June 16, 2009

I Am Pro-Hug: The Proposal

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I was all set to write a bad review. Sandra Bullock. Rom-com. Ho-hum. But here's the thing: I had a really, really, really bad day. Horrible. Like someone died. Or I had to interact with Satan or something. Or maybe both. (I am not really exaggerating.) And when I sat down in the theater, I did deep breaths while my friend Rachelle was getting me a drink. I had to do deep breaths because I was kind of a mess.

Then the movie started. I really actually liked it from the first scene with the trees. Then Ryan Reynolds came on, the clutzy assistant with the bitchy boss. Did Sandra Bullock take some acting classes or something? She was almost good. I mean I kind of believed her uptightness. My disbelief was suspended. I know. WEIRD.

Then the story unwound and oh it seemed familiar. Then I remembered. It was part of my Christmas-time-stuck-in-the-house-because-of-the-snowstorm-Lifetime-television-marathon. This girl, a writer, gets deported to Canada because she doesn't fill out her paperwork in time. Except in this movie, The Proposal, Sandra Bullock is a publisher who almost gets deported to Canada because she doesn't fill out her paperwork in time. So naturally, the whole time, I was doing a side-by-side comparison of the two artful films.

Just kidding. Once I realized it was the same, I promptly forgot about it because the Lifetime Movie was total crap and The Proposal was actually good. For one thing, it had a great cast: Mary Steenburgen, Craig T. Nelson, Betty White and Oscar Nunez (Oscar from The Office). Betty White (as the grandmother) and Oscar Nunez nearly stole the show. I totally forgot how funny Betty White is. And Oscar Nunez was HILARIOUS as the town stripper/caterer/sales associate/pastor.

You know what happens: Sandra and Ryan decide to get married to keep her from getting deported. They hate each other at first, but then, when they go to Alaska to visit his family and announce their engagement, things take a different turn.

I actually cried a few times, in addition to laughing. It might have been residual emotion from my day, but when Sandra's eyes filled with tears, my heart hurt a little. But even more, when Ryan Reynolds and Craig T. Nelson (as his father) fought with intensity and with underlying pain, it was totally real. At least it seemed totally real.

Okay, there might be one scene that might have been taken nearly word-for-word from While You Were Sleeping, but that movie was so long ago that a little repeat is no biggie, right? I could overlook it, in light of the recent display of handsomeness next to the girl-next-door.

Also. There were lots of great hugs in the movie. First Ryan, then Sandra, then Ryan again. They were so good, that I could almost feel the hugs myself. They weren't like regular hugs, they were rubbing arms and shoulders until all the hurt goes away hugs and you're cold because you just fell in the water so I'm going to hug you until you get warm hugs. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know. I was probably imagining it because I had a bad day. But seriously. A movie that give you hugs? You really can't beat that.

And because of all of this, I am banking on a good night of hugging dreams to get me through until tomorrow.

Go see it, especially if you had a bad day.
The Proposal is rated PG-13 and opens Friday everywhere.
You can watch the trailer here.