Proposal, The (Deluxe DVD Edition) 
DVD Romantic Comedy
Written by Noah Fleming   
Tuesday, 13 October 2009

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How many romantic comedies do you think are out there?  Probably too many.  So what makes “The Proposal” different from all the others?  Well, in all honesty, not much.  Still, “The Proposal” is more entertaining than I would have expected.  I enjoyed the chemistry between Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds, but the film suffers from too many of the pitfalls of romantic comedies.

“The Proposal” ultimate downfall is that the ending is unresolved, at least for my tastes.  The ending is the same as every romantic comedy.  It ends with the audience wanting to know what transpires next.  We already knew from the beginning that they are going to end up together, but what happens to their jobs and lives after that.  That, to me is more interesting than the journey to how they end up together.

The promos for the DVD do a pretty good job of summarizing the plot.  Ryan Reynolds stars as Andrew, a wannabe book editor.  Currently he is the secretary for Margaret (Sandra Bullock), a tough and frightening boss.  Everyone in the office fears her.  But when she lets her immigration forms slip by, she is about to be fired and deported back to Canada.  Enter Andrew.  Margaret invents a relationship between her and Andrew.  By getting married, all her problems would be solved.

Unfortunately for Margaret, she is flagged by INS.  They are under the suspicion that she is using Andrew to stay in the country.  Andrew faces federal prison, while Margaret faces deportation to Canada indefinitely.  In order to begin proving their relationship is real, they must go to Alaska, Andrew’s home, and put on a show for his family.  No shock here, but they begin to fall for each other, and meanwhile their deceiving plan is hanging over their heads.

“The Proposal” is not what entirely bad.  As I said, the chemistry between Reynolds and Bullock is entertaining.  In addition, there are several funny moments in the film.  Ultimately, there are many slow moments, but still enjoyable to watch.

As a DVD, the video quality of “The Proposal” pales in comparison with the Blu-ray release.  It is truly tough to watch DVDs anymore.  The colors are muted and the image is left looking cold.  Contrast is fairly weak.  Black levels are decent.  Artifacting, including compression, is kept to a minimum for a standard DVD.  However, there are several obtrusive instances of compression and motion artifacting.  There isn’t much depth to the image.  Fleshtones waver over time, and while natural for the most part, they seem a bit pale.  While I cannot condone the DVD transfer, with the film existing on the Blu-ray format, it is still passable if watching on a smaller than 60-inch television.

The audio is typical for a romantic comedy and for a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track.  There is not much in the way of surround activity.  It is definitely there, but you have to boost the surrounds to maximum in order to get any use out of the material present in them.  The LFE channel is stronger than I would have expected for a film of this type and of a Dolby Digital track.  Dialogue is clear and present.  The balance between the effects and dialogue is good.  There is not much dynamic range, which can be attributed to the data compression.  Artifacting can be heard, as with any data compressed audio file.  Overall, this is a decent DVD audio track.

This Deluxe DVD Edition comes with a standard DVD and bonus materials, as well as a second disc which functions as a Digital Copy.  There is an alternate ending with optional director and writer’s commentary.  The alternate ending doesn’t change the outcome of the film, it only shifts the timing and place.  There are also a few deleted scenes, which are humorous but don’t offer much to the story.  “Set Antics” is a collection of outtakes.  Lastly, there is a feature audio commentary with director Anne Fletcher and writer Peter Chiarelli.  This is a general audio commentary track, never getting very technical.

“The Proposal” is not the end all be all romantic comedy, but is it enjoyable.  Unfortunately, it seems to be a one0time watcher.  It’s repeatability is pretty low.  Still, I would recommend this film, but please get it on the Blu-ray format.
Studio Buena Vista Home Entertainment
MPAA Rating PG-13
Starring Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds, Mary Steenburgen, Craig T. Nelson, Malin Akerman, Betty White
Director Anne Fletcher
Film Release Year 2009
Release Year 2009
Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
Running Time 1 hr. 48 mins.
Sound Formats English Dolby Digital 5.1 • French Dolby Digital 5.1 • Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles French • Spanish
Special Features Director and Writer Audio Commentary; Deleted Scenes; Alternate Ending; Set Antics; Digital Copy
Forum Link
Reviewer Noah Fleming

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