Combustible Celluloid
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With: Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds, Mary Steenburgen, Craig T. Nelson, Betty White, Denis O'Hare, Malin Akerman, Oscar Nu�ez, Aasif Mandvi, Michael Nouri, Michael Mosley, Dale Place, Alicia Hunt, Alexis R. Garcia, Kortney Adams
Written by: Pete Chiarelli
Directed by: Anne Fletcher
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sexual content, nudity and language
Running Time: 108
Date: 06/01/2009

The Proposal (2009)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Otherwise Engaged

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Sandra Bullock's return to romantic comedy was a huge box office hit in the summer of 2009, probably thanks to the genuine chemistry she has with co-star Ryan Reynolds. Unlike many of her male co-stars, Reynolds has the power to sass her back and actually share the screen with her, rather than being dominated by her. (He's so much better at comedy than he is at his obnoxious tough-guy roles in Blade: Trinity and X-Men Origins: Wolverine). Unfortunately, this winning team is stuck in a dumb vehicle, albeit one with a halfway decent idea. The nasty publishing executive Margaret Tate (Bullock) hails from Canada has violated her visa and faces deportation, so she lies and says that she's engaged to her younger assistant, Andrew (Reynolds). The catch is that she must accompany Andrew back to his family's home in Alaska for the weekend so that she can learn enough about him to pass the immigration agent's green card test. Once there, the lie snowballs, just like most lies in most romantic comedies do. For some reason, writer Pete Chiarelli and director Anne Fletcher feel the need to throw in the usual slapstick sequences and low humor, as if to attract more 13 year-old boys to the film. And Betty White is on hand in her usual capacity, saying "shockingly" vulgar things. The funniest stuff comes in the banter between the two stars, but overall this is the lazy execution of a movie that once had some potential. Mary Steenburgen is better than the movie deserves as Andrew's mom.

DVD Details: Touchstone released the DVD, complete with the usual director/writer commentary track, plus some deleted and alternate scenes and bloopers. A second disc contains the "digital copy."

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