While perusing the Internet Tuesday afternoon, I found myself sucked into the wonderfully time-wasting Entertainment Weekly photo galleries. The skillfully placed “stories” are photo accessories to the films opening that week, and this one happened to be “24 Rom-Com Clichƒ©s We’d Like To Retire.”
It only took about four clicks through the slides to realize which movie the EW gallery creator had seen to inspire such a gallery: “The Proposal,” which I had seen the night before. Yes, “The Proposal” had its media maven. Yes, there’s a last minute sprint. Yes, there’s a mischievous dog. Yes, “The Proposal” is nothing more than a collage of need-to-be-retired romantic comedy clichƒ©s.
Written by: Pete Chiarelli
Starring: Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds
Rating: 107 mins
Running time: PG-13
Seen at: Boston Common Loews
Coming from someone who loved Sandra Bullock in “Miss Congeniality,” she is past her prime for being a headlining star of a romantic comedy. Playing publishing queen Margaret Tate, Bullock is supposed to be channeling Meryl Streep in “The Devil Wears Prada” but comes closer to Steve Carrell from “The Office.”
For a character referred to as “it” and a “witch” by her underlings, there is not enough of her alleged cattiness to justify the hatred and fear she instills. In an attempt to make Margaret easier to soften by film’s end, she becomes a caricature that is obnoxious rather than relate-able. The film wants her to be the next Miranda Priestly, but in order to make that evil “witch” believable and not whipped out of thin air, there should not be any falling in love at the end.
The main problem with the film is there is no reason Ryan Reynolds’ Andrew should ever fall in love with Bullock’s Margaret, and especially not over the course of three days after making his life miserable for three years. There are no hidden feelings underneath Andrew’s submissive following of orders at the beginning of the film: Margaret blackmails Andrew with his career in order to get him to agree to marry him. One late-night vulnerable conversation is not enough to make a man fall in love with a woman he didn’t acknowledge as a female until two days before, and I never quite understood why Margaret was any better for him than his young love who was unwilling to leave Alaska to be with him, Gertrude (Malin Ackerman).
What was proven by this film is that Ryan Reynolds should star in every romantic comedy ever made from here until eternity. His delightful combination of earnest emotion with slapstick comedy makes him the perfect male lead that could fit in every rom-com role, and makes the one believable character in the entire film.
Just having him in the film makes up for Sandra Bullock rocking out to “Get Low” while Grandma Annie (Betty White) dances around a fire worshiping Mother Earth. Tell me you expected that when walking into this film.
Even more demeaning (and going back to “The Office” references) is the character(s?) played by Oscar Nuƒ±ez. For an actor whose “Office” character, Oscar, is so offended by the racial stereotypes boss Michael Scott forces on him, I was disappointed to see Nuƒ±ez sink so low in his “Proposal” role. With his shoddy Hispanic accent and far too drawn out strip tease, I don’t know if I can respect Oscar in “The Office” the same way again.
What makes this movie worth seeing? You get to see Ryan Reynolds naked.