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Enterprising young assistant takes on hard-nosed boss - romance ensues!
9/10 Producer/star Sandra Bullock turns out what looks like another box office smash. Typical of most "chick-flicks," the trailer tells you just about everything you're going to see. Unexpectedly, though, the surprises come from behind the scenes. The film looks gorgeous (and not just the two lead actors): the prettiness of the interior sets is matched by the choice of locations. While much of the film is set amidst the beauty of a seaside town in Alaska, even New York City is made to look like something out of a story book. It hasn't looked this good since the era of Doris Day. Typical of such a film, the costumes, even on the extras in the background, are so well-coordinated with the locations that the whole thing feels like a "realist fantasy."2 years ago
Likewise, the plot itself is reminiscent of the romantic comedies of half a century ago - complete with their morality, albeit updated enough in a post-feminist era for Ryan Reynolds' masculinity to function credibly in "the Doris Day role." This he handles extremely well, although Sandra Bullock deserves most of the praise. As a producer, she knows her on- screen strengths and weaknesses, and, most importantly, she knows her audience and, despite the hard-nosed ice-queen she chooses to play here, everyone will continue to love her. Frankly, I was surprised to see so many empty seats at the sneak-preview last night in Boston, but I hope that doesn't get the filmmakers down. The audience loved this film and it's going to get positive word-of-mouth from whoever sees it - young or old. It's going to be around for a long time.
It was sweet
7/10 Although the movie is predictable, like most romance comedies are, nevertheless it was sweet. Sure a bit unrealistic in terms of the time line of the whole plot takes place but this is why we have movies like this, so you can escape into the fantasy of romance and humor. If you are looking for realism then watch a 3 hour drama, but if you want to escape for awhile and just enjoy a movie you don't have to think too much about then it's worth your time. If you don't want to pay to go see it in the theater, then wait for it to come out on DVD. I saw it during a private screening as part of the ATL Film Festival, for close to two hours I thought of nothing else and laughed and even cried a bit. I would definitely see it again. It may not be the best romantic comedy I have seen but the movie still holds lots of charm.2 years ago
6/10 Well, if I could split the movie into two, I would say that the first half is a superb Proposal and the second half is fairly traditional Hollywood pablum. In the first half, the wonderful comedic timing and chemistry between Bullock and Reynolds was terrific. The writing was first-rate intellectual, snappy sparring, even throwing in some literary references in the put-downs. Kudos to the Director, Anne Fletcher, and the Screenwriter, Pete Chiarelli.2 years ago
The completely different tone in the second half, I surmise, could only be attributed to the studios/producers stepping in and stating that the film must appeal to a wider audience. We, then, get lots of family characters thrown in, with a great reduction of Bullock and Reynolds mutual screen time. And when they do share time in the second half, it's more about slapstick/physical humor (cue studios/producers needing appeal to wider, a.k.a, younger audience). Maudlin music comes in on the soundtrack, letting us know that this part of the movie is supposed to tug on our heartstrings.
I don't buy the inevitable resolution either. I don't believe that it is supported well or justified by what came before it.
The 1st 45 minutes is WELL worth seeing. I wish the filmmakers could have pushed and maintained the pace and feel for the entire movie. Reynolds and Bullock are so good, they could be this generation's Tracy and Hepburn. I'd like to see them in another project that follows through all the way.
BTW, this film was actually shot in Boston and (the Alaska scenes) in Manchester by the Sea and Rockport on the North Shore with digital effects adding snow capped mountains. You might even recognize Motif No.1, a famous small building on a wharf in Rockport which has been the subject of many famous painters' and photographers' work. It was also fun seeing some of my local Boston area acting colleagues doing background work in the film.
A fun way to spend an afternoon
7/10 The Proposal isn't going to win any Oscars, nor will it become your favourite movie of all time. However, it does exactly what it is supposed to do; that is to entertain you. The Proposal is the story of a tough editor Margaret Tate (Bullock) who forces her assistant Andrew Tate (Ryan Reynolds) to marry her so she can stay in the U.S. (Interestingly, in the movie Bullock plays a Canadian and Reynolds an American while in real life, the reverse is true). What happens next will not surprise viewers but they will get many laughs along the way. Reynolds and Bullocks are very funny and also very believable. Betty White (from the Golden Girls) almost steals the show as Andrew's 90 year old "Gammy". The beautiful Alaskan setting doesn't hurt things either. Overall this is not a unique movie or even a unique role for Bullock but it is a very funny (and fun) way to spend an afternoon.2 years ago
better than expected
8/10 We went into this movie more or less out of despair; the cinema offerings seemed uniformly lousy and we simply wanted to see a movie that looked like fun. This one looked stupid: I'd seen Betty White promoting the movie on Jimmy Fallon's show and the scene shown was idiotic, though it did have a couple of amusing lines. Well, we were all pleasantly surprised. The outcome of the plot might be predictable, but the road getting there is surprisingly sharp and entertaining. There are quite a few witty lines and exchanges, and the delivery and timing of the two stars and, of course, of Betty White are just about perfect. Both of the lead characters have surprises in their backgrounds to reveal, and the settings are beautiful. There are one or two scenes that are clunkers, but even the dopey episode with White's Grandma Annie doing a ritualistic dance in the woods ends up having some relevance to a later plot event. The movie is well thought-out and well executed, and the actors create characters who engage us, even if we don't know anyone quite like them in our own lives.2 years ago