What do you get when you combine a romantic comedy veteran like Sandra Bullock [The Net, The Lake House] with someone the likes of Ryan Reynolds [Blade Trinity, Waiting] who still hasn’t firmly grasped on to a niche in Hollywood?
Ironically, you get “The Proposal,” an endearing take on the romantic comedy genre that wins over audiences thanks to a fun and realistic script and great supporting spots by Betty White [Golden Girls, Mary Tyler Moore Show], Craig T. Nelson [Coach, The Incredibles] and Oscar Nunez [Reno 911, The Office].
However, despite the competence and vigor of the supporting cast, it is the performances of Bullock and Reynolds that set this movie apart from every other dime a dozen romantic comedy and make it one of the best films at theaters this summer.
From the start, it’s obvious that there is plenty of chemistry between Bullock and Reynolds. Playing the slightly older, accomplished and independent boss, Bullock has everyone around her petrified, including her younger and dedicated assistant, Reynolds. After she forgets to file her immigration papers and renew her visa however [She’s Canadian], she is forced to ask her assistant [who is ironically Canadian, away from the big screen] to marry her and save her job. Reynolds soon takes advantage of this opportunity and asks for a few things for himself to sweeten the pot.
Now with their plan in action, all they have to do is convince immigration officer Mr. Gilbertson, played by Denis O’Hare [Milk, Baby Mama] that their soon to be marriage is legit. With Reynolds already going back home to Alaska to visit his family for a few days, Bullock decides to go with.
This is where the fun begins.
With a plethora of on-screen chemistry already, Bullock and Reynolds banter back and forth every chance they get, making for several witty and cute scenes. After middling as a smartypants in seemingly every role he’s had on the big screen, Reynolds finally finds the right mixture of charisma and childishness, making him a winner in this film. Bullock also nails the uber-successful, yet lonely boss looking for love role, making them a compatible and convincing pair on the screen.
In the immortal words of Rob Base & D.J. E-Z Rock: “It takes two to make a thing go right.”
Those words ring even truer in a romantic comedy and Bullock and Reynolds seem tailor-made for each other in this picture. Because of that, this is easily the best romantic comedy to grace the big screen in a few years.
The supporting cast, led by the still immensely enjoyable White also round out things and keep the film moving at a brisk and fun pace. The laughs are never huge, but they are the type that keep you glued to the screen.
A Walt Disney Pictures release, don’t expect anything too over the top here, but do expect to be comfortable and thoroughly immersed throughout. The lack of sex and laugh out loud comedy may keep some potential viewers away, but they’ll only be shortchanging themselves by going into another theater.
“The Proposal” is such a strong film, powered by such solid performances and writing, that it doesn’t need any sex scenes or tomfoolery to win over audiences. It simply presents two people and the story of their love, which of course has its bumps along the way that induce its fair share of laughter.
As a matter of fact, its innocence may be one of biggest reasons for its success.
It never goes anywhere near the two stars having a lustful episode or getting inebriated to realize their love. Instead, they just find out how they truly feel by spending time with each other and making fools out of themselves for all the right reasons.
Endearing indeed. You’ll just love this cast. Their dynamic and chemistry is effortless. Bullock is so witty and charming, while the underdog Reynolds is the high strung male victim [though he has his moments of glory]. Above all, you’ll truly enjoy the role reversal. Bullock, a woman in control and “on top” is very refreshing to see in such a film. No, silly. Not THAT kind of on top. As a matter of fact, this movie didn’t even need sexual gratification in any way or form to get its point across. Disney is brilliant with this aspect. It takes strong writing and superb acting to prove that point and nail these roles and it’s executed to perfection here, while hugging your heart with true laughter and tears.
Because of this, you will surely enjoy yourself on a date night with, “The Proposal.”