The Proposal

  • Review Date: June 18, 2009
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2009
  • Running Time: 104 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Charming romcom is best for older teens and up.
  • Review Date: June 18, 2009
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2009
  • Running Time: 104 minutes





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Lessons about looking past the superficial.

Positive role models

Margaret treats employees poorly -- especially Andrew. She blackmailshim into marrying her, and he accepts. But as the movie goes forward,she realizes she can't do something so questionable. Andrew andMargaret both learn to look past each other's "covers" to unearth thereal person underneath. Andrew is a good role model as someone whodoesn't just use his family's money to live a life of entitlement butactually works hard for his accomplishments.


In one scene, Margaret, who can't swim, falls into a lake and has to tread water for a few desperate seconds. The big "naked fall" scene is played for laughs, but it had to hurt...


The main characters accidentally crash into each other while completely nude (lots of skin is glimpsed, but no uncovered sensitive body parts). In addition to that, there are a few kisses, scenes of a couple in bed, references to morning erections, and a comical sequence of a flabby exotic dancer's strip tease (he gets down to a male G-string and pumps his hips near a woman's face).


Language includes "bitch," "ass," "damn," "s--t," "boobs," "hell," "oh my God," and "Jesus!"


Several brands featured, including Starbucks, Apple (Mac), Pringles, Pepsi, and Hostess.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Adults drink at a cocktail party and at a bar, where one character gets buzzed.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this charming romantic comedy starring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds has a much talked-about scene in which the leads, both naked, accidentally crash into and fall down on top of each other. But since it's rated PG-13, all that's shown is a tumble of skin. There's also plenty of innuendo, as well as couple of passionate kisses and a comical scene featuring a flabby exotic dancer in a G-string. Language is the basic PG-13 variety ("ass," "bitch," and "s--t" are the main offenders), and there's some social drinking and product placement.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Margaret (Sandra Bullock) is a shrewish Manhattan book editor who's as feared as The Devil Wears Prada's Miranda Priestly. When Margaret's bosses inform her she's about to be deported back to her native Canada, she blackmails her faithful, exploited assistant Andrew (Ryan Reynolds) into pretending they're engaged. To convince their incredulous immigration officer, the two agree to visit Andrew's family in Alaska, where they have to put on a believable show for his entire clan. As the weekend progresses, they predictably start falling (literally) for each other.

Is it any good?


There's nothing original about an uptight career woman who needs some lovin' falling for her gorgeous, put-upon assistant. But Bullock and Reynolds have a breezy chemistry that most on-screen couples never achieve. They're equally believable as boss-and-subordinate as they are as reluctant lovers. Both have finely honed comedy skills, and they're bolstered by scene-stealing supporting actors, particularly Betty White as Andrew's grandmother and Oscar Nuñez (The Office) as a jack of all trades (including exotic dancer).

Obviously, there aren't many unconventional twists to this mainstream love story. But occasionally a good ol' genre flick is well executed enough to transcend its predictable plot. Director Anne Fletcher hit the jackpot with leads who know (no doubt due to their long-term off-screen friendship) how to make each other funnier. Move over Matthew and Kate -- it's time for Sandy and Ryan to be Hollywood's new golden romcom couple.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how this movie compares to other romantic comedies. What do most Hollywood "romcoms" tend to have in common? How is this one different (if it is)?

  • Margaret isn't just Andrew's boss, but she's also clearly older than him. Is that a common scenario in romantic movies?

  • The movie's trailer prominently featured the "naked fall" scene. Did knowing about that gag make the scene any less funny? In general, do you think trailers give away too much, or just enough?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:June 19, 2009
DVD release date:October 12, 2009
Cast:Betty White, Ryan Reynolds, Sandra Bullock
Director:Anne Fletcher
Studio:Touchstone Pictures
Run time:104 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:sexual content, nudity and language

This review of The Proposal was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Educator Written byiamateacher July 26, 2011

great movie just tell your kids to be the opposite of some of the characters

i think this is a great movie, it teachs tweens and teens what they should not do and how they should not treat people, as long as you make sure they know not to do what the charaters do, they will love this movie and want to watch it numberious times
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent of a 1, 6, 8, 11, 12, and 16 year old Written byfamily10 October 15, 2009
Sad to see unnecessary nudity displayