Release Date: June 19th, 2009
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Margaret Tate(Sandra Bullock) is the executive editor-in-chief- of Colden Books, a popular and well-known book publishing corporation. Due to her no-nonsense attitude, Margaret is despised and feared by everybody at the office, especially her personal assistant Andrew Paxton(Ryan Reynolds). Andrew has been working for Margaret and doing every little thing for her in hoes that she will promote him to editor and maybe even publish his manuscript. When Margaret is told not to leave the country because of a problem with her citizen visa, she does it anyways to close a big book deal. The government hen cancels her Visa and attempts to deport her back to her home country oh Canada. Realizing that she can not enter the country for an entire year and not wanting to get deported, she tells her boss and her unsuspecting assistant Ryan that the two of them are engaged. Initially Andrew refuses but when the threat of losing job is hung over top of him, Andrew reluctantly agrees on the charade. Everything is going according to plan until the two meet with Mr. Gilbertson(Denis O'Hare) an INS agent who begins investigating the two's relationship to make sure it is legitimate. He tells the couple that if it is found that the engagement is falsified just so Margaret won't get deported, that Andrew will be fined up to $250,000 and serve five years in a federal prison.
After hearing this news, Andrew decides that he will only continue the false engagement under a few conditions. He wants Margaret to promote him to editor as soon as they are done and to publish his manuscript. Margaret begrudgingly agrees and the two head off to Sitka, Alaska to celebrate Andrew's grandma's 90th birthday and to tell his family about the engagement. When the two arrive in Sitka they are greeted at the airport by Andrew's mother Grace(Mary Steenburgen) and his grandma "Gammy"(Betty White) who are shocked to see that Andrew has brought Margaret, the woman he has hated for the past three years. As the four travel through Sitka, Margaret notices all the stores are entitled with Andrew's last name in front of it where in which Margaret realizes that Andrew's family owns most of the businesses in town. Margaret and Andrew then take a speed boat to an island where Andrew's family lives. Margaret is stunned by the size of Andrew's house and the fact that Andrew's parents have thrown them a surprise "Welcome Home Party". During the party, Andrew’s ex-girlfriend Gertrude(Malin Akerman) approaches the two and introduces herself before Andrew’s dad steps in. After Andrew introduces Margaret to his father Joe(Craig T. Nelson), he is immediately embarrassed by his father's views on Andrew's job. Confronting his father about, Andrew bursts out and tells him that they are engaged where in Andrew announces to the whole party that the two of them are engaged. The family then forces the two to kiss. When they do, they are strangely not repulsed and actually enjoy it.
That day, Grace and Gammy, along with Gertrude, take Margaret out for a “girl’s time”, much to the resentment of Margaret. The girls go shopping and end the day by going to a bar to watch the only male exotic dancer in Sitka. While at the show, Grace puts a wedding veil on Margaret who is taken up on stage by the dancer, Ramone(Oscar Nunez) who was also a waiter at the party for Margaret and Andrew. After the dance, Margaret goes outside for some fresh air and is followed shortly after by Gertrude. The two begin to talk and Gertrude tells Margaret that Andrew proposed to her in college and wanted her to elope with him and movie to New York. Not wanting to leave her home or family, Gertrude said no. Gertrude continues to talk with Margaret realizing Margaret’s true feelings for Andrew. While the girls are out, Andrew approaches his dad who wants to apologies for how he first acted around Margaret. He also tells Andrew that he wants to retire and that he wants Andrew to take over the family business. Andrew has already been through this before with his father and the two get into a fight, in which Andrew storms off and starts hollowing out an old canoe to get rid of his anger. When the women return, Grace and Gammy see Andrew working and immediately know something is wrong. Grace then goes in to confront Joe about what he did and tells him he needs to make it up to Andrew immediately.
