Proposal, The (UK - BD RB)
Our Marcus would have told Sandy 'No, that's a ludicrous idea - it'll never work'
Canadian but working in America, Margaret Tate (Sandra Bullock) isn’t much liked by her colleagues in the publishing firm she runs with an iron fist. When the threat of being deported (after a series of mishaps in her completing her visa requirements) bites her on the arse she makes the snap decision to lie about being engaged to her one just about comrade and assistant Andrew Paxton (Ryan Reynolds), promising him his much desired editing position if he goes through with the marriage. Wow, that’s one hell of a proposal isn’t it?
The Proposal seemingly has two goals: Over the course of 107 minutes, melt Sandy Bullock’s characters ice queen heart (which on a personal note is a good thing, as being a fan of Sandy in the nineties and seeing her play the bitch in movies more and more of late isn’t fun) and to give women in their forties the fantasy that Ryan Reynolds will come and sweep them off their feet, even if they have grown bitter with life. On those respects, The Proposal works, albeit not all that entirely.
Any success the movie achieves is down to its leads because drivel like this doesn’t survive with a lesser cast (as proven about four or five times a year). Ryan Reynolds can play likeable in his sleep and while in this he’s not the quite my preferred version of his act (see Waiting... and Adventureland for that) he manages to be far funnier than this screenplay deserves and is worth his weight in gold at making this watchable (but that still doesn’t make up for what he did with my Deadpool in that ridiculous Wolverine movie *shakes fist angrily*). Sandy also does an okay job, but really only in the second half of the movie when she stops playing the clichéd stuck up nasty boss, and while she never reaches the super cute thoroughly likable Bullock of old, she gets the emotional levels about right for the tone and ends up being a nice half of the ‘coming together against the odds’ plot as it unravels.
Sadly all of this doesn’t make for a nice wrap up of events. Not to beat around the bush, I just didn’t feel the ending. Meaning, I didn’t quite get the love connection I was being told had happened as opposed to being disappointing that I hadn’t shed a tear or got that warm fuzzy feeling I’ve heard rom-coms can generate. Obviously everything felt far too convenient, of course it’s the territory, but for me I don’t really know what finally made these two's (watch out spoilers ahead- as if you can’t guess what happens) love blossom in amongst all of the awkward moments and family embarrassments. Oh and as a final note, what the hell was Malin Ackerman even doing in this movie?
Strangely, with all the warmish colours, unnatural skin tones and bright, clean transfer of a usual cookie cutter rom-com, The Proposal still comes off a little bland. Nothing about the transfer ever really popped and everything felt a little lifeless to me for the majority of the run time.
One noticeable issue I felt worth mentioning is that some of the corners or edges of this 2:35 transfer looked decidedly softer than the rest of the frame. Elements sometimes looked out of focus and while it was not at all consistently on show, it wasn’t a one off.
Now I know this all sounds negative, but really The Proposal does its job in the HD department even if it’s low on sharp detail or any real wow factor but hey what do you want? It’s a rom com and you don’t really need much more beyond this pleasant enough transfer do you?
Once again this disc doesn’t do much to impress. Essentially it comes down to clear dialogue, incidental strings to tell you when to be having fun and the odd pop track to fill the rear speakers.
The sound effects are placed nicely, bird chirps, eagle swoops and general atmospherics dotted around the Alaskan town fill out the fairly lifeless affair well enough but all in all the movie doesn’t call for much else and sounds almost exactly like you’d expect.
The ‘Alternative Ending’ (06:35 HD) with optional commentary shows off the other way that all of these things end (with a vehicle getting stopped and a declaration of love) and the ‘deleted scenes’ (06:32 HD), again with optional commentary, don’t veer away too much from the blueprint either.
The overly long titled ‘Set Antics: Outtakes and Other Absurdities from the Proposal’ (06:33 HD) is a nice way at presenting a gag reel and on set shenanigans but weirdly there’s no inclusion of the ‘Funny or Die’ sketch Bullock and Reynolds did in the promotion of the movie (in which Reynolds tells Golden Girls veteran and co-star here, Betty White to ‘suck a hot cock’), maybe it didn’t make the cut due to the rating or something.
There's also the commentary with director Anne Fletcher and writer Peter Chiarelli, which is light and fairly laid back. They talk a lot about how they got scenes to work and how the talent of the stars made everything that much better and it all keeps a good pace even if it does get a little tiresome in places.
Lastly there is a DVD copy of the movie included but I did not receive this in my review copy so can't tell you what's featured on it.
The Proposal is very typical of the genre but that same genre has been generating money for Hollywood for a long time, so it’s unlikely to change at this point. The cast make it work far better than it probably deserves and despite an ending I personally considered weak, getting there was fun and breezy enough not to get offended by (which I often do with rom-coms).
There’s little to complain about on the disc (unless you were after an in-depth documentary or something) so anyone fancying a few chuckles and a fairly typical bit of romantic fantasy should have a plenty to enjoy here.
*Note: The images on this page are not representative of the Blu-ray release.
Review by Marcus Doidge
Suitable only for persons of 12 years and over
Release Date: 30th November 2009
Disc Type: Blu-ray Disc
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 English, English Audio Description, Dolby Digital 5.1 Italian, Dolby Digital 5.1 Spanish
Subtitles: English, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish
Extras: Director/Writer Commentary, Alternate Ending, Deleted Scenes, Outtakes
Easter Egg: No
Director: Anne Fletcher
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds, Betty White, Mary Steenburgen, Craig T. Nelson
Genre: Comedy and Romance
Length: 107 minutes
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