June 19, 2009, - 4:12 pm
Weekend Box Office: ICE Snubbed in Silly Marriage Fraud “Proposal”; Creepy But Sweet “Management”; UPDATED: Skip “Year One”
By Debbie Schlussel
**** SCROLL DOWN FOR UPDATE– “Year One” Review Added ****
* “The Proposal“: While tiny bits of the storyline of this schlocky romantic comedy (that’s a nice euphemism for “dopey chick flick”) resemble the far more charming “Green Card,” this movie is mostly groan fodder. And it’s entirely predictable and formulaic. Plus, I don’t go for the “cougar” dynamic here (45-year-old Sandra Bullock in great shape through a cheesecloth lense with much younger Ryan Reynolds). If we wanted women to act like men, they’d be men.
The story: An older complete bitch of a boss at a publishing company (Sandra Bullock) learns will be deported to Canada and lose her job as a top editor/executive. So, she demands that her assistant, Ryan Reynolds, to marry her and commit marriage fraud. He agrees after exacting a promotion from her. To make it look real, he takes her to Alaska for his grandmother’s (Betty White–the Jump the Shark Ted McGinley of movies, meaning if she’s in it, it’s a sign: it sucks) 90th birthday.
While I laughed more than a few times, most of the jokes in this were stupid . . . unless you consider scenes of an out-of-shape Hispanic guy stripper in a thong funny (and I don’t). Still, this is more trumped up melodrama than comedy. There are lots of–way too much–faux-tears and silly, unctious fights between family members.
And, as you’d predict, they fall in love. Shocker.
When this film was shot, there were lots of scenes filmed with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) uniformed police and agents, but all of that has ended up on the cutting room floor. ICE was snubbed in this film, and the agents should be happy.
BTW, if only real life U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services adjudicators were as determined to weed out marriage fraud as the one in this movie. Sadly, it’s not even close in the real world. And ICE rarely investigates or prosecutes the ones who are determined to be marriage fraud perpetrators.
Wanna see a film about real-life marriage fraud? Start filming in Dearbornistan.
As chick flicks go, this could have been far worse. But it also could have been far better. Great for the Oprah crowd, but for the rest of us . . .
HALF A REAGAN
* “Management“: At first, I found this movie extremely weird and very creepy. But it grew better as it progressed.
A de-glammed Jennifer Aniston plays a traveling saleswoman, whose company sells mass-produced art to motels and offices. While staying at a motel out West, the son of the motel owners (Steven Zahn) develops a crush on her. But she sleeps with him, and then he starts stalking her . . . all over the country. Like I said, it’s creepy.
Eventually, though, Aniston–tied up with her ex-punk rocker, organic yogurt mogul boyfriend–falls in love with Zahn, an aimless motel employee with no future.
But life is complicated and circumstances–economic circumstances and plans for the future–get in the way. Or do they?
The most annoying part of this movie is the lefty crap that’s thrown in. Aniston’s character is “one of those,” making a fuss with the small-town motel owners that they don’t have a recycling center, etc.
Still, I found this comedy funny, entertaining, and, eventually, charming, if waaaaaay creepy.
Steve Zahn is the star of this vehicle, not Aniston. And it’s a chick flick you guys will enjoy. It’s well done, if a little long and drawn out (even at only just over 1.5 hours).
*** UPDATE: “Year One“: Absolutely awful. This movie was so bad, I walked out after a half-hour. I simply couldn’t take the stupidity and inanity anymore. It just wasn’t funny. And it was like a three year old made it. Extremely stupid.
Jack Black and Michael Cera play cave men at the beginning of man. They are kicked out of their village because Jack Black accidentally sets their village on fire.
Sound exciting to you? Me neither. I should have walked out well before Black eats dung and tells us it tastes like the producer of it ate apples. This is funny?
Skip at all cost. I lost $10 on this. Save yours and two valuable hours of life not worth wasting on this exercise in moronism.