plenty of similarities. Both are about her pretending to be engaged, both have her meet her faux fiancee's families, and both touch on the old moral that honesty is the best policy. Keeping that in mind, thankfully, "The Proposal" doesn't ask too much; it doesn't require that we bend suspension of disbelief too much to enjoy it. It plays off of the viewer's dual desires to see her in the genre where she excels and also see something new, and it delivers on both counts.
In "The Proposal," Bullock plays an overbearing book editor who runs her office like Miranda Priestley of "The Devil Wears Prada." She's a hard-edged businesswoman who seems like love is the farthest thing from her mind. Ryan Reynolds plays the assistant who dutifully caters to her every whim, sacrificing his own personal life for the sake of his career. She knows this and takes full advantage of it on a daily basis. She even blackmails him to marry her so that she can get a visa (she's a Canadian citizen) and remain in the United States. He reluctantly agrees, and the two of them embark on a trip to Alaska to meet his family to show a suspicious immigration officer that their relationship is no sham.
This is where the film attempts to develop Bullock's character into flesh and blood. As expected, her experiences with his family are designed to humanize her. Despite the transparency of the effort, it ultimately works. This is thanks in no small part to the chemistry between her and Reynolds. The progression of their relationship is believable, and the two play off of each other well. Reynolds proves to be witty and charming, and Bullock strikes the right balance between cynicism and vulnerability.
The family figures themselves are more of a mixed bag. The tension between father and son is palpable between Craig T. Nelson and Reynolds, respectively. Betty White assumes the role of the nutty grandmother (a role that is far too similar to the one played by Glynis Johns in "While You Were Sleeping.") Mary Steenburgen goes through the motions as the mother figure of the film, leaving very little impression as she essentially plays a cardboard cut-out character.
The predictability of the story works as much for it as against it: the viewer takes comfort in the fact that they're likely to get a happy ending, but there aren't many surprises. It grounds itself in reality more than "While You Were Sleeping," making it more plausible, yet no less enjoyable. Those seeking rapturous romantic magic might want to look elsewhere, but those seeking an above-average date movie could certainly do worse."