by Benjamin Leonard
Best Boy at Moviejawn
For Women's History Month and for this edition of Missed It I decided to watch a blockbuster that I hadn't seen that was directed by a woman. Honestly, I was a little shocked. At $164 million, Anne Fletcher's Rom/Com The Proposal is the ninth highest grossing film directed by a woman.
The basic premise is that Sandra Bullock is a super driven/successful book editor in New York that is about to be deported back to Canada because she was too busy to get her paperwork taken care of. Everyone in her office hates her but she bullies Ryan Reynolds (her schlub of an assistant) into marrying her so that she can stay in the country and he can get a promotion and, of course, they fall in love for real by the end.
The writing (Pete Chiarelli) is a bit lame, no new ground covered here. The reversed gender roles are handled ok. I do like that Bullock's character finds Brian Dennehy sexy. For the most part, Fletcher gets some pretty good performances from her cast. She does a good job of capturing the Bullock/Reynolds chemistry. They are actually pretty fun to watch on the screen together.
Two bright spots are Denis O'Hare and Betty White. They carry the majority of the comedy in this film. When Reynolds and Bullock have their "accidental nude scene" Reynolds has a great delivery of the line "Why are you wet?!?" Bullock's dramatic scenes are definitely overshadowed by Mary Steenburgen's.
The worst part of the film is, hands down, Oscar Nuñez. I could tell from his first scene that each time I saw him, it'd be terrible. In his first scene, he is a waiter that force feeds Bullock a crab puff or some such. It is entirely without humor and just feels awkward. Next up, Oscar is stripping at the bar for all the ladies of the town to Relax by Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Oh good! It's the extended version! I get to watch this even longer!
Seriously, the Caligula character in the original music video was sexier. As the film goes on, he keeps popping up with different jobs. This all is just very unfunny and a bit racist.
The end scene where Bullock and Reynolds smooch in the office in front of all their coworkers and everyone's heart melts is just too over the top for me. These people hated her. They didn't have the previous hour that we the audience or Reynolds had to see beneath the harsh exterior.
As a whole, the film is formulaic, but cute and mostly funny. It's certainly a movie you could watch with your mom and not get too weirded out at. In short, It's better than Titanic.