The proposal: Betty White steals the show

Proposal plays to the familiar rhythms of romantic comedy, but alongside Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock, the late Betty White steals the show.

The irony of Proposal is that Sandra Bullock is from the United States while Ryan Reynolds is from Canada. In the film, Reynolds plays the American while Bullock is a Canadian with an expired visa.

Margaret Tate (Sandra Bullock) is the executive editor of a major publishing house. However, no one likes him, not even executive assistant Andrew Paxton (Ryan Reynolds). Upon learning that she was going to be kicked out, she is essentially bribing Andrew into marrying her because all of her work will have gone for nothing. Andrew’s grandmother, Annie (Betty White), celebrates her 90th birthday this weekend in Sitka. The two therefore only have a few days to get to know each other. If they don’t understand their story, USCIS agent Mr. Gilbertson (Denis O’Hare), who already suspects fraud, will take matters into his own hands.

Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock in The Proposal (Touchstone Pictures).

The fun really begins once they get to Alaska. On the one hand, the name Paxton is everywhere in the city. Their family home is huge. It tells you how little Margaret knows about Andrew when he knows so much about her. But as they get to know each other, you feel like they are falling in love for real. Not the fake love that they are trying to display in front of their family and friends. Where Annie and Andrew’s mother Grace (Mary Steenburgen) welcomes Margaret with open arms, the same can’t be said of her father, Joe (Craig T. Nelson). Joe suspects something is going on because Andrew has never praised his boss.

Listen, I can discuss how the movie plays to the beats of the genre. However, the cast manages to seduce us. You have both Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds! Together, the duo show great chemistry together. We can’t discuss this movie without getting into how the legendary Betty White steals the show. Its appearance in Proposal had a domino effect. First, the Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award was announced in September 2009. Subsequently, Betty White hosted SNL in May 2010. Hot in Cleveland premiered in June 2010 and would complete the sixth and final season in June 2010. Nothing of Betty White’s rebirth would be possible without this film! Her last live-action role came in 2010 with the release of You again.

I was planning on revisiting the comedy in 2009 for the tenth anniversary, but failed to do so. With the passing of Betty White on New Years Eve, I made Proposal my first film from 2022. I can’t think of a better way to start the year. More than ten years later, Proposal remains a funny comedy. Case in point: The 235 BFCA members at the time named the film as one of the five best comedy films.

DIRECTOR: Anne Fletcher
SCREENPLAY: Peter Chiarelli
DISTRIBUTORS: Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds, Malin Ã…kerman, Craig T. Nelson, Mary Steenburgen, Denis O’Hare and Betty White

Touchstone Pictures released The Proposal in theaters on June 19, 2009.

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