- Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Resolution: 1080p/24
- Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit); English Dolby Digital 5.1; French Dolby Digital 5.1; Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
- Subtitles: English SDH; Bahasa; Chinese; French; Korean; Malay; Portuguese; Spanish
- Region: A
- Discs: 2
- Studio: Touchstone Home Entertainment
- Blu-ray Disc Release Date: October 13, 2009
- List Price: $44.99
[amazon-product align="center"]B002K0WBYG[/amazon-product] Purchase The Proposal on Blu-ray from CD Universe Download: Shop With Us for More Blu-ray Titles at Amazon.comOverall The Film Video Quality Audio Quality Supplemental Materials
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Sitting down to write a review for a romantic comedy is a relatively easy task for a reviewer. There’s hardly any risk of inadvertently putting in any spoilers. They all pretty much follow the same basic outline. We already know that we will have two ill-fit people who will start out their relationship not liking each other much and they will need to go through a series of challenges, mishaps and otherwise precarious and serendipitous situations before realizing they really, truly love each other. Our two characters will then presumably live out their lives happily ever after. The end. No need to get into all of the details of what comes next, like a cultural landscape strewn with failed relationships, high divorce rates, etc. etc.
So, the secret to the success of any rom-com these days is how much we actually like the characters, just how believably the story is pulled off, and the chemistry between its two co-stars. Writer Pete Chiarelli doesn’t stray from the outline above for his screenplay. In fact, he doesn’t bother to strain himself at all on originality, choosing to piece together The Proposal from a patchwork of ideas lifted from romantic comedies and so-called “chick flicks” that are instantly recognizable. The Devil Wears Prada, Meet the Parents, Sweet Home Alabama and most notably Green Card are all leaned on heavily to supply the backbone of The Proposal’s story.
Sandra Bullock plays the aggressive editor, Margaret Tate, of a New York publishing house, a woman her employees refer to as “The Witch” and Ryan Reynolds is her cowering assistant Andrew Paxton. As Bullock struts through her office in her black designer dress and employees IM each other that “the witch is on her broom,” it’s obvious this is borrowing from The Devil Wears Prada. Margaret soon finds out that her work visa has expired and she is to be deported back to her native Canada. In order to keep her job, she bullies Andrew into marrying her so she can stay in the country, but not before he makes some demands of his own like getting a promotion to editor and having his manuscript published.
The two then decide to fly off to Alaska to meet Andrew’s parents for an extended weekend so they can learn enough about each other to fool the immigration officer, Mr. Gilbertson (Dennis O’Hare) who does not believe their love story. City girl Margaret is an obvious fish out of water in the rural Alaskan town that Andrew’s family just happens to own most of, and it sets up the part of The Proposal that borrows most heavily from Meet the Parents and Sweet Home Alabama. It also happens to be when The Proposal finally becomes enjoyable and starts offering some laughs. As Margaret begins to let down her guard and the icy exterior begins to thaw the chemistry between Reynolds and Bullock is finally allowed to shine through. It also allows the two actors to show off some of their comedic timing. Moments here, such as an eagle attack on Margaret’s cell phone or a clumsy naked encounter between Margaret and Andrew are absolutely priceless and legitimately had me letting out some guffaws.
Betty White as Andrew’s granny, helps things along as well. Her charming inappropriateness, like giving Margaret and Andrew her special “baby blanket” remind you why she’ll always be a “golden girl.” The rest of the cast, however, are used disappointingly here. Craig T. Nelson as Andrew’s disappointed father seems to lack any authority; their relationship is under explored and brushed over. As for Mary Steenburgen, she seems to be just stuck in “sweet” mode and tragically underused.
But, the biggest flaw in The Proposal remains its first part with Margaret and Andrew in their work environment. Not only does that part of the story not feel believable, but also the chemistry between the two co-stars is completely lacking in that first vital part of the film and it is rushed. The story does not linger there long enough to sufficiently set up the dynamic in the relationship between the two. We are only told that Andrew hates Margaret and she treats him like trash, but we never really see anything to confirm it. By the time we are whisked off to Alaska, why should we have any doubt at all that these two crazy kids might fall in love?
The 2.35:1 AVC/MPEG-4 1080p/24 encoding of The Proposal from Touchstone is detailed enough to expose what seems like some oddly heavy-looking makeup on its lead actor — and I’m not talking about Sandra Bullock. Ryan Reynolds’ face looks like a powder puff; in fact all of the skin textures and flesh tones in The Proposal look quite waxy and very made-up. Otherwise, The Proposal looks fairly decent and very much in line with what most romantic comedies look like. There aren’t many opportunities for the image to “pop,” but scenery of Alaska looks beautiful, the picture has a nice film-like grain structure, the source is clean, and the transfer is free from compression artifacts and processing misdeeds like edge enhancement.
Nothing in the English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix for The Proposal screams “exciting,” but for a romantic comedy it sounds as good as one could expect. The dialogue is clean, there is a sufficient amount of ambience in the surround channels and musical cut scenes have a nice big soundstage with relatively extended low frequencies. The pseudo-bachelor party scene with Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s “Relax” offers one of the most active and energetic moments. There isn’t much in the way of discrete sound effects panned to the surround channels, but atmospheric sound effects are usually audible.
The supplements for The Proposal are meager, but they are all provided in 1080p high definition with optional audio commentaries.
The supplements provided on this release are:
- Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary by Director Anne Fletcher and Writer Peter Chiarelli (1080p/24):
- Phone Message
- Walk and Talk
- Andrew and Gertrude
- Alternate Ending with Optional Commentary by Director Anne Fletcher and writer Peter Chiarelli (2.35:1; 1080p/24; 0:06.35)
- Set Antics: Outtakes and Other Absurdities from The Proposal (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 0:06.33)
- Audio Commentary by Director Anne Fletcher and Writer Peter Chiarelli
- Sneak Peeks (HD):
- Lost: The Complete Fifth Season
- 10 Things I hate About You 10th Anniversary Edition
- On Blu-ray Disc
- Scrubs: The Complete Eight Season
- Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings
- Old Dogs
- Everybody’s Fine
- Digital Copy — A DVD with access to a standard definition digital copy of The Proposal for playback on Mac/PC and iPod/Windows Media-compatible portable devices.
The Definitive Word
Despite a rushed and awkward first act that fails to establish the basis for the relationship between Bullock and Reynolds’ characters, The Proposal’s second half is filled with many sweet and genuinely comedic moments that show off the wonderful timing and enjoyable chemistry of its leads. It may not be original and it’s certainly not one of the great romantic comedies of the screen, but it is an easily enjoyable 90 minutes that breezes by and doesn’t feel wholly wasted.
Purchase The Proposal on Blu-ray from CD Universe Download: Shop With Us for More Blu-ray Titles at Amazon.com