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The Proposal is a 2009 American romantic comedy film, directed by Anne Fletcher and starring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds. The screenplay was written by Pete Chiarelli. The film was released on June 18, 2009, in the UK and June 19 in North America by Touchstone Pictures.

Plot

Margaret Tate (Sandra Bullock) is the executive editor-in-chief of a book publishing company, Colden Books. All of her workers, including her assistant Andrew Paxton (Ryan Reynolds), strongly dislike her for her bossy, cold demeanor. She fires a senior editor, Bob Spaulding (Aasif Mandvi) because he is unable to get an author named Frank interviewed by Oprah. After learning she is being deported to Canada, she forces Andrew to marry her, as his future is tied to hers. When the government investigates, Mr. Gilbertson (Denis O'Hare) informs them that they will undergo rigorous testing to prove that the marriage is not fraudulent, after being notified by Bob Spaulding that this marriage might be a sham. Andrew grudgingly accepts the proposition of marrying Margaret, under the condition that he is promoted to the position of editor and his manuscript be published. He also forces Margaret to propose nicely to him on her knees in the streets of New York, and to allow him to tell his parents they are getting married.

The two spend the weekend with his parents in Sitka, Alaskamarker in order to sell the lie, where they will be attending the 90th birthday party of Andrew's grandmother (Gammy) (Betty White). Margaret is very unreceptive of Alaska, and is furthermore shocked to learn that Andrew's family owns most of the business in Sitka. They attend a surprise party for them, where Andrew catches up with his ex-girlfriend, Gertrude "Gert" (Malin Akerman). After he is humiliated by his father, Joe Paxton (Craig T. Nelson), Andrew announces that he and Margaret are getting married. They are forced to kiss, and do so passionately, showing the first signs of respect for one another. Andrew's parents then show them their room, and Gammy gives them a special blanket (called baby-maker, which they avoid). Andrew and Margaret sleep separately - Andrew on the floor and Margaret in the bed.

The next morning, Margaret wakes to hear her phone ringing. After waking Andrew with her loud conversation, she goes outside to continue the conversation with Frank; however, the family dog, Kevin (a Samoyed puppy), follows her out of the house and is swooped up by an eagle. She gets Kevin back, but the eagle instead snatches her phone away. Andrew, after seeing the commotion, informs her that his mother Grace, herself and Gammy are going shopping and sightseeing; the shopping actually proves to be a trip to a male strip show by Ramone (Oscar Nunez).

Margaret talks with Gert about Andrew, who tells her that they dated through college, and when Andrew asked her to elope with him, she didn't want to leave her home, and said no.

Meanwhile, Andrew confronts his father after he apologizes and asks him to take up the family business, telling him he's happy in New York. Margaret comes home and see Andrew venting his anger (after the conversation between him and his Father) by hitting an old wooden canoe agitatedly. She takes a shower, but finds no towels in the bathroom; when she tries to get one from the open wardrobe, she is stopped by Kevin. Andrew goes to the balcony of their room, stripping naked, to take a bath. Margaret, also naked, goes for a towel after distracting Kevin, only to bump into Andrew after slipping while shutting the door close so that Kevin would not escape from the bathroom. He sees her tattoo on her back before going to take a shower. That night, Andrew and Margaret reveal to each other a little about their past, and find out they like the same band. It was revealed here that Margaret was an orphan, and had no siblings.

Next morning, Joe and Grace knock at the door with breakfast. Andrew and Margaret hurriedly get into bed together, and the family suggest they could marry the same weekend, and they reluctantly accept. Andrew is stressed because the marriage is actually a sham, and Margaret tries to comfort and convince him, finding herself genuinely caring for him. To sort out her emotions, she goes for a bike ride into the woods, where she finds Gammy "giving thanks" in a ritual. Gammy invites her to join her, and they end up dancing to "Get Low", while Andrew watches.

Andrew takes her into Sitka to get Margaret's new phone, and she tries to contact New York. However, Gammy and Grace arrive and take Margaret to be fitted into a dress that Gammy's great grandmother made, and a necklace that's been in the Paxton family for generations. Margaret, who was now very touched, decided that she can't do this to Andrew, and she hijacks a boat and tries to explain, but she falls off after he takes the steering wheel (and she cannot swim and almost drowns, but manage to cling onto a floating buoy). Andrew goes back for her, and they return to his house. Once there, they find out Mr. Gilbertson has arrived to check on the couple, after Joe suspected that the marriage was a scam, and that Joe had came down to a deal with Mr. Gilbertson, who persuades them to admit the sham. Andrew vehemently denies and rushes out.

During the wedding ceremony, Margaret decides she cannot do this to Andrew and confesses the business arrangement in front of everyone - including Mr. Gilbertson - who informs her she has twenty four hours to get back to Canada. She returns to New York to pack her things. Andrew rushes to their room only to find she has already left leaving his manuscript with a note of praise from her on the bed. As he rushes out of the house to confront Margaret, another argument arises between Joe and Andrew. Gammy has a heart attack while trying to stop them and while being airlifted to the hospital. She convinces Joe and Andrew to quit arguing before she "passes away". Once they agree, Gammy reveals she had faked it, just so they would stop fighting and try to make it to the plane, to stop Margaret from going back to New York. Andrew attempts to stop Margaret's flight, but cannot do so in time. However, Andrew rushes to New York and shows up at the office before he confesses his love for Margaret in front of the entire office staff, proposing marriage all over again as he "wants to date Margaret". They go to Mr. Gilbertson once more to get engaged, this time "for real".

