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The Proposal
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Proposal More at IMDbPro »

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179 out of 261 people found the following review useful:

It was sweet

7/10
Author: j_lara_mendez from United States
7 May 2009

Although the movie is predictable, like most romance comedies are, nevertheless it was sweet. Sure a bit unrealistic in terms of the time line of the whole plot takes place but this is why we have movies like this, so you can escape into the fantasy of romance and humor. If you are looking for realism then watch a 3 hour drama, but if you want to escape for awhile and just enjoy a movie you don't have to think too much about then it's worth your time. If you don't want to pay to go see it in the theater, then wait for it to come out on DVD. I saw it during a private screening as part of the ATL Film Festival, for close to two hours I thought of nothing else and laughed and even cried a bit. I would definitely see it again. It may not be the best romantic comedy I have seen but the movie still holds lots of charm.

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71 out of 88 people found the following review useful:

Decent Proposal

6/10
Author: jmbellin from United States
29 June 2009

Well, if I could split the movie into two, I would say that the first half is a superb Proposal and the second half is fairly traditional Hollywood pablum. In the first half, the wonderful comedic timing and chemistry between Bullock and Reynolds was terrific. The writing was first-rate intellectual, snappy sparring, even throwing in some literary references in the put-downs. Kudos to the Director, Anne Fletcher, and the Screenwriter, Pete Chiarelli.

The completely different tone in the second half, I surmise, could only be attributed to the studios/producers stepping in and stating that the film must appeal to a wider audience. We, then, get lots of family characters thrown in, with a great reduction of Bullock and Reynolds mutual screen time. And when they do share time in the second half, it's more about slapstick/physical humor (cue studios/producers needing appeal to wider, a.k.a, younger audience). Maudlin music comes in on the soundtrack, letting us know that this part of the movie is supposed to tug on our heartstrings.

I don't buy the inevitable resolution either. I don't believe that it is supported well or justified by what came before it.

The 1st 45 minutes is WELL worth seeing. I wish the filmmakers could have pushed and maintained the pace and feel for the entire movie. Reynolds and Bullock are so good, they could be this generation's Tracy and Hepburn. I'd like to see them in another project that follows through all the way.

BTW, this film was actually shot in Boston and (the Alaska scenes) in Manchester by the Sea and Rockport on the North Shore with digital effects adding snow capped mountains. You might even recognize Motif No.1, a famous small building on a wharf in Rockport which has been the subject of many famous painters' and photographers' work. It was also fun seeing some of my local Boston area acting colleagues doing background work in the film.

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122 out of 199 people found the following review useful:

better than expected

8/10
Author: Willwoodlen from United States
14 June 2009

We went into this movie more or less out of despair; the cinema offerings seemed uniformly lousy and we simply wanted to see a movie that looked like fun. This one looked stupid: I'd seen Betty White promoting the movie on Jimmy Fallon's show and the scene shown was idiotic, though it did have a couple of amusing lines. Well, we were all pleasantly surprised. The outcome of the plot might be predictable, but the road getting there is surprisingly sharp and entertaining. There are quite a few witty lines and exchanges, and the delivery and timing of the two stars and, of course, of Betty White are just about perfect. Both of the lead characters have surprises in their backgrounds to reveal, and the settings are beautiful. There are one or two scenes that are clunkers, but even the dopey episode with White's Grandma Annie doing a ritualistic dance in the woods ends up having some relevance to a later plot event. The movie is well thought-out and well executed, and the actors create characters who engage us, even if we don't know anyone quite like them in our own lives.

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80 out of 117 people found the following review useful:

A fun way to spend an afternoon

7/10
Author: therunner42 from Australia
24 June 2009

The Proposal isn't going to win any Oscars, nor will it become your favourite movie of all time. However, it does exactly what it is supposed to do; that is to entertain you. The Proposal is the story of a tough editor Margaret Tate (Bullock) who forces her assistant Andrew Tate (Ryan Reynolds) to marry her so she can stay in the U.S. (Interestingly, in the movie Bullock plays a Canadian and Reynolds an American while in real life, the reverse is true). What happens next will not surprise viewers but they will get many laughs along the way. Reynolds and Bullocks are very funny and also very believable. Betty White (from the Golden Girls) almost steals the show as Andrew's 90 year old "Gammy". The beautiful Alaskan setting doesn't hurt things either. Overall this is not a unique movie or even a unique role for Bullock but it is a very funny (and fun) way to spend an afternoon.

