Movie Review: The Proposal

BY RYAN FOSMARK | JUNE 22, 2009 7:21 AM

*** out of *****

“Smack his ass” — possibly the best line to come out of Betty White since her stupidly stellar persona in the “Golden Girls.” Playing “Gammy,” the grandma of Andrew Paxton (Ryan Reynolds), her crude grandma one-liners complement the comic bickering between Paxton and his pushy, blackmailing boss, Margaret Tate (Sandra Bullock) in the cheese-filled romantic comedy The Proposal.

The flick opens with Paxton, an aspiring book editor and Tate’s assistant. Tate (with a personality akin to Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada) is in the middle of exercising her power and super ego over her coworkers. Directly after a scene were Tate coldly fires one of her inferiors, she is retorted by Paxton — though she cruelly ignores his protests against her executive decisions and insults him. Shortly following the pair’s argument, Tate finds herself facing deportation to her native Canada with her job position left for open for Paxton.

Paxton quickly finds himself blackmailed into marrying the most despised person in his life in order to save her citizenship. Reynolds plays a passive-aggressive man full of comebacks until his character realizes he is being put in a situation where he will either lose his job or risk a lengthy stay in a federal penitentiary. He accepts Tate’s matrimonious deal and then takes on a “bitch, please” sort of attitude, insulting the sassy, scheming Sandra with every phrase. Though the shots against his forced engagement do get old, they never dry up completely

The couple travels to Alaska for Gammy’s 90th birthday party and so Paxton can tell his family about his recent engagement. The visit warrants a whole bunch of awkward moments as the two fake a relationship in front of Paxton’s father (Craig T. Nelson), his loving mother (Mary Steenburgen), and grandmother (Betty White). From here, the story is largely predictable and conventional — a girl gets to know the boy’s family, the boy angrily hollows out a canoe-log after abrasive golfing exchange with father, the girl does a tribal dance with Betty White to the tune of “Get Low” by Lil’ John and the Eastside Boys, and the pair fall in love. Completely typical.

If nothing else, The Proposal is worth seeing for the sheer amount of flesh exposed by Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds. There are no soft-core porn scenes or actual nipple shots, but there is a good five minutes or so of a nude Bullock battling a dog. While that’s going on, Reynolds walks around outside and decides to strip down in the fresh Alaskan air. The scene culminates as the pair’s glistening, naked bodies slam into each other, leaving them screaming, hollering, and entirely unaroused.

Though the ending is better left unanswered for the sake of the viewer, the The Proposal culminates with a light-hearted, sappy spirit that is the core of any good chick flick.

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