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tell ya what, you marry me, and I'll give you this somewhat warm cup of coffee...deal?

PG-13

Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds, Mary Steenburgen, Craig T. Nelson, Betty White

Margaret: I’m not getting on that boat!
Andrew: You don’t have to, see ya in a few days.
Margaret: You know I can’t swim.
Andrew: Hence…the boat.

In order to avoid being deported and losing her job as an editor, Margaret (Bullock) convinces her assistant, Andrew (Reynolds), to marry her.  Andrew finds Margaret to be pretty hateful, but sees this as a chance to advance his career and agrees.  In order to prove to an immigration agent that they are serious, Margaret travels to Alaska with Andrew to meet his family.  You can probably guess everything that happens from there…

When it comes to romantic comedies, they really don’t ask much of the audience, and the audience doesn’t ask much of them.  Basically all we want to see is some funny moments and a pair of lead actors that have at least some chemistry and charm.  In the case of The Proposal, we actually get some of both.  Unfortunately, we also get the usual predictable plot and a few comedic attempts that just fall totally flat.

I thought Bullock and Reynolds worked well together comedically for most of the movie, but I never quite believed any romance could actually develop between them.  I kept hoping the movie would go off in some other, unpredictable direction, but…well, that would be asking too much of the audience to follow the movie into such unfamiliar territory I suppose.

Familiar is safe, and there’s a lot of familiar elements to this one.  There’s the couple that doesn’t get along at all to begin with, but gradually gets to know each other and like each other.  There’s the New Yorker who is thrown into unfamiliar territory and doesn’t know how to deal with nature.  The grumpy father who disapproves of his son’s life choices, and the loving mother who scolds at the father while hugging her son.  The quirky small town folks.  I could go on and on.

The point is, it just seems like a bunch of pieces of other romantic comedies have been stripped away from the corpses of those movies and sewn together to form a new one.  Reynolds and Bullock are the jolts of energy that actually give it life, but it can’t survive for long.  Eventually it starts to run out of gas and barely stumbles across the finish line before collapsing.

It’s funny at times, and harmless, but unless you’re a huge fan of Bullock or Reynolds (or maybe Betty White), I don’t think you’ll be missing much if you don’t catch this one.

Alaskan eagles want to eat your dog.

10 – 2.5 for standard, predictable story – .7 for a bit of a lack of real romantic chemistry between the leads – .9 for some failed comedy moments = 5.9