Even Sandra couldn’t save it

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Wafer-thin plot The Proposal
Wafer-thin plot The Proposal

There is something sad about Sandra Bullock stripping for this by-the-numbers romantic comedy. A gifted actor like Bullock, who personified quirky in solid blockbusters such as Speed and Miss Congeniality, does not need to take her clothes off to make box office magic.

A Taming of the Shrew update, The Proposal tells the story of New York-based book editor Margaret, who is the regulation boss from hell. Stepping into Meryl Streep’s vertigo-inducing stilettos from The Devil Wears Prada, Margaret eats writers and assistants on her dizzy climb up the corporate ladder.

When threatened with the loss of her job thanks to an expired visa (she is Canadian), the ever-resourceful Margaret wangles an engagement from her harried assistant, Andrew. With the immigration officers to convince, Andrew and Margaret head to Alaska for a family weekend to celebrate Andrew’s grandmother’s ninetieth birthday.

And then you are in cliché central as the cold-hearted big city girl with pointed shoes comes into contact with the great outdoors, real people and a warm family. Rom com staples — from cute dog, girl next door versus city vamp and traditional wedding to a heart attack, a near-drowning and a mad dash to the airport — fall thick and fast. Nudity, not a rom com principal, also features.

Bullock gamely works with the wafer-thin material at her disposal, while Ryan Reynolds as Andrew is cute as a button. Betty White is the wise grandmother who knows the couple is in love before they do.

Boston stands in for Alaska and the mountains are added on digitally. This is a subliminal message of how much the film takes the audience for granted.

The Proposal

Genre: Chick flick

Director: Anne Fletcher

Cast: Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds, Betty White

Storyline: Boss from hell discovers she loves her assistant

Bottomline: The likeable leads cannot save the film




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