In The Proposal, a brassy Canadian invades Alaska | Film Review | Indy Week
Pin It

In The Proposal, a brassy Canadian invades Alaska 

click to enlarge Betty White and Sandra Bullock in "The Proposal" - PHOTO BY KERRY HAYES/ TOUCHSTONE
  • Photo by Kerry Hayes/ Touchstone
  • Betty White and Sandra Bullock in "The Proposal"

The Proposal opens Friday throughout the Triangle

Sitka, Alaska, may not be quite far enough upcountry for Sarah Palin to see it from her window, but it's plenty far north—and plenty cold—all the same. Still, the folksy charms of this village (pop. 8,986) soon warm up frosty Sandra Bullock in The Proposal.

This film, mechanically directed by Anne Fletcher (responsible for last year's worst movie, 27 Dresses), is the second Taming of the Shrew retread appearing this month, after My Life in Ruins, which, in comparison now looks tolerable.

Tyrannical Margaret (Bullock), a Canadian-born book editor, is about to be deported back to the land of universal health care and long life expectancies. To avoid this fate, she blackmails her cowering assistant, Drew (Ryan Reynolds), into marrying her so she might acquire a green card. The newly engaged couple travels to Drew's Alaska home for his grandmother's 90th birthday, where Margaret, once exposed to the simple goodness of the sourdough folk and Drew's pathetic rich-boy daddy issues, will allow her icy heart to melt.

I don't demand that every romantic comedy—films that have an eager and relatively undemanding audience—to be as good as It Happened One Night, but they should be at least as good as Words and Music. The bar is not high. But The Proposal manages to be both predictable and unbelievable at the same time. Margaret and Drew bitterly hate each other for two years, and then after a few awkward high jinks they are gaga for each other? Bullock (who also takes a producer credit for this film) tries her best to sell this tired package: the spiraling lies, the wedding altar speechifying, the race to the airport. Again? Really?

Although there are good supporting players: Betty White provides a little sass; it's always a pleasure to see Mary Steenburgen; Oscar Nuñez does his best with a showy bit; Ryan Reynolds is simply too vanilla-flavored to incite passion. The fakery and laziness abounds in this film: The shooting locations are obviously not Alaska (the movie was shot in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Burbank, Calif.), and—take it from someone who knows—that's not a 1929-style wedding dress.

Slovenly rom-com scribes: Please come up with new ideas!

  • The Proposal manages to be both predictable and unbelievable at the same time.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Film Review



Twitter Activity

Comments

Thanks for spoiling the movie. Just because you didn't like it doesn't mean you have to ruin it for everyone …

by Carly L. on The Book of Henry Is a Blatant Tearjerker Whose Elaborate Plot Serves a Useless Solution (Film Review)

I was an undergrad at Duke when The Handmaid's Tale was filmed. I remained on campus during spring break and …

by PeterH on A Forgotten The Handmaid’s Tale Movie Filmed in Durham Is the Missing Link Between Classic Novel and Hulu Hit (Film Review)

Most Read

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

Most Recent Comments

Thanks for spoiling the movie. Just because you didn't like it doesn't mean you have to ruin it for everyone …

by Carly L. on The Book of Henry Is a Blatant Tearjerker Whose Elaborate Plot Serves a Useless Solution (Film Review)

I was an undergrad at Duke when The Handmaid's Tale was filmed. I remained on campus during spring break and …

by PeterH on A Forgotten The Handmaid’s Tale Movie Filmed in Durham Is the Missing Link Between Classic Novel and Hulu Hit (Film Review)

I also loved this movie when it came out. Having just recently rewatched it, I'm surprised by how many details …

by Jase Wells on A Forgotten The Handmaid’s Tale Movie Filmed in Durham Is the Missing Link Between Classic Novel and Hulu Hit (Film Review)

What a great story, thanks Allison! I remember seeing this movie in high school and loving it. I never made …

by Glenn McDonald on A Forgotten The Handmaid’s Tale Movie Filmed in Durham Is the Missing Link Between Classic Novel and Hulu Hit (Film Review)

Just saw Pitch Perfect 3 trailer. Looks like its going to be another year of fun ride. Incredibly excited to …

by Andrew190 on Dueling college a cappella groups in Pitch Perfect (Film Review)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation