The Proposal (PG-13) ★★★☆

The Proposal movie posterscene from The Proposalscene from The Proposal

Say I Do or Else!

If you’re looking for a near perfect romantic comedy then you won’t be disappointed with “The Proposal.” The film boasts big name stars: Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds, Betty White, Mary Steenburgen and Craig T. Nelson who are all engaging and comical. Betty White practically steals the film as the sassy grandma who has a mind of her own. She has a much larger role than a cameo appearance as she adds her charm and persona to the script and story-line. The director at the helm is Anne Fletcher who brought us “27 Dresses” in 2008 and it’s written by Peter Chiarelli.

The great thing about this film is that I was never bored or waiting for something to happen. The film is nicely paced with lots of comedy and a few sprinkles of drama. The film centers on Margaret Tate played by Bullock who is a high-powered Manhattan book editor with a personality similar to a pit-bull. She’s ice cold and everyone in the office fears her which is just the way she likes it. Reynolds plays Andrew her loyal assistant of 5 years and is flabbergasted by the news that he needs to pretend to be married to her or she will face deportation back to Canada.

Reynolds has tolerated her behavior for so long in hopes of gaining the promotion he’s wanted and also the chance to have his book published that he decides to accept the request. The tables do turn when he’s informed that he could face jail time for going along with the scam so he takes the reins and informs Bullock of his own demands (He requests that she get on her knees and ask him very nicely to marry him on the sidewalk in front of their office). The immigration agent played by Denis O’Hare is not letting anything get past him and flat out tells the duo, “I don’t believe either of you”. Next we view the couple flying to Alaska and visiting Andrew’s parents and extended quirky family.

Upon arrival in Alaska, the high-heeled, suited Margaret enters unknown territory as Andrew’s family; loving mom (Mary Steenburgen), suspicious dad (Craig T. Nelson) and the unorthodox grandma (Betty White) treat her to large doses of home-spun hospitality.

There are some very funny scenes involving Margaret. The tiny family dog is not supposed to go outdoors alone or he’ll be eaten by large birds. Of course he mistakenly gets out while Margaret is on watch and the scene is hysterical. I’m not sure why comedy writers know that little white dogs will be funny, which reminds me of (There’s Something About Mary), but they just are and these scenes are no exception.

The comedic timing between Bullock and Reynolds is great and the chemistry between them is apparent. The stand-out is Betty White, her jokes and comments are very funny. She’s such a pro and a delight to watch. The story has some tender moments as well. We learn why Margaret is such an ice princess and why Andrew is so determined to make in on his own in Manhattan.

Bottom-line, lots of laughs, fun and romance.

Sarah Adamson © 2009