2009 has been a tough year for standard-issue romantic comedies. “The Proposal,” which in any other year would have been a decent entry in a tired genre, really looked simple next to genre-benders “500 Days of Summer” and “Paper Heart.” The film is decent, for what it is. People who like the “Sweet Home Alabama”s and “Maid in Manhattan”s of the world will feel right at home with this one. But those select few should’ve caught the film in theaters; there’s no real reason to buy the DVD. More after the jump.
“The Proposal” tells the story of Margaret Tate (Sandra Bullock), a hotshot New York book editor who’s facing deportation and needs to marry her hated assistant, Andrew (Ryan Reynolds), to remain in the country. Unfortunately, she hatches this scheme right on the heels of Andrew’s grandmother’s (Betty White) birthday, forcing him to go up north to Sitka, Alaska; and, of course, her to go up with him, to announce the proposal to the rest of the family. As anticipated, antics ensue.
If you couldn’t tell from my synopsis, the story’s quite contrived. Without spoiling any plot details, I will say whatever you think the ending will be is the ending. “The Proposal” doesn’t exactly reinvent the rom-com wheel.
As for bonus features, they’re about as standard-issue as the comedy itself. The edition is two discs, but the second is simply a digital copy of the film–useful, as I imagine the person who actually goes out to buy the DVD is also the kind of person to want it with them at all times on their laptop or iPhone. On the first, you get the bare minimum we’ve come to expect: commentary tracks, deleted scenes, an alternate ending, and a blooper reel.
The commentary tracks are interesting insofar as they help sort of defend a film I didn’t like very much. When a poor decision, in my opinion, is made, it certainly adds dimension to hear director Anne Fletcher defend her aesthetic choices. I still disagree with the choices, but it’s fascinating to hear her justification all the same. The deleted scenes and alternate ending are a waste–it’s very easy to see why they were cut, and they’re not fun to watch to begin with. I’d have to say, among the features, the blooper reel is the most interesting. It is legitimately funny (actually funnier than the film itself!) and sufficiently short and cute. It’s the standout among some pretty unremarkable features.
Other than these, the disc has the feature film, scene selection, languages, and trailers. A lot of trailers. So much so, in fact, it makes one wonder how much of their $20 DVD purchase went to procuring advertising…
So, in conclusion it’s like I said. If you really like romantic comedies, I mean really like ’em, Netflix it. It’s a decent feature given its genre, it’s just not worth purchasing even for the greatest of rom-com aficionados.
Finally, here’s Matt’s review of the film.