Story

Margaret Tate (Sandra Bullock) is a high-powered executive with a publishing firm. She has an executive assistant, Andrew Paxton (Ryan Reynolds). She bullies and intimidates him. Andrew is desperate to be an editor and puts up with Margaret’s behaviour so that he can achieve his dream.

Margaret finds that because she is not a US citizen and has travelled without a visa, she is going to be deported to Canada. Her solution is to ‘marry’ Andrew. Suddenly their roles are reversed. Margaret has to agree to Andrew’s conditions if she wants him to go through with the wedding. She also has to spend the weekend with his family in Alaska and attend his grandmother’s 90th birthday.

The trip has surprising results. Both Andrew and Margaret learn something about themselves and each other.

Themes

Workplace bullying; loss of a parent

Violence

None of concern

Content that may disturb children

Under 8

Margaret talks briefly about losing her parents at 16. Some children might be disturbed by this.

From 8-13

Some children in this age group might also be disturbed by the idea of Margaret losing her parents at 16.

Over 13

Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this movie.

Sexual references

This movie contains some sexual references. For example, Margaret does some sexy rap dancing.

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

This movie contains some use of substances. For example, the adults drink alcohol at Andrew’s grandmother’s party and also at a pre-wedding lunch.

Nudity and sexual activity

This movie contains some nudity and sexual activity. For example:

  • Andrew and Margaret kiss.
  • Margaret goes to a women-only lunch. She is put on stage with a male stripper who strips to his g-string. He makes obviously sexual movements while Margaret is on stage with him.
  • Margaret walks out of the bathroom totally naked, while Andrew walks into the bathroom totally naked. They bump into each other and fall down. This is played for comedy.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie: Starbucks coffee.

Coarse language

This movie contains some mild coarse language.

Ideas to discuss with your children

The Proposal is a romantic comedy focusing on the developing relationship between two people who are initially antagonistic towards each other. The movie is likely to lack interest for children under 13.

Values in this movie that you might wish to reinforce with your children include loyalty, trust, honesty and self-respect.

This movie could also give you the opportunity to discuss with your children various real real-life issues such as:

  • Margaret’s belief that the only way to get ahead is to bully, intimidate and lie. In the end, this strategy doesn’t work and she finds that honesty gets the best results
  • the importance of a supportive and positive family in helping you reach your goals
  • the need to let people choose their own paths rather than those decided by parents.