October 14, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES II, III & IV • Page 21 Sandra Bullock faces deportation in ‘The Proposal’ by Dennis Seuling Sandra Bullock has carved out a decent career for herself playing light comedy, a genre that suits her well. Her combination of spunk, sexiness, and vulnerability makes her the perfect protagonist for romantic comedy. In “The Proposal” (Touchstone Home Entertainment), Bullock is Margaret Tate, a tyrannical New York book editor, who treats her secretary, Andrew (Ryan Reynolds), more as a slave than a subordinate. Facing deportation to her home country of Canada when her visa expires, and realizing this will be the end of a thriving career, Margaret bribes Andrew into marrying her so she can become an American citizen. This set-up requires Margaret and Andrew to go to Alaska to meet his family and get married. The problem is that they are shadowed by an immigration officer (Denis O’Hare) to assure that the upcoming marriage is real. In Alaska, little changes in the dynamic between the two, with Margaret ordering Andrew around as if they were still in New York. Predictably, the new setting and the forced necessity to spend time together blurs the employer/ employee relationship into something more romantic. “The Proposal” is formula all the way, and brings to mind many similar comedies, notably “Moonstruck,” “You’ve Got Mail,” “Runaway Bride” and practically every Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movie. The principals repulse each other at the outset only to wind up in each other’s arms before the final credits roll. “The Proposal” doesn’t break any new cinematic ground. What works is the relationship between Bullock and Reynolds, even though the script requires one to be a walking horror and the other a wimp. Bullock is too charming to be accepted as an ice-blooded witch, and Reynolds’ leadingSix of her movies are now available in the box set “TCM Spotlight: Esther Williams, Volume 2” (Warner Home Video). The best of the collection is 1952’s “Million Dollar Mermaid,” a biography of real-life Australian swimming champ Annette Kellerman. The highlight is a Busby Berkeley-choreographed water ballet later featured in “That’s Entertainment.” In it, Williams swings from a trapeze in and out of red, yellow, and orange billowing smoke, dives again and again, and never musses her hair or loses her toothy smile. In “Fiesta” (1947), Williams exchanges her swimsuit for a matador’s cape as Maria, who disguises herself as her twin brother Mario (Ricardo Montalban in his first credited American film) to secretly replace him in the ring after he abandons bullfighting for classical music studies. Look for Cyd Charisse as Mario’s partner in both dance and romance. The other films in “Esther Williams: Volume 2” are “Thrill of a Romance” (1945), “This Time For Keeps” (1947), “Pagan Love Song (1950), and “Easy to Love” (1953). Co-stars in the films include Howard Keel, Van Johnson, Victor Mature, opera singer Lauritz Melchior, Xavier Cugat and Tommy Dorsey and their orchestras, Tony Martin, and a very young Rita Moreno. Special features abound: Tom & Jerry and Tex Avery cartoons, M-GM short subjects, theatrical trailers, a Lux Radio Theater presentation of “Million Dollar Mermaid” starring Esther Williams and Walter Pidgeon, and seven musical outtakes. “An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving” (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment) is based on a short story by Louisa May Alcott (“Little Women”). Recently widowed Mary Bassettt (Helene Joy) and her three children have fallen on hard times on their farm and cannot afford a turkey (continued on Crossword page) Ryan Reynolds agrees to a sham marriage to Sandra Bullock in ‘The Proposal.’ man looks suggest self-confidence rather than diffidence. With plenty of laughs along the way, many provided by Betty White as Andrew’s feisty grandma, the movie works its charms and viewers go along for the ride. Blu-ray bonus features include an alternate ending, deleted scenes, outtakes, audio commentary by the director and writer, and a digital copy of the movie. The film is also available on DVD. “Wet, she was a star,” was the comic phrase applied to Esther Williams, one of M-G-M’s biggest stars during Hollywood’s Golden Age of the Movie Musical. Williams couldn’t sing (her scenes were dubbed by professional singers) or dance, but she was a beauty with a great figure and a talent for swimming and diving. M-G-M fashioned elaborate Technicolor musicals around her, and she was among the top 10 box office stars in 1949 and 1950. �������� �������� ��������� �������� ������������ �������������� ������������� ��������������������������������������������� Sunday & Monday NFL Ticket on Direct TV ���������� ���������� � �������������� Football Menu & Bar Specials Regular Menu also available �������� ��������� ������������������������ �������������� ����������������� �������������� ������������������� � �� ����������������������������������������� �� �������������������� �������������������� ��������������������� �������������� ������������� � �� HAPPY HOU R �� ������� �������������������������������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������������ 9-16-09 Ester/Janine