Dir: Jon Swift
Starring: Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds
Runtime: 1 hr 47 mins
The Proposal (working title: The Modest Proposal) is a deliciously quirky romantic comedy, in which Ryan Reynolds plays an overworked and underappreciated secretary to a powerful business tycoon (Sandra Bullock). Bullock’s life is perfect (or so she thinks) until she finds out she’s being deported back to Canada unless she can obtain a green card, and fast.
Bullock learns that green cards are not easy to come by, as she attempts to marry homeless man after homeless man in a hilarious homeless marriage montage. Each homeless marriage doesn’t work out for one reason or another: one homeless man refuses to marry for less than true love, another one stabs her with a rusty fork three times, and another turns out to be gay. The montage is done to the song “Safety Dance.”
Bullock sits in her dark office, on the verge of tears. What is she going to do? At that very moment, Reynolds shuffles into her office. He knows she’s in a foul mood, and he’s liable to be chewed out for the slightest infraction. “Here are those Canadian labels you wanted,” he mumbles barely audibly.
“Did you say Canadian babies?”
“That’s brilliant!” interrupts Bullock, madness gleaming in her eye. “All this time, I’ve been trying to find ways to prove that I’m American. But all I really need to do is prove that I’m not Canadian.”
“I really don’t think that’s how—”
“And what’s the one thing a true Canadian would never do?”
Reynolds gulps. “Uh… Cheer for an American hockey team?” He smiles nervously, hoping against hope that this is all she’s after, but something in her voice tells him it’s not.
“No. The one thing a Canadian would never do is eat a Canadian baby!”
“Ahh, yes,” says Reynolds, as he backs away towards the door.
“C’mon,” she says, grabbing him by the arm. “We’re going to get some dinner.”
“Can we get Italian? I’ve been craving pasta all day.”
“No… We’re getting Canadian.”
Reynolds drives Bullock to Canada. They cruise around the suburbs, until she spots a young woman pushing a baby carriage along the sidewalk. Bullock dashes out and grabs the baby.
“Drive, drive!” When she unfurls the blanket, the “baby” is revealed to be nothing more than a doll. “Blast! Let’s find another one.”
Another hilarious montage ensues, in which Reynolds and Bullock raid baby carriage after baby carriage in an attempt to kidnap a Canadian baby they intend to kill and eat (played to “Don’t Stop Believing”). In various carriages they find a sack full of cans, a baby-shaped potato, a cinder block, and a sack full of kittens. They are about to eat the potato and call it a day, when they spot one last baby carriage.
“It doesn’t matter,” says Bullock. “It’s not going to have a baby in it anyway. There’s not a single baby in this entire country.”
“You can’t just give up on your dream now,” says Reynolds. “It doesn’t matter that you came up with it last night, or that it’s completely psychotic and evil. It’s your dream, and you’re so close. Now go eat that baby!”
“You’re right!” Bullock dashes out of the car one more time, and grabs the bundle from the carriage. She can hardly believe it; it’s a real baby! She opens wide, preparing for a nice mouthful.
“Hey!” the mother yells. “Put down my baby!”
“Say that again,” Bullock says, her voice shaking.
“I said put down my baby, you freak!”
Bullock lowers the baby back into the carriage. She can’t believe it. She was so close to eating a real baby. “Where are you from?” Bullock asks. But she already knows the answer.
“I’m from Brooklyn, you crazy bitch. Now get away from me before I call the police.”
Reynolds puts his arm on her shoulder. “You want to go home?” She nods.
As they ride back, Reynolds consoles her, and after a short while, they’re laughing deep belly laughs at the silliness of life. He is completely charming, and they realize that they were in love the entire time. They are promptly married, and Bullock gets her green card and gets to stay in the United States. The end.
4 out of 5 stars.