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The Proposal

by Leonard Maltin
December 11, 2009 2:39 AM
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I don’t think I’m overly demanding when I ask that a romantic comedy actually contain elements of romance and humor. I don’t know why so many attempts to tackle this genre can’t pull it off, but I can tell you that The Proposal made...

me laugh out loud. That’s as welcome as it is rare. Sandra Bullock remains one of the most likable actresses in American film, which is why we’ll watch her play a venomous boss in the set-up portion of this film—knowing full well that she’s bound to be “humanized” later on. I’ve never been a great fan of Ryan Reynolds but he’s an ideal partner for Bullock, and thoroughly engaging as her put-upon assistant who’s obliged to pose as her fiancé. The challenge for screenwriter Pete Chiarelli and director Anne Fletcher is to fill a formulaic story with enough incidents and character details to amuse us as the film makes its way toward the inevitable clinch-conclusion...and they do. With helpful support from Betty White (God bless her), Craig T. Nelson, Mary Steenburgen, Malin Akerman, Denis O’Hare, and Oscar Nuñez, The Proposal offers attractive people in a first-rate piece of escapist fare. That’s more than many other movies can claim.

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