I walked into this one with my eyes wide open. At best, I hoped for a feel-good romantic comedy containing just enough plot twist and humour to overcome the pervasive taint of mass-production. At worst… was what I got: a lame mish-mash of The Devil Wears Prada and Shall We Dance. Add in a little “it’s the family I never had…sniffle…sniffle” and accidental mutual nudity and you have a spectacle that is an embarrassment to the movie industry and and an insult to audiences everywhere.
The only surprising thing about this movie is that there is, in fact, NO twist. The Proposal trudges, knee-deep in sap, down the trail of loathing to love with the tenacity of a fat man, holding an extra large fries, looking for ketchup. Yeah, we know that he and she have to end up together, but at least let us pretend that it could not work out after all. It’s like riding a rollercoaster – we know we won’t die, but the excitement is that little nagging in our minds telling us that something could go horribly wrong.
I wonder if I am alone in failing to experience any kind of connection with the main characters. Oh noooooooo! Will the gorgeous, heartless, highly successful, workaholic business woman be able to make it with her handsome, millionaire Alaskan assistant and his charming family? Dun dun duuuuuuuun! Though I must admit that the stakes are high – deportation back to Canada! Now there’s reason to blackmail your assistant, who loathes you, into an illegal marriage. I mean…Canada?! Cambodia, maybe, Columbia, definitely, Cuba, I’d marry a monkey, but Canada? Do they even have electricity there? Would the main character have to give up her career as editor in chief at a publishing house in order to skin whales with the Eskimos or hose down the ice for hockey players? Basically, the audience is supposed to be vitally concerned that the people in this movie might have to experience change in their lives, whether it’s returning to the motherland and starting a new career, or falling back on your family’s numerous, lucrative businesses in scenic Alaska. Why should I care? Even post-worst-case-scenario, their lives are considerably more privileged than mine!
I know what you’re thinking, but it’s not true. I do not have a personal vendetta against romantic comedies. I enjoy the occasional chick flick and Singing in the Rain is one of my favourite movies. My ire is not limited to specific genres, but rather to those movies which fail to exhibit any shreds of originality, respect for the audience or significance. The movie industry must realize that we do not want the same mindless drivel over and over, we want it repackaged and varnished so that we don’t know it’s the same mindless drivel until 15 minutes after the credits stop rolling. I know this cliched plot works, but camouflage it, dammit. Wrap it up in some clever disguise and hit me on the head instead of feeding me through a straw. Risk a little. Maybe throw in some miscegenation or perhaps some polygamy, but for pity’s sake, do not ever feed me that bland paste of old pureed plots again!