July 02, 2009
I like Ryan Reynolds. Most of the comedy actors of today don't strike me as very funny. Or when they do, it's not very well-crafted humor. Ryan Reynolds has a knack for making a line of dialogue all his own with the tone of his voice or his facial expressions. The only flaw about his acting is that most of the time his character has some degree of prickishness about him. That is minimized in The Proposal, where Reynolds plays the personal assistant to very, very important senior editor Sandra Bullock. Sandra has made a career out of being likable, so it's fun to see her play a self-obsessed diva for a while. We already know she will become softened. We also know that Ryan and Sandra will inevitably fall in love in spite of their parasitic, I-hate-you-but-I-need-you relationship.
And so Sandra gets to play While You Were Sleeping all over again, but from a different angle. She's the single girl who masquerades as Ryan's fiance to avoid being deported to Canada, falling in love with not only Reynolds but his parents (Craig T. Nelson and Mary Steenbergen) and his sharp grandma (the ever-delightful Betty White). So, while The Proposal doesn't really veer from the formula much, it sure shows us a good time. ★★½