Director: Anne Fletcher
Reverse sexism is at work in this screwball comedy starring Sandra Bullock and Canada’s Ryan Reynolds, a summer hit that provided major careers boosts to both.
Bullock is the poor man’s Meryl Streep in her role of New York book editor Margaret, who boots around and then seeks to wed her assistant, Andrew, played by Reynolds.
Margaret is an uppity Canadian — irony alert! — whose U.S. residency is about to be revoked by an overzealous immigration agent (Denis O’Hare). She conspires a shotgun marriage with U.S.-born Andrew to save her status.
City slicker Margaret has to cope with the Alaskan foibles of Andrew’s kooky kin, including his meddling mom (Mary Steenburgen), gruff dad (Craig T. Nelson) and kinky granny (Betty White, ever the scene thief), whose 90th birthday occasions the trip.
The twist here is that Reynolds, who normally does the hip cynic, is playing a pathetic pup, one who heels to every cruel whim of his employer. But the freshness doesn’t last long as the film defaults to rom-com formula.
Nobody who ever attended a date movie will be surprised by what happens, but The Proposal has low expectations and good vibes in its favour. Director Anne Fletcher (27 Dresses) never overplays her hand, or the script by newcomer Peter Chiarelli.
Extras include an alternative ending, deleted scenes and commentaries by Fletcher and Chiarelli.