I saw the movie weeks ago, didn't have time to write/post a review and now I barely remember the movie. I mean, I liked the movie, I'm just not sure what I liked about it. Well, besides Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock.
Or maybe that's just it. People really like Reynolds and Bullock. According to Box Office Mojo, The Proposal's opening weekend gross of $33 million is Bullock's highest opening ever. While Bullock is one of America's sweethearts and most of her movies end up doing pretty well or at least decent, her openings are not that strong. Her previous career best opening is 2007's Premonition with $17m. It's been a while since Bullock starred in a romcom like The Proposal. Romance The Lake House was released in 2006 and comedy Miss Congeniality 2 was released in 2005! Her last true romantic comedy was 2002's Two Weeks Notice with Hugh Grant! Were people suffering from Bullock withdrawal and en masse flocked to the theater when The Proposal was released?
Then there's Reynolds, who has turned into quite the capable leading man since his days on Two Guys, a Girl, & a Pizzaplace. People generally like him and his supporting role in Wolverine was well received. Excluding Wolverine (which clearly wasn't about him), Reynold's career best is also The Proposal. His previous highest opening was for 2005's The Amityville Horror, which grossed $23.5 million. Reynolds seems to be one of those actors that appeals to both females and males. I never hear guys say they like that Orlando Bloom guy. But Reynolds has appeared in a lot of guy flicks, such as Van Wilder, Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, Blade: Trinity and the aforementioned Wolverine. Has his casting helped The Proposal? Would guys rather take their girlfriends to a romcom starring Ryan Reynolds than, say, Matthew McConaughey?
Take McConaughey's latest romcom, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (awful title, btw). The movie opened only a few weeks earlier than The Proposal. It grossed $15 million in its opening weekend and ended up grossing $55 million domestically. To be fair to McConaughey, his previous three romcoms (Fool's Gold, Failure to Launch, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days) all grossed between $20-$25 million in their opening weekends. Nothing to be ashamed about at all!
So what I really have been wondering lately is why is The Proposal a big hit and Ghosts of Girlfriends Past came and went without much notice? I wasn't too kind to both movies when I reviewed their trailers, but I gave kudos to GOGP for being less generic than The Proposal. Though it seems pretty obvious how both will play out, yes? I didn't want to see either on the big screen, but ended up seeing The Proposal just because a friend wanted to go see it. She thought it looked funny.
Maybe The Proposal is just the better movie. Maybe people were tired of McConaughey's romcoms and were waiting for Bullock's instead. Maybe Ghosts of Girlfriends Past just isn't an appealing title. Who knows?
Bullock & Cooper in All About Steve
I'm hoping to figure at least part of this out when Bullock's next romcom, All About Steve is released on September 4. She plays an eccentric crossword puzzler who think CCN cameraman Steve (sexy Bradley Cooper) is her true love and follows him around the country. I've seen the trailer and the movie looks awful. But both Bullock and Cooper are at career highs at the moment so I expect the movie to do well despite its awfulness. If so, it seems it doesn't really matter how awful or generic a romcom is, as long as you have two appealing leads, the movie will do well at the box office. To be continued...