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119 out of 210 people found the following review useful:

Enterprising young assistant takes on hard-nosed boss - romance ensues!

9/10
Author: adelmosj from United States
7 May 2009

Producer/star Sandra Bullock turns out what looks like another box office smash. Typical of most "chick-flicks," the trailer tells you just about everything you're going to see. Unexpectedly, though, the surprises come from behind the scenes. The film looks gorgeous (and not just the two lead actors): the prettiness of the interior sets is matched by the choice of locations. While much of the film is set amidst the beauty of a seaside town in Alaska, even New York City is made to look like something out of a story book. It hasn't looked this good since the era of Doris Day. Typical of such a film, the costumes, even on the extras in the background, are so well-coordinated with the locations that the whole thing feels like a "realist fantasy."

Likewise, the plot itself is reminiscent of the romantic comedies of half a century ago - complete with their morality, albeit updated enough in a post-feminist era for Ryan Reynolds' masculinity to function credibly in "the Doris Day role." This he handles extremely well, although Sandra Bullock deserves most of the praise. As a producer, she knows her on- screen strengths and weaknesses, and, most importantly, she knows her audience and, despite the hard-nosed ice-queen she chooses to play here, everyone will continue to love her. Frankly, I was surprised to see so many empty seats at the sneak-preview last night in Boston, but I hope that doesn't get the filmmakers down. The audience loved this film and it's going to get positive word-of-mouth from whoever sees it - young or old. It's going to be around for a long time.

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49 out of 78 people found the following review useful:

Refreshing and affirming

8/10
Author: Grann-Bach (Grann-Bach@jubii.dk) from Denmark
19 August 2009

My jaw is still aching, almost an hour and a half after the credits rolled. I don't recall when I last laughed this consistently and heartfelt at a new production. Yes, this is pretty formulaic stuff... if you've seen one mismatched couple romantic comedy, you've seen them all. This never claimed to be anything other than that. It definitely delivers what one expects from the genre, without any of it being phoned in or taken any less seriously. Not every film needs to revolutionize the craft, and shape cinema for decades to come. If everything was excellent, it would become the norm, and it would cease to be special. And I find it incredible and immensely positive that a movie with this kind of humor(observational, and largely derived from typical situations that happen to everyone) can still be made, and be nicely received. Humiliation and pain are not actually funny. They get a schadenfreude reaction, "thank goodness that didn't happen to me", and thus we move further apart, isolate ourselves all the more. This does the opposite, letting us get closer to each other, share the little things that we've forgotten are silly or "off" in our everyday lives. It does go a tad too far on occasion, to get the audience going, but those instances are few in number. The acting is great all-round, and the two leads have chemistry, and play off each other well. There are countless memorable sequences, jokes and gags in this. This contains "moments" between Bullock and Reynolds, as well, and they genuinely work. You feel for them. The characters are just about invariably well-written, interesting and credible. In general, the script is well-done. The music is pleasant and well-chosen. This ought to entertain nearly everyone, of any age. There is a little strong and/or risqué language, and a couple of usually mild sexual references, and this tends to be inoffensive. I recommend this to all who think they may enjoy it. Chances are that you're right. 8/10

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37 out of 56 people found the following review useful:

No laughs in Alaska

5/10
Author: Chris Knipp from Berkeley, California
20 June 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The moment when pushy boss Margaret Tate (Sandra Bullock) suddenly forces her unsuspecting, docile, but ever-so-hunky young assistant Andrew Paxton (Ryan Reynolds) to tell her superiors they're to be married so she won't be deported back to her native Canada, there's a certain awkward amusement. But it's more in the way Ryan Reynolds plays it than the situation, as written -- our unease, and the actor's. If there is such a thing as "reality," this ain't it. What's a Ken-doll type like Ryan Reynolds doing in a job like this? The answer is, waiting for this moment. Otherwise, if you had the sort of guy who might really be doing this sort of job, you wouldn't have a romantic comedy, and that's what the makers of the elaborately lame The Proposal are reaching for.

