Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Proposal

Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock manage to bring us an -adorable- little romantic comedy featuring a crazy tribal grandmother, an illegal-immigrant/stripper/priest/waiter, and a puppy.

Sarah Bullock plays Margaret Tate, a condescending and downright villainous executive editor at a prominent book publishing company. Andrew Paxton (Played by Ryan Reynolds), is her assistant/monkey on a leash. After firing long-time employee Bob Spaulding from the company she is almost immediately sucked into the movie's conflict. She's actually sucked in so fast that the scene almost looks like instant retribution from the gods due to her firing of Bob. I think Bob has some bad voodoo working with him. Anyway, the conflict is that she is facing the threat of deportation due to not listening to the nice little American government and leaving the country before her visa was cleared.

Facing the threat of all her career being destroyed, she sees it only fit to hold someone else's neck out under the employment guillotine as well. Of course this person is her assistant, in which she all but forces Mr. Paxton into his hand in marriage since that will legalize her as an American citizen (didn't I see this on Drew Carry once?). Admittedly, they do handle this concept well by having the government agent who's going to watch their every move in the hope of catching a scam and...Oh hi I Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, didn't see you there!

Of course we need to add a little more spice to this film, so lets have Paxton's grandma have a birthday at the same exact time and invite both of them out to Alaska, yes, Alaska. Do I smell a few out of our element scenes, Ms. Tate? So they arrive in Alaska in which we meet Mr. Paxton's lovely grandma (played by Betty White), and his mother. After a couple scenes involving the twist of Paxton's family being millionaires, mixed in with another out of our element scene the plot is off!

Now up to this point the movie hasn't been horrible or surreal in any extreme fashion, hell it's even been enjoyable and managed a few chuckles out of me. That lasts until we meet the waiter/stripper/general store owner/priest Ramone (Played by Oscar Nunez). Honestly film, this movie has enough elements, we don't need a running gag too! To the actor's credit, he does at least manage to keep me from letting out an audible sigh of disgust inside the nice theater, but they milk this joke way too much. It isn't even too bad up until the stripper part, since every scene involving him after that references back to that one scene, a scene that in all honesty wasn't even the slightest bit funny. The film moves along, the father berates the son for not wishing to take over the family business. He lets out his frustration on an unfinished boat while Tate tries to wash the bad joke from her flesh. This leads to an actually rather funny scene involving both of them running into each other bare ass naked.

Let's take this little moment to focus on grandma shall we? I say this because, to be honest, she's actually got a better role than both Reynolds and Bullock, a role which she pulls off incredibly well. I mean ignoring the fatally unfunny tribal dance scene, this lady does pull off the witty, slightly eccentric old granny quite successfully. Her execution of the film's climax is actually rather brilliant.

Back to the film, a few more jokes, a revelation that Tate isn't evil, just bottled up, alone, and frightful. Next comes the obligatory coming clean at the chapel scene, she runs off to face her dues and get deported. Granny actually manages to get an outright laugh out of me by faking a heart-attack to get her son and grandson to stop fighting. He misses her at the airport, but catches her at the office. He confesses his love for her and desire to date...What? At the end it all revolves around to the Immigration Office where both of them say they're ready to face the aforementioned marriage test! Phew, despite how little the film's third act accomplished it was hard to fit that all in there.

So how is this film? While it does manage to get a few laughs out of me here and there and it isn't an awful film, it relies too much on tired cliches and plot formulas. The only thing that brings this film up to passing are the incredible performances by Reynolds, Bullock, and White. Sadly, I don't this film with last a year before simply becoming a section in an actor's resume.

Overall Grade = C

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