The Proposal

Rated PG-13

The first thing I noticed about The Proposal was that it wasn’t nearly as funny as Sandra Bullock’s last film, the thriller Premonition. The next thing I noticed was that the set-up for the movie — a movie which by definition is already predictable — was the quintessence of tedium. This occurred to me when I saw that less than an hour had passed when I reached the “Surely, this must be nearly over” mark and checked my phone for the time. Fortunately, about the same point that maximum tedium had been reached the combination of Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds actually started to work for me. I can’t say the movie actually got better in any significant way. It was still plodding and predictable, utterly by-the-numbers and lacking in anything even marginally resembling style. But as soon as Bullock’s and Reynolds’ characters started thawing toward each other, both they and the film transformed from being painful and false to being pleasantly human. The high-concept premise — nasty book editor Bullock blackmails assistant Reynolds into marrying her so she doesn’t get deported to her native Canada — is OK, but the development leaves something to be desired — like laughs. The saving grace comes down to Bullock and Reynolds. Do they make it worthwhile? No, not really. What they make it is tolerable. At least that means the film probably won’t do you a permanent injury should you come into contact with it.

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