If you were to propose to a studio head that you wanted to make a romantic comedy starring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds I don't think you would have too much trouble selling it. There are very few more likeable or appealing to the opposite sex actors in Hollywood today. It seems like they would be a dream team when it comes to romantic comedy. Or so you would think…
Margaret (Sandra Bullock) is the type of woman who is used to getting her way. She either outsmarts or bullies everyone in order to get what she wants. Her character is what makes her good at her job as a book editor, but it also makes her lousy at interpersonal relationships. Of which she has none.
Trouble rears its ugly head when Margaret, who is Canadian – not really a foreigner at all, as she points out, finds out that her green card request has been refused and she is about to be deported. Always able to think fast on her feet, Margaret comes up with the idea of getting married to her assistant, Andrew (Ryan Reynolds). Ironically this is the very man she has tormented for a good number of years and now they have to sell the fact that they are in love and getting married.
In order to do so Margaret finds herself having to go to Alaska with Andrew to meet his family. Of course, this would not be a romantic comedy without the quirky family and fish-out-of-water scenes. In the meantime they have to stay one step ahead of a doubting immigration officer while they are planning their nuptials.
As you would think Bullock and Reynolds have great on-screen chemistry. The two are friends offscreen and it really lends to their performance as you can tell they trust each other. It is also interesting to see them play against character with Reynolds being submissive and Bullock being one pushy lady. In supporting roles Mary Steenburgen and Betty White are hoots.
Unfortunately, as is the case with many comedies, most of the good scenes are in the trailer (which has been shown often for months), so a little of their shine has worn off when you see them during the film. I know they have to lure you into the theatre, but do they really have to show all the good parts?
What I think most naysayers will attack about this film is the script. Yes, it is filled with clichés. What romantic comedy isn't? It is almost inherent to the genre. Don't complain about it as the film does not attempt to hide its foregone conclusions. Director Anne Fletcher's film does not aspire to be much more than a light summer flick. And judging on its first week's take at the box office ($33 million) people are digging its vibe.
On a more personal note, I really wouldn't mind if Ryan Reynolds decided to dump Scarlett Johansson and give me a call!