During the end credits, everyone including Andrew's family and Ramone is being interviewed by Mr. Gilbertson. And it's hinted that Ramone is not a citizen, while Kevin, the dog, still has not gotten used to Margaret's presence.

Cast

  • Sandra Bullock as Margaret Tate, a socially inept Chief Editor at her major New York Citymarker trade book company. However, she is a Canadian-born Canadian citizen. To avoid being deported to Canada for a year because of a visa transgression, she comes up with an idea on the spot of marrying her American assistant, Andrew Paxton. She cannot swim and is an orphan, her parents having died in a car accident when she was sixteen. Because of the accident she has a bird tatoo on her back.
  • Ryan Reynolds as Andrew Paxton, the good-hearted assistant to Margaret who wishes to be promoted to editor and have his chosen manuscript published. He agrees to the fake marriage on the terms that those two conditions are met. It is later revealed his family is rich (seemingly owning the entire town), but Andrew himself is estranged from his father, who wishes he would take over the family business, and due to work he has not been home for three years.
  • Malin Akerman as Gertrude (Gert), Andrew's ex-girlfriend from college. She and Andrew dated through college, but when he asked her to elope with him in New York, Gert refused because of her life in Alaska, as she tells Margaret. She and Andrew clearly still have feelings for each other.
  • Mary Steenburgen as Grace Paxton, Andrew's mother, who accepts Margaret immediately, taking her on a girls' night out, giving breakfast in bed, and making her feel welcome. She also does not like Andrew and Joe fighting, and commands her husband to set things right, which Andrew and Margaret both overhear part of. She and the others convince Andrew to go after Margaret when she confesses the sham.
  • Craig T. Nelson as Joe Paxton, Andrew's father who owns the family business that dominates the entire town of Sitka. He wants his son to run the family business when he retires and eventually die, but Andrew wants to be a book editor. Joe brings Mr. Gilbertson in after suspecting the marriage is a sham. He and his son reconcile after Gammy has a heart attack and he realizes that Andrew truly loves Margaret.
  • Betty White as Grandma Annie (Gammy), Andrew's grandmother, who turns ninety while Andrew and Margaret are visiting Alaska. She takes an immediate liking to Margaret, convincing her to open up and be comfortable with Andrew's family. Gammy disapproves of Joe and Andrew fighting, and forces them to reconcile after faking a heart attack after Margaret leaves the ceremony, she then convinces Andrew to go after Margaret.
  • Denis O'Hare as Mr. Gilbertson, the immigration agent investigating Margaret's case. He believes the marriage is a fake and takes great pleasure in the revelation that it is.
  • Oscar Nunez as Ramone, an omnipresent citizen of the Alaska town who holds many jobs. He is seen as a waiter, male stripper, a shopkeeper, and even as a minister. In the end it is suggested he is an illegal immigrant.
  • Aasif Mandvi as Bob Spaulding, a senior editor at the book company before Margaret fired him early in the film for not getting an author known as Frank the Oprah spot. He insults her after she leaves his office. He told the INS that the marriage was a fake, as he would have gotten his job back if Tate was deported.
  • Niecy Nash as Flight Attendant


Music

The score to The Proposal was composed by Aaron Zigman, who recorded his score with the Hollywood Studio Symphony at the Sony Scoring Stage.

Reception

An alternate promotional poster for the film.

Critical reaction

The film received mixed to positive reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes reported that 44% of critics gave positive reviews based on 169 reviews with an average score of 5.3/10. However, it can be observed that 81%, or 826 users of RT Community who reviewed The Proposal, out of 1018, gave it a "Fresh" Rating, of an average score of 7.2/10. By comparison, Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 top reviews from mainstream critics, the film has an average score of 48% based on 29 reviews, but was generally well received by viewers receiving an average score of 8/10.

Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a B+ praising "the chemical energy between Bullock and Reynolds." Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film 3 stars out of 4 despite complaining that the film "recycles a plot that was already old when Tracy and Hepburn were trying it out". Peter Travers of Rolling Stone gave the film 1 star out of 4, noting positively "the one star rating I've put on The Proposal is all for Betty [White]."

Box office

On its opening day, the film made $12.7 million in 3,056 theaters, becoming #1 for the day. It later went on to be #1 for the weekend with $33.6 million, beating out the weekend's other new release, Year One, and the previous #1 film, The Hangover. The movie became Bullock's first No. 1 movie in 10 years, and also marked her biggest opening weekend. The Proposal also earned $10 million from 10 foreign markets, with No. 1 bows in Australia ($3.3 million) and Russia ($2.8 million) leading the way. In South Africa the film debuted at number 2, losing out to the new release Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, but in three weeks the film managed to gross a total of $1,299,853. The movie currently has grossed $314 million worldwide making it one of the biggest box office successes in Sandra Bullock's career and with a $163,958,031 gross domestically.

Home video release

The Proposal was released on DVD and Blu-Ray on October 13, 2009.After two weeks it has sold 3,314,840 DVD copies, earning $54,744,965 in sales.

References

  1. The Proposal (2009)
  2. Nine MSN Movie Fix: "The Proposal"
  3. The Proposal - The New York Times
  4. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/10010458-proposal/reviews_users.php
  5. [1]
  6. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?page=main&id=proposal.htm
  7. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/news/?id=2597&p=.htm
  8. [2]
  9. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/intl/southafrica/?yr=2009&wk=30&p=.htm
  10. [http://www.the-numbers.com/interactive/newsStory.php?newsID=4589.


External links




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