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Proposal, The


Stars: Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds

Director: Anne Fletcher

A rather strained romantic comedy that doesn't always work as well as you'd like it to, especially missing opportunities to avoid cliché at the end. There's certainly nothing new here, and that's a shame.

When high-powered book editor Bullock, who's actually quite convincing as the boss from hell - staff e-mails at her approach warn that 'the witch is on her broom' - faces deportation to her native Canada, the quick-thinking dragonlady declares she's engaged to her much put-upon assistant Reynolds, whom she's tormented for years.

At first bemused, Ryan soon finds his feet and demands she promote him and publish his book in return for his silence. Pursued by a snoopy immigration official (Denis O'Hare), Sandra finds herself compelled to attend Ryan's granny's 90th birthday celebrations. Only problem is that Gran (Betty White) and Ryan's parents (Craig T Nelson and a glowing if miscast Mary Steenburgen) live in Alaska.

Up in the frozen north, of course, things change. There is some genuine warmth in the characterisations and mildly amusing situations, best of which involves White, who otherwise isn't terribly good, telling the 'happy couple' not to let her prize Pom out of the house 'or he might be carried off by an eagle'. When Sandra does just that, she sees an eagle really swoop on the hapless pooch and carry it off into the sky.

The conclusion, although unnecessarily protracted, is, of course, inevitable, but all in all this is fairly acceptable fare.

David Quinlan

USA 2009. UK Distributor: Walt Disney. Technicolor.
108 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 17 Jul 2009