It's not just that the assistant would probably be gay, or a young woman, as are Meryl Streep's in The Devil Wears Prada. Well, yes, it is, in a way. The author of the Prada book had worked for Anna Wintour. This ill-conceived book editor is feared by everyone on the floor just like the editor of Vogue. But although she seems ready to fire anyone she doesn't like, she does nothing but read unsolicited manuscripts while riding an exercise bike and coax well-known authors into doing Oprah. Her assistant, who presumably takes care of everything else, is an aspiring writer and editor, but he still looks like a guy who spends most of his time at the gym.

The standard Forties material -- sparring guy-and-gal fall in love -- has to stand the test of 21st-century role-reversals, boss-lady, servile man. But the real problem is the serious lack of chemistry between Bullock and Reynolds. This is role for Katharine Hepburn, who could be imperious, overbearing, elegant, but very feminine. If only Ryan Reynolds were Cary Grant, but needless to say, he isn't. He's not suave, merely fresh and pleasant. The best you can say for him is that despite his bulky muscles he looks okay in a suit. The wardrobe department are the unsung heroes of this film. But it's not that Reynolds or Bullock does bad work, just that the writing sucks.

The movie doesn't manage to establish Margaret's dominance or Andrew's competence before the plot gets its sendoff. Instead, off they go to Alaska to meet his family on a weekend when the Paxtons plan to celebrate the ninetieth birthday of Andrew's Grandma Annie (Betty White). Clearly, Andrew realizes he now has the upper hand. Margaret threatens to fire him if he doesn't cooperate, but she has more to lose. And so he sets out to make her experience in Alaska hell.

But the new venue takes over and the comedy gets lost in the surprises Andrew's family offers. The Paxtons turn out to be by far the richest people in the remote town of Sitka (no, not Sitcom). This is the lazy way to handle the situation, so long as the filmmakers have the budget for it, which they do: poshness is so generic, so Hollywood. On hand are Craig T. Nelson from The Family Stone and Mary Mary Steenburgen from a couple more raucous but equally bad family comedies, 'Step Brothers' and 'Four Christmases.' And veteran Betty White, whose energy at 87 is admirable, but whose eccentric old lady role is annoying and cloying.

Anne Fletcher lacks inventiveness and finesse in staging the standard situations. When Andrew has to jump into bed with Margaret in the morning when mom brings in breakfast (the Paxtons are rich, but they still do all the work in their mansion, except at party time), the sequence is drawn-out and unfunny. When the still-unfriendly couple accidentally fall on top of each other while naked, it's more clunky than cute: they're like big icky wet statues. It's better not even to talk about the omnipresent Ramone, played by Oscar Nuñez of "The Office," who apparently somebody thinks is funny enough to be a waiter, a general store manager, an erotic dancer, and the minister for a wedding ceremony. The erotic dancer part is excruciating. Only in Sitka, not, hopefully, in any other movie. Did the filmmakers bring in an actor from "The Office" to make up for how poorly they developed the office scenes earlier in the movie?

Oh yes, and there's other fun stuff like an eagle chasing a puppy and then flying off with Margaret's cell phone instead; Betty White chanting around a fire with a rug; Betty Steenbergen looking harried; and Craig T. Nelson driving biodegradable golf balls into the bay. When the two would-be lovebirds return to New York and tell the immigration officer they're in love for real now and willing to undergo his scrutiny, he says "Let's do it!"

Let's not.

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31 out of 45 people found the following review useful:

Charming though Predictable

7/10
Author: CSHaviland from United States
1 August 2009

Most charming Sandra Bullock movie since While You Were Sleeping, though quite a bit more predictable. (Anyone who knows the general premise can guess how the movie is going to play out.) But it was funny and sweet, and if you need to choose something to take your wife/girlfriend to, choose this one.

