Saturday 19 Apr

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

No Holds Barred

RLJ Entertainment's new Blu-ray for No Holds Barred begins with what seems like dozens of trailers for movies starring pro wrestlers from the WWE talent pool. Each flick went direct to home video, but once upon a time — aka 1989 — one had to go to the multiplex to catch such a spectacle.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Knights of Badassdom

In 2008, the third act of the guy comedy Role Models used LARPing — live-action role-playing, that is — as a backdrop for our protagonists' lessons learned. Today, Knights of Badassdom extends that half-hour into a full feature, to the point where viewers are left not smiling, but exhausted. 
04/02/2014 | Comments 0

Switched on

Not everything on television has to appeal to mass audiences. In fact, with the further fractioning of viewership thanks to alternatives like Netflix and VOD, more series can afford to become more niche. Here are five examples of shows both past and present — and new to DVD and/or Blu-ray — that encompass some of the more outrageous ideas ever to go beyond boardroom discussion.
04/02/2014 | Comments 0

Confession of Murder

Seventeen years after slaying 10 women and getting away with it, the charismatic serial killer Du-sok (Park Si-hoo) comes clean with a Confession of Murder, in this 2012 South Korean crime thriller. He does so by publishing a book that dishes all the grisly details.
04/02/2014 | 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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