'The Proposal': Romantic comedy done right
Chemistry: It’s difficult to define, but when it comes to acting, I think it means trusting that your costar will be as committed as you are, will follow you however far you go. Ryan Reynolds, EW’s current cover boy and “Must Leading Man,“ and Sandra Bullock, our “Must Physical Marvel,” have it in their new romantic comedy The Proposal. It comes with a sort of confidence. You can feel it when they stand toe-to-toe and he tells her that if they’re going to make his family (and an immigration officer) believe that they’re in love — she’s a Canadian devil who wears pencil skirts and he’s her assistant who agrees to marry her for a promotion to book editor — it’ll require her to “stop snacking on children while they dream.” It emanates into the audience: You have faith that Bullock’s chanting scene with Betty White will eventually be as funny as her drunken “twisty bobcat pretzel” in Two Weeks Notice (and it is, when she busts out with the chorus of “Get Low”).
For me, there really is no better feeling than being 15 minutes into a romantic comedy and knowing that the inevitable happy ending will actually be worth the ride. Did you feel it with The Proposal? (EW’s Lisa Schwarzbaum did. Read her review here.) Are you ready to see Ryan Reynolds as a leading man and welcome back Sandra Bullock, who should be looking at her first No. 1 opening weekend since 1999’s Forces of Nature? (Sometimes Reynolds’ mug is still a little boyish for me, but I’m warming to him…enough to finally watch that copy of Definitely, Maybe I’d grabbed from the giveaway table when it came out on DVD.) And — SPOILER ALERT! — how great was Betty White’s helicopter fake-out?