Sandy's attempting a Miranda Priestly-type character (Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada) which doesn't actually suit her acting style very well, but when you get used to her she's fun to watch. And she has great comic timing. So does Ryan Reynolds for that matter, who has a way of just looking perplexed that can make you snicker.

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70 out of 123 people found the following review useful:

Why would you do this to people?

1/10
Author: Kristine (kristinedrama14@msn.com) from Chicago, Illinois
22 July 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

My best friend, God, I love her, we've been friends for 10 years, she's been there for me through everything as I've been there for her, I would crawl through broken glass to get her a birthday gift… wait, that doesn't sound so healthy. But I do love the girl, however, what the heck did I do to her to be punished this badly when she begged me to see The Proposal? See, I don't get it, we have a "romantic comedy" script, no one changes anything, just the actors, every cliché in the book and somehow people fall for it. There is a needle in a haystack when it comes to a romantic comedy being actually funny or entertaining, but with the positive reviews that the IMDb users had been writing, I was actually thinking maybe this might be a good movie… YOU IMDb USERS, how dare you?! Shame on you that you fell for it once again, I'm going to point out how my puppy could have written this script after I tell you the story, even though I'm sure you can figure it out for yourself.

Margaret Tate is the executive editor-in-chief of a book publishing company, Colden Books. All of her workers, including her assistant Andrew Paxton hate her, and she fires a senior editor, Bob Spaulding. After learning she is being deported to Canada, she forces Andrew to marry her, as his future is tied to hers. When the government investigates, Mr. Gilbertson informs them that they will undergo rigorous testing to prove that the marriage is not fraudulent. Andrew grudgingly accepts, under the condition that he is promoted to the position of editor and his manuscript be published. The two are forced to spend the weekend with his parents in Alaska in order to sell the lie. Margaret is very unreceptive of Alaska, and is shocked to learn that Andrew's family owns most of the business in Sitka. Andrew announces that he and Margaret are getting married. But as most romantic comedies, we know where this is all going as Margaret realizes the true value of family and Andrew realizes that Margaret is human as well, blah, blah, blah.

So tell me how in the heck is this original or funny? For God's sake we even have the clichéd run to the airport before the girl leaves. The big kiss in front of a huge crowd that starts the slow clap. The crazy family that break down the "emotionless" woman into making her think that they're wonderful when really they all belong in a mental institution. The only thing The Proposal was missing was the clichéd gay best friend or the bitter best girl friend! You have to understand, I try, I mean I really really tried to be nice and enjoy the movie for what it was, but how can I when I know exactly what they are going to say or what would happen next? How is it that in every romantic comedy the most opposite of people who brutally hated each other then all of a sudden fall in love in less then 2 days?! Why?! How?! You IMDb users who marked this movie as a 10, don't ever talk to me, I'm going to have a hard enough time having to forgive my best friend for doing this to me as she won't stop saying "Oh, my God! That was the sweetest movie ever!".

1/10

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46 out of 77 people found the following review useful:

Entertaining, but not good

4/10
Author: Jackpollins from United States
21 June 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is yet another predictable romantic comedy. The only difference is that Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock make it tolerable, and even a little entertaining. Ryan Reynolds stars as Andrew Paxton, a servant to Margaret Tate (Sandra Bullock). They hate each other. But when Margaret figures out she's being deported since she's not an American citizen she turns to Andrew. They say they are getting married. Andrew's Grandma Annie (Betty White, the best part of the film) is turning 90, so they go to Alaska, where Annie and Andrew's parents live. We then enter the cliché parents. Grace (Mary Steenburgen), his wacky mother, and Joe (Craig T. Nelson), his uptight dad. This is not very entertaining. The laughs mostly come from Ryan Reynolds' calm personality. He just has a way of making me entertained. There's also Oscar Nunez, who plays Oscar on TV's The Office, playing Ramone. He will remind you of an aspect of Local Hero. This is not a good movie, but it might just be worth renting just for the mild entertainment. On second thought, you can just skip it.

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