Cover Art and Menus: 5/10
So what is it with the covers for these romantic comedies? Do we have to have the guy constantly leaning back? Can we get more than just the two leads on the cover? This is just getting ridiculous. Here we have Ryan Reynolds leaning back away from Sandra Bullock, and it just seems like every other cover for this type of movie. This is remarkably similar to the cover for the last romantic comedy I reviewed: Ghosts of Girlfriends Past.
The menu is slightly better and more original. It is a nice shot of the Alaska town where a big part of the movie is set, with some fall leaves drifting across the screen. There is also bits of the movie playing in the corner of the screen.
- Alternate Ending – In this strange, slightly more bizarre ending, we get to see Andrew trying to talk to Margaret while she is on a plane flying back to New York. It is a bit strange, and too long, but an interesting take on the movie. I prefer the standard ending myself, but this ending had potential.
- Deleted Scenes, including a Blu-Ray Exclusive – There are a number of deleted scenes, that did not offer much to the movie itself. There is one where Andrew and Gertrude get to talk a bit more by themselves, and it would have done a better job at explaining the failed relationship, but with the inevitable ending, it was best left on the cutting room floor. The same can be said for many of these deleted scenes. I am not sure which scene is exclusive to the Blu-ray, but the box states that there is one.
- Set Antics – This gag reel section was not all that funny, and was more of a funny face reel than anything.
- Audio Commentary With Director & Writer – The commentary by Director Anne Fletcher and writer Peter Chiarelli is upbeat and fresh, but pretty basic. The two talk at length about the cast and the choices made for the Proposal, but it is pretty standard fare.
- Digital Copy – The obligatory digital copy is included for your enjoyment. I am starting to get so many of these that I have not downloaded onto my PC that if I am not careful, the one year deadline will pass before I know it, and the digital download will no longer work. I have got to get better about using these, or at least getting them onto my machine before they disappear.
The Movie: 7/10
I am giving this movie a 7, which I will admit is probably a little high, but a 6 just seems too low. I enjoyed the Proposal even though it has a few romantic comedy-type issues. Both the story and the characters are just too unbelievable for this to be a great movie, and while yes, I know this is a romantic comedy, we can ask for some continuity. The Proposal starts off with the timid Andrew Paxton getting coffee for his boss, a book publishing executive name Margaret Tate, who is basically the Tyrannosaurus Rex of her company. As she enters the building instant messages are sent around warning people to look busy and that she is about to approach. Andrew is Margaret’s executive assistant, or slave depending on how you view it, and he, like everyone else around, is terrified of the seemingly evil Margaret.
The fun begins when Margaret is told that she is being deported to Canada, and it is at that point that she concocts (without really discussing her plan with Andrew) a weeding to Andrew in order for her to stay in New York. Andrew, again the supposedly ultra timid employee, agrees initially. As the pair goes to get their license, they are confronted with a federal agent who is hell bent on proving that the two are simply engaging in fraud in order for Margaret to keep her job. With the threat of lengthy jail time, Andrew is forced to go with the lie full force, and part of the deal is that Margaret and Andrew are heading to Andrew’s home town to meet his parents, which just so happens to be in the picturesque Alaskan town of Sitko.
The movie itself is pretty paint by the numbers, with the two eventually falling for each other, even though they initially had no feelings for each other. Betty White plays Andrew’s grandma, who is funny and quirky, and the rest of the cast is pretty solid also.
There are lots of areas that could have been fleshed out further, like Andrew’s former fiancee Gertrude, who appears to regret calling things off with Andrew, only to see her fall by the wayside as the new love blossoms. I guess what I am trying to say is that the story is a bit thin, and the characters seem to reverse roles way too quickly for they way that they are initially presented, but it still seems to work.
For some reason the Proposal is fun to watch, even with all of the classic shortcomings and issues that plague the movie. I at first thought it was due to the chemistry between Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds, but after watching some of the deleted scenes where the two kiss in a horrible unromantic manner, I realised the movie works because it is fun to watch these two actors work alone. They make the movie fun to watch, and the humor is just enough to allow you to ignore the movie’s faults. Bullock and Reynolds are not horrible together on screen, but they are better when they are on screen and not trying to act like they are in love with each other.
Overall the Proposal is a decent romantic comedy, but it is one that will be more enjoyable if you leave all expectations at the door, and just enjoy the semi-shallow story as it is.
Video and Audio: 6/10
There are some gorgeous outdoor shots of the Alaskan town of Sitko in the Proposal. Presented in 2.35:1 AVC encoded widescreen, the overall video is decent, and the colors, while sometimes a bit overdone and too bright, are generally warm. The indoor shots are solid and there is nothing here that I would say looked dull or blurry.
The audio is presented in 5.1 DTS HD, and is front heavy and slow to use any real surround effects (there are a few, but they are so sporadic that they become glaringly noticeable when used.) The dialogue is very clear, and overall the mix is nicely done.
There are a lot of romantic comedies, or “chick flicks” that are turned out each year. They seem to do pretty well, and while there are some standard tricks that are used over and over again, and the outcome is usually a foregone conclusion in most of these types of movies, sometimes the humor and chemistry between the two main characters can overcome quite a lot. While the Proposal was not great, it was entertaining enough to sit through, and the semi-chemistry between Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds was enough to make this funny. Actually, it may not be the chemistry itself, but perhaps the fact that the two are charming enough on their own to carry this film past many of the other romantic comedies that are out there. Worth a rental for sure.
Overall Score 7/10