Everything seems to be working out just fine until Gammy and Andrew's parents insist in getting married on the island the very next day instead of having a party for Gammy's birthday. Not wanting to disappoint, the two agree to the wedding. While it is all still an act for Andrew, Margaret, having no family of her own, is attracted to the love and generosity that the Paxton's are showing her. When Andrew and Margaret go into town to retrieve a cell phone they ordered, Margaret is taken away by Grace and Gammy to be fitted into Gammy's old wedding dress, the same one Gammy's great grandmother made and wore. Gammy also gives Margaret a necklace to where that has been in the Paxton family for generations. Seeing the care and the love that Paxton's are showing her, Margaret decides she can't go through with the wedding and hijacks the speed boat with Andrew in it to confess. But when Margaret lets go of the wheel, Andrew grabs it and turns sharply to avoid hitting a buoy and Margaret falls into the water. Andrew circles around and picks her up and takes her back to the house. When they arrive at the house, Andrew's father takes the two back into the barn where Mr. Gilbertson arrives o try and get the couple to confess. Andrew fervently denies that the wedding is fake and storms out with Margaret.
The next day Margaret and Andrew attend the wedding in the barn, a Paxton family tradition, which is filled with friends and family, including Mr. Gilbertson. As the ceremony starts, Margaret realizes her true feelings for Andrew and his family and realizes that she can not do this to them. In the middle of the wedding, Margaret stops and reveals to everybody her true reasons for marrying Andrew. Trying to make Andrew seem better, she admits that the only reason he agreed was because she blackmailed him. Margaret leaves and heads to the airport with Mr. Gilbertson. The two get on a plane headed for Juno Alaska where they will take another plane to New York. Andrew is confronted by his family but retreats to his room to collect his thoughts. While in his room, Gertrude approaches him and makes him realize his true feelings for Margaret. When Andrew leaves to stop her he is confronted by his father. The two get into a fight which heavily upsets Gammy, who falls to the ground, apparently suffering of a heart attack. Andrew and his parents are airlifted off the island with Gammy who, while in the air, tells Andrew and his dad to stop fighting all the time. The two agree at which point they arrive at the airport. Andrew contacts the Radio Control Tower Operator Chuck, who is a friend of Andrew's, and tells him to stop the plane. However, Chuck is thick headed and fails to come through. Andrew and his family watch as the plane flies away.
Back in New York, Margaret is given 24 hours to clean out her apartment and office and to get back to Canada. While at the office, Andrew comes running through the doors. He approaches Margaret and reveals his true feelings for her. Andrew asks Margaret to marry him for real. After some hesitation, Margaret admits that she is scared to which Andrew agrees that he is too. The two kiss in front of the other co-workers in the office and return to Mr. Gilbertson telling him they are engaged again, only this time he believes them, but still puts them, as well as Andrew’s parents and grandmother, through a ridiculous series of questions purely for his amusement.
This movie was a romantic comedy in every sense of the word. Ryan Reynolds is known for his comedic presence with such movies like Waiting and Van Wilder while Bullock is known for being funny in some of her roles like Ms. Congeniality. This movie put a larger emphasis on comedy than it did the romantic side of things though it didn’t leave it out completely. One thing that is hard to get in romantic comedy movies, or any romantic movie for that matter, is good chemistry between the two leading roles. This was not the case with Reynolds and Bullock. The two had great chemistry with each other. Some of the best times they had were when Bullock was being rude or mean to Reynolds and he just responded with a quick sarcastic response that was always funny. The film really made you feel sorry for Reynolds and his position under Bullock. Bullock played the ruthless boss perfectly. The way Reynolds responds to Bullock’s actions helps to add to her character as well.
The plot was fairly predictable. You know from the start that the two are going to fall in love; such is the plot with nearly all movies with this kind of premise. The premise where two people who have nothing in common, are complete opposites, or seem like they hate each other actually fall in love. But although the plot wasn’t totally original, it made up for it with the humor. One of the funniest show stealers was that of Betty White. The former Golden Girl star added her special dose of comedy to the film. She added the perfect dose of her own comedy to the movie that really gave it that extra kick. Mary Steenburgen and Craig T. Nelson performed adequately for their parts. Neither one had a big comedic role. Nelson was playing the un-approving father who just wanted his son to take over the family business and Steenburgen played the loving mother who just wanted her son to be happy.
Overall this movie was a surprising delight to watch. All the actors were good and Reynolds and Whit were hysterical. Bullock was also funny and her chemistry with Reynolds was something to be desired in some of the other romantic movies seen these days. While definitely not a movie to stand up against Transformers or other summer blockbusters like that, it is still definitely one to go and see. This movie is definitely worth an initial watch and, if you’re a fan of romantic comedies, one that you will definitely enjoy. I give The Proposal 7 Fake Engagements out of 10.
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