The Proposal

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The ViewDunedin Review

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Review byMatthew Turner22/07/2009

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 107 mins

Enjoyable romcom that succeeds thanks to the chemistry and comic timing of its two leads, but it's also formulaic, completely predictable and nowhere near as funny as it thinks it is.

What's it all about?
Directed by Anne Fletcher (27 Dresses), The Proposal stars Sandra Bullock as Margaret, a ruthless editor in New York who makes life hell for her long-suffering assistant, Andrew (Ryan Reynolds). However, when US immigration threaten to deport her back to her native Canada, Margaret bribes Andrew into marrying her, with promises of promotion.

Unfortunately, the sceptical immigration agent (Denis O'Hare) doesn't quite believe their whirlwind romance and informs them that he'll be questioning them again after the weekend, so Margaret insists on accompanying Andrew on a weekend visit to his parents (Mary Steenburgen and Craig T Nelson) in Alaska, in order to break the news of the wedding and get to know his family. And if you can't guess what happens during that weekend visit, then you've clearly never seen a romcom before.

The Good
Fortunately, Bullock and Reynolds have chemistry to spare and their sparky banter and impeccable comic timing are the main reason to see the film. There are also, to be fair, two comic set-pieces that get big laughs, namely a superbly staged accidental naked encounter and a bizarre sequence involving the family dog, an eagle and a cell phone.

The Bad
The supporting cast is a bit of a mixed bag: Steenburgen and Nelson are both great, but Betty White overdoes her wacky old lady routine (particularly during a hideously ill-conceived Indian dance sequence), Malin Akerman is completely wasted as Andrew's old flame and The Office's Oscar Nunez is the victim of a desperately unfunny running gag as Ramone, who keeps popping up as the local man-of-all-trades (a joke the film-makers clearly think is hilarious).

Worth seeing?
The fact that The Proposal remains enjoyable is a testament to the chemistry and comic timing of Bullock and Reynolds, because it's also thoroughly predictable, nowhere near as funny as it should have been and occasionally downright embarrassing.

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Content updated: 19/04/2019 16:31

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