Behind the Scenes of THE PROPOSAL: Reluctantly, a Romantic Comedy


By Jeff Holder, Managing Editor

Actress Sandra Bullock says she wouldn’t call her new movie with Ryan Reynolds, THE PROPOSAL, a romantic comedy at all.

“I just call it a movie,” she says.

Ryan Reynolds humorously added they should just call it a “talkie,” referring to what movies with sound were originally called.

MOVIEGUIDE® joined journalists from around the world for a press conference promoting the new comedy from Touchstone Pictures starring Bullock and Reynolds where Bullock plays a demanding, narcissistic boss who browbeats her ambitious assistant (played by Reynolds) into marrying her so she can avoid deportation back to Canada.

Bullock says she’s reluctant to label THE PROPOSAL a “romantic comedy” in part because the previous romantic comedies that she has done “were not romantic and were not comedic.” Disappointed, she began to focus on dramas, such as the 2007 movie PREMONITION.

However, THE PROPOSAL is indeed a romantic comedy that is extremely funny, though clearly intended for mature audiences and given a strong caution by MOVIEGUIDE®: The Family Guide to Movies and Entertainment (www.movieguide.org).

Bullock said this was one of the funniest scripts to come her way in a long time. She said it also features a lead female character that she was very anxious to play.

As the press conference continued, the genre confusion about the movie got worse. When asked what it was like to do the scenes that involved Bullock with a male exotic dancer, as well as two other risqué scenes, she replied, “You make it sound like we did a soft porn movie.” With humorous commentary, she described what it was like to film the scenes in question. Indeed, this movie is very much for mature audiences and you can read the full review, including our unique CONTENT Section, at www.movieguide.org.

The cast and crew believe that the movie, while wanting to mostly entertain their audiences, also wanted to convey the idea that everyone has value, whether their role is the boss or the assistant.

Bullock mentioned that she has known plenty of assistants who were very sharp and knew every detail about their boss’s life and yet the boss knew nothing of their life. Peter Chiarelli the writer said that this was the message he was hoping to convey.

Director Anne Fletcher said she was a nice boss and then jokingly threw her water bottle at her assistant.

Oscar Nunez said he’s not at the level yet to have his own personal assistant and so he joked that he goes to Home Depot and picks up a day laborer whenever he needs one.

As can be seen, the press conference was filled with much humor. The charming Betty White was as witty as ever and charmed the whole room. For her, the movie set was one of the best experiences she has had in her many decades of being in Hollywood.

THE PROPOSAL opens in theaters on June 19.

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