Tuesday 29 Jul

Escape from Tomorrow

With Escape from Tomorrow, one fears the story behind the movie would loom larger than the movie itself. Luckily, that is not the case. After all, it opens with a decapitation on Disney World’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster.
05/06/2014 | Comments 0


William Friedkin spends a lot of time in his 2013 memoir discussing why Sorcerer didn't click with critics and audiences even though he believes it to be better than his previous film, The Exorcist. Now that Warner Home Video has reissued Sorcerer on Blu-ray, we can see what Friedkin's fuss is all about.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Broadchurch: The Complete First Season

Welcome to the coastal resort of Broadchurch, population … oh, who can keep track, what will all the corpses? Yes, Broadchurch is yet another British television procedural involving the search for a murderer in a quaint little town, just like the limited series The Fall and Top of the Lake.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

Essentially part five in the ridiculously profitable horror franchise, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones continues the found-footage conceit of the other films. The difference is instead of the scares taking place in rich white suburbia, they do so in a junky apartment complex on a largely Latino side of Oxnard, Calif.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Holy Ghost People

Holy Ghost People examines two sisters whose bond is torn — but by what? After her sibling has been missing for more than a year, Charlotte (Emma Greenwell, TV's Shameless) intends to find out.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Movies · Comedy · The Proposal

The Proposal

None June 25th, 2009


As a subgenre, the romantic comedy seems out of surprises. The template is simple: Two mismatched people, brought together through a series of coincidental and increasingly unlikely events, discover that despite their many differences they love each other in that special (i.e. nonexistent) way that keeps the diamond and wedding industries in business. The arc "” including the bit toward the end when it seems impossible that the couple can really get together "” is a foregone conclusion. Things are generally funny for the first three-quarters of the movie, until things get all serious, and then there is (usually public) kissing.

So with plot tension and unexpected character development off the table, a successful romantic comedy must rely on casting and funny gags. While "The Proposal" suffers from chronic predictability, its creators were at least wise enough to cast some smart, funny people to lead us down the wide, well-traveled road to True Love.

Our mismatched couple is Margaret (Sandra Bullock, "Premonition") and Andrew (Ryan Reynolds, "X-Men Origins: Wolverine"). She is an ice-queen book editor who lives to scarify her employees' spirits. This goes double for Andrew, her personal assistant. He picks up laundry, buys Tampax and generally spends his every waking moment doing her bidding, and hates her for it.

In a sudden (and convenient) twist, it turns out Margaret is a Canadian national and, due to some mismanaged paperwork, is about to be deported to Toronto.

So naturally, Margaret demands that Andrew marry her. After adding some conditions of his own, he agrees, and the unhappy couple flies off to Alaska, to meet his family.

It turns out the clan is a sort of June Cleaver-style wet dream. Mom Grace (Mary Steeburgen, "Four Christmases"), dad Joe (Craig T. Nelson, "Blades of Glory") and Grandma Annie (Betty White, TV's "Boston Legal") live together in a palatial mansion overlooking the bay. Grace and Annie are painfully nice, and although Joe has some issues with Andrew, the overall atmosphere is one of rural rapture.

In the tradition of standard-issue sitcoms, the second act's impetus derives from Andrew and Margaret fooling the family into believing they're really in love. Kooky gags and outrageous pickles abound.

But again, what makes or breaks movies like this is casting. While one might get the idea this is a Sandra Bullock vehicle, director Anne Fletcher ("27 Dresses") was smart enough to make it more of an ensemble effort. Reynolds turns in a funny, acerbic performance and the "Northern Exposure"-style eccentric locals (including Oscar Nu

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