Warning! This site contains satire, cynical adult humor, celebrity gossip, and an occasional peanut by-product or two!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Proposal (The)

I loved The Proposal, but then I love Sandra Bullock. I think everybody secretly has a same-sex crush that they never want to tell anyone about because it sounds so gay, which it isn’t, unless you are thinking deep tissue lesbionic or gay man thoughts about that person. Not to digress here, but I will: Doesn’t it seem like kind of a gyp that Lesbians have a whole “special” title for themselves and an entire island in the Aegean Sea named for them or them for it. Whatever. Meanwhile, what do gay men have but either “gay men” or a whole slew of derogatory terms that aren’t something I’d want to be called? They don’t have an island, unless you want to call Castro Street in San Francisco an “island” but really, that’s more like a land fill than a jungle paradise. Still, I think there should be something that flows off the tongue better when I say “Lifetime ~ Television for women and gay men.” Like I said, I digress.

So, as I said, I loved The Proposal. I just wish I would have had a proposal I’d could be thrilled to look back on, but my perfect husband, or as I like to call him to his face, “my current husband”, didn’t exactly prepare for a romantic, rose petals on the bed, candlelight, music, type of moment. As a matter of fact, he waited until twenty years after we had been living together to get around to suggesting we tie the knot, and, when he did, it was about as romantic a moment as if I was cleaning out the cat boxes. Well, okay, it wasn’t that bad, but I was sitting on the couch in my sweats watching the afternoon soaps when he walks in from the kitchen and gets right between me and “The Young and the Restless.” That alone is never a good move if you want to hold my attention because I’m more likely going to focus on Jack Abbott and Victor Newman, especially if you just happen to be somebody who’s farted in my bed for twenty years and not said “excuse me” in the last ten. He did get down on one knee at that next instant and I remember leaning forward to help him look for whatever I assumed he had just dropped ~ a cookie, a contact lens, anything but a hint. He said some impromptu “I love you” kind of stuff (I’m sorry, but as I said “The Young and the Restless” was on) before he popped a ring out of his pocket and uttered those shocking four words: “Will You Marry Me?” I’m so ashamed because my response was not what he wanted or what I expected I’d utter should such a day ever arrive. I burst out laughing and couldn’t stop for the next 30 long minutes. I snorted, gasped, choked, and giggled. And then I said “no.” It’s not that I didn’t love the guy, but after twenty years, it seemed a little late to break it to the kids that they were bastards and then ask them to come to a wedding. I also found it hard to imagine myself in a white wedding gown after the life I’d led. My life-long friend William suggested he could smear dirt on the knees if it would help (and it would certainly be symbolic according to him, who, by the way, turned out to be my new fiancé’s Best Man). Okay, so it took about three or four days of convincing, but, obviously, I came around and here we are today, bound by God and law. I get chills every time I realize that. Like I'm getting the flu.

But back to Sandra: For me, Sandra Bullock (Premonition) is the perfect actress. I’ve never been disappointed by one of her performances, and whether it is a comedy or drama, she will make me want to hug her before the movie is over. That’s saying a lot from her role as Margaret Tate in The Proposal. Hugging Margaret is about as appealing as being trapped for an hour or two with a rabid porcupine in a wet sleeping bag. She walks onto the floor of the offices of the publishing company where she works and employees scatter like cockroaches suddenly exposed to the light. Fear drives secretaries away from the aisles and back to their cubicles, hunched over their computers as if they’ve been slavishly at work for hours on end. Even her hapless assistant Andrew Paxton (Ryan Reynolds; Definitely, Maybe) is wary of her. At least he’s thoughtful enough to warn everyone else on the floor when she is about to leave her office by sending out an office-wide email warning “The witch is on her broom!” giving everyone at least a moment to hide or look busy.

Now this movie isn’t just all about the Bullock. If you are of the female persuasion and you don’t think you can convince your male spousal equivalent to come see this with you because it is a “chick flick” you just remind him that it stars “Deadpool” in addition to the lovely Ms. Bullock. If you don’t know who Deadpool is, don’t worry about it. He will. He was in X-Men Origins: Wolverine with my future ex-husband Hugh Jackman last May and he’s already being spun-off into his own sequel/franchise. It’s a testosterone thing, and hopefully it will be enough to spark your guy’s interest. If not, let him know Sandra has a nude scene (don’t worry, Ryan’s just as naked at the time and he is making me reconsider my future ex-husband top ten rankings after seeing these abs.) Yum.

