“The Proposal” is contrived and predictable, but nonetheless a crowd-pleasing romantic comedy.
Although this fish-out-of-water romantic comedy lacks the creative spark of classic rom coms, it can work as a pleasant time killer offering mindless entertainment and appealing stars. However, not much can be remembered about it after getting out of the theater.
The low expectations and good vibes of this “here comes the bribe” story are all in its favor. It is a good example of a predictable, formulaic script elevated by good enough acting and palpable chemistry. Ultimately, it relies on the considerable charms of its celebrity names.
There is a particular effort done to shake new life out of its tattered genre and its formulaic requirements. For this, it renders itself as a good old-fashioned romantic flick and a spunky comedy about a seemingly odd couple and their adventures in love.
Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds are able to carry the movie over its mediocre and formulaic writing. They turn something borrowed into something fun. Ignoring the fact that it is one big cliché of a movie, its confection smacking the over-familiar is surprisingly sharp and entertaining. The outcome of the tale may be predictable, but the road getting there turns out a bit charming.
The beautiful setting and fairytale-ish atmosphere sugarcoat the paper-thin plot pretty well. The screenplay not only heads to a predicted finish, it also tries to hit the anticipated plotpoints along the way as fun stops. The cookie-cutter characters inhabit a true-blue formula filmmaking call; but its feel-good factor delights light-hearted viewers.
Choreographer-turned-director Anne Fletcher practically establishes this movie as a buoyant vehicle for Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds. As the uptight professional Margaret Tate and the passive but determined Andrew Paxton, they make their characters appealing enough to make viewers care what’s going to happen next. Bullock’s ability to handle smart lines and slapstick acts and Reynold’s hunky chops for comedy engage the viewers, even if the people don’t know anyone quite like them in their own lives. “The Proposal” might not be something groundbreaking, but it’s like a person on a very strict diet eating a whole cookie and liking it amidst the too much calories.
Just like most of the supporting characters, Betty White as Grandma Annie slips in and steals the show. When White and Bullock are on screen together, they click in a way that makes this venture shine more. Overall, the delivery and timing of most of the stars make it all feel much less derivative than it really is.