Wednesday, July 13, 2016

52 Films By Women: The Proposal (2009)

       The Proposal follows the story of an editor in chief at a publishing house named Margaret (Sandra Bullock) who is facing deportation due to her expiring visa. To avoid being moved back to Canada, she enlists the help of her assistant Andrew (Ryan Reynolds) by having them get married. But the real complication lies in trying to hide the real truth from Andrew's family.

      The film's greatest asset lies in Sandra Bullock's performance. Bullock once again shows that she has a knack for comedic timing while through subtle facial expressions, she is able to reveal glimpses of humanity in somebody who is rather arrogant and uptight. She and Ryan Reynolds have rich chemistry as well. If they didn't, the film probably wouldn't work as well as it does. Another person I want to give a shoutout to is Betty White as Andrew's grandmother Annie. Whenever the film slightly loses its comedic steam, White would always fill that void and it's amazing that she proves that she's still got it at her age.

      Another thing I greatly appreciated is how the screenwriter Peter Chiarelli and director Anne Fletcher help humanize the character of Margaret by having a scene where she reveals a bit of her personal backstory about her living a life of solitude incorporated into the film. Along with Bullock's performance, I felt that small scene really helped prevent Margaret from being someone who is a one-dimensional cardboard cutout and it sort of made me understand why Margaret is the way she is.

     I will admit that I felt the story was rather predictable. Also, some of the other cast members like Mary Steenburgen and Craig T. Nelson as Andrew's parents and Malin Akerman as Andrew's old flame Gertrude weren't given a whole lot to do. They did an exemplary job with what they were given, though.

     Overall, The Proposal is a simple and rather predictable romantic comedy that manages to be made special by the performances of its two main actors and a scene-stealing turn from Betty White. This is a proposal I would still gladly accept.

Grade: B+