DVD review: ‘The Proposal’Written by Michael Siebenaler | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds star as two work colleagues (boss-assistant) who consider marriage to avoid deportation in The Proposal. Director Anne Fletcher (27 Dresses, Step Up) and first time screenwriter Pete Chiarelli cut down the clichés and cat fights for a surprisingly enjoyable romantic comedy. Bullock plays Margaret Tate, a cutthroat publishing executive and Reynolds plays her talented, but weary assistant Andrew Paxton. Their basic relationship forms through snapshot work scenarios and rapid fire banter. “What am I allergic to?” Margaret asks Andrew who answers “Pine nuts, and the full spectrum of human emotion.” More development into their work relationship would have boosted the plot, but the plot moves to Andrew’s family in Alaska as Margaret quickly addresses her deportation issues.
Mary Steenburgen and Craig T. Nelson play Andrew’s parents while Betty White needs more screen time as the memorable, yet slightly predictable Grandma Annie. A potentially cringe inducing sequence in a woods turns into a physical comedy gem between Annie and Margaret. Oscar Nunez (The Office television series) has a prominent role as a town local while Malin Akerman plays Andrew’s ex-girlfriend, Gertrude.
Fletcher creates some nice camera techniques to match the expanding relationship between Andrew and Margaret. A panning head shot in a bedroom sequence, starting from right to left then going back, caps a memorable “falling in love on the floor” sequence. After a key personal breakthrough on a boat, the couple comes to a crossroad sequence as they walk down a street in the same direction, but the camera shot shows them moving opposite ways. This realistic progression works because they both already know so much about each other professionally as they quickly discover personal revelations and limitations within the wedding weekend time line.
This two-disc DVD set with digital copy includes an alternate ending, deleted scenes with optional commentary and feature commentary with Fletcher and Chiarelli. Watch the interview jokes during ending credits. Recommended (***) and rated PG-13 for sexual content, nudity and language. Also available in a single disc DVD version and Blu-ray.