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The Proposal

Starring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds, Mary Steenburgen
Written by Peter Chiarelli
Directed by Anne Fletcher
website: http://www.myspace.com/proposalmovie

IN SHORT: Very Cute. Very Funny. Take a date. [Rated PG-13 for sexual content, nudity and language. 107 minutes]

PARENTAL WARNING: Not that you see anything but . . . there is one nude scene in The Proposal that wouldn't be appropriate to lug single digits to. The rating is absolutely appropriate. Bust the wallet for the baby sitter. All will be happier that way.

New York City based Colden Books has this senior editor -- Margaret Tate (Sandra Bullock) who is as fearsome as she is feared. Her assistant of three years, Andrew Paxton (Ryan Reynolds), is sorely afraid of the witch -- we misspelled the word 'cuz this is a family friendly site -- and, while he hustles to get her cinnamon lattes, his mind is on the coming weekend and a family reunion at the parental estate in Sitka, Alaska, to celebrate his grandmother's 90th birthday. How joyous that reunion will be as the entire family is anxious to meet Andrew's fiancee, Margaret!

The engagement is news to Andrew, too. He knew his Canadian born boss was having with the INS but he never had to deal with determined agents like immigration man Mr. Gilbertson (Denis O'Hare), who has never failed to deport an illegal immigrant  to wherever. Currently in his sights is, yep, the Canuck. Margaret and her lawyers have tried every trick in the book save one, and that one is the oldest trick in. You know it. Cranky knows it. It's probably driven a couple of dozen movies since the things were silent and black and white. This time the twist is comedy, which The Proposal delivers with a healthy dose of guffaws.

sorry about that.

So Margaret and Andrew, devoted slave with promises of his own editor position driving him, head off to Alaska. They plan to follow the trip with a quickie marriage and an equally quickie divorce (once the statutory minimums are met, of course). The only difference is that Andrew now has an upper hand in the "relationship." Oh, in Alaska? Andrew's family is the big mucky mucky in town and virtually runs the place. Margaret has a lot to learn about Andrew and his family -- mom Grace (Mary Steenburgen), dad Joe (Craig T. Nelson), the aforementioned Grandma Annie (Betty White) and Andrew's ex Gertrude (Malin Akerman). Of course, the femmes in the family have lots of things to do to distract Margaret once the "engagement" is revealed; much involves a jack of all trades named  Ramone (Oscar Nuñez). Andrew has to deal with paternal problems since Dad wants him home to run the family empire instead of goofing around in New York.

Can this mismatched couple discover that they are truly a match made in Heaven, in only three days? And what happens when Granma Annie and Co. decide that 89 birthdays is enough and, since a big party is planned, why not just get married in front of the whole honkin' family?

We're filling space here, ladies and gents. The Proposal is cute as a button, funny as hell and Malin Ackerman (last seen in Watchmen) looks as good as a blonde as she did as a brunette. Which is a subtle hint that maybe the wedding you get isn't what you expect at all.

No, we're not spilling anything. The final scenes of The Proposal are quite a twist on the formula and take the film a step above the average share-the-popcorn dateflick. We enjoyed it quite a bit.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to The Proposal, he would have paid . . .


Cranky could barely move the morning of our screening. We notified our studio contact that we probably wouldn't make the screening. The power of Bullock compelled us.

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