Film Reviw: The Proposal

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Producer/star Sandra Bullock turns out what looks like another box office smash. Typical of most “chick-flicks,” the trailer tells you just about everything you’re going to see. Unexpectedly, though, the surprises come from behind the scenes. The film looks gorgeous (and not just the two lead actors): the prettiness of the interior sets is matched by the choice of locations. While much of the film is set amidst the beauty of a seaside town in Alaska, even New York City is made to look like something out of a story book. It hasn’t looked this good since the era of Doris Day. Typical of such a film, the costumes, even on the extras in the background, are so well-coordinated with the locations that the whole thing feels like a “realist fantasy.”

Likewise, the plot itself is reminiscent of the romantic comedies of half a century ago – complete with their morality, albeit updated enough in a post-feminist era for Ryan Reynolds’ masculinity to function credibly in “the Doris Day role.” This he handles extremely well, although Sandra Bullock deserves most of the praise. As a producer, she knows her on- screen strengths and weaknesses, and, most importantly, she knows her audience and, despite the hard-nosed ice-queen she chooses to play here, everyone will continue to love her. Frankly, I was surprised to see so many empty seats at the sneak-preview last night in Boston, but I hope that doesn’t get the filmmakers down. The audience loved this film and it’s going to get positive word-of-mouth from whoever sees it – young or old. It’s going to be around for a long time.

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