Before you go to see The Proposal and anybody ~ clothed or naked ~ you’ve simply got to check out the funniest pre-release “interview” publicity I have ever seen for a movie at http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/e8cdc3db45/sandra-bullock-ryan-reynolds-behind-the-scenes-of-the-proposal. Who will ever be able to look at Betty White quite the same again after that? After all, according to Sandra Bullock, Betty is “a f*****g national treasure”. She’s also a complete and utter joy in every scene she shamelessly steals from both leads. At 87, the tiny actress is a force to be reckoned with and she belies her age by showing as much energy and wit as a woman a third her age.

Before we get to Betty though, it’s important to explain the movie’s general set-up. It begins with the ball-busting Ms. Tate finding herself in a suddenly dire predicament when her higher-ups inform her that she’s being deported to Canada (This is where they should have inserted a chorus of the song Blame Canada from South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut ~ “Blame Canada, Blame Canada, It’s not a real country anyway”). So with no other options and with Immigration breathing down her neck she does the only logical thing any of us would ~ she lies and tells everybody Andrew and her are getting married. Too bad she tells them at the same time as Andrew because it doesn’t make convincing the CEO of her company and its lawyer or her assistant that what she’s saying is true any easier, but she has all weekend to work on that while she and her new fiancé head off to Alaska to celebrate his grandmother’s ninetieth birthday and tell his family of their impending nuptials.

So here comes Grandma Annie aka Betty (tv’s “Boston Legal” among many), along with Craig T. Nelson (Blades of Glory) and Mary Steenburgen (Four Christmases) as Andrew’s parents, creating an atmosphere like nothing Margaret has experienced since her childhood. Family. There’s the overbearing if well-meaning Dad, the adoring Mom, and the wise but kooky Grandmother. There’s also Andrew, who up until now has been a non-entity to Margaret. Her sense of him for the past three years of his employment has been to give him the consideration of an office machine. Now, being amongst his family and seeing him outside of the publishing house, she has to treat him as an equal and interact with him as his alleged fiancé, a role that comes about as easy as brain surgery to a penguin. Making matters worse is that Grandma takes a fancy to her “granddaughter-to-be” and sees her hard shell as a feisty spirit and something that will do her well in fighting to keep her marriage strong in the years ahead.

Before long, amidst the bachelorette party from hell (my eyes are still burning ~ one word: Ramone; Oscar Nuñez of tv’s “The Office”), Margaret’s dress fittings with master seamstress Annie, the Indian chanting (including Margaret and Grandma Annie’s too cool for tv duet on Eminem’s My Balls), and some long talks with Andrew’s high school sweetheart, Gertrude (Malin Akerman; Watchmen), Margaret finds herself overwhelmed with emotions about her past and about Andrew as well. It seems Margaret has some painful secrets of her own that have been responsible for her hard exterior, and as her back-story unravels in bits and pieces it becomes easier to know who she really is and actually come to like her. By the time her bullying Immigration Investigator Mr. Gilbertson (Denis O'Hare; Duplicity) shows up the night before the wedding you can’t help but want our couple to say they really are in love and that they will marry and live happily ever after. Of course, don’t expect that to happen but it would be nice.

Reynolds and Bullock have dynamite chemistry and I hope they consider making another film together soon. They bounce lines off each other like only old friends can (they’ve been pals in real life for nine years). Still, there is no denying that this movie belongs to Betty White. She has had a career that has spanned 60 plus years, won five Emmys and was nominated for twelve more, has a handful of American Comedy Awards, a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, has starred in a dozen or so television series since the 1950s, and played the same character, Rose Nylund, on four different TV series: "The Golden Palace" (1992), "The Golden Girls" (1985), "Nurses" (1991), and "Empty Nest" (1988). Despite all these achievements, The Proposal is like a crown jewel in her career. She shows the world just how hot she continues to be, unfettered by the years, and proves what Sandra said in her online rant to Ryan: she is “a f*****g national treasure” and it is worth every penny just to see her work her magic in this delightful summer movie. I’d like to make a proposal to you and suggest you do yourself a favor and put The Proposal at the top of your “must see” list this week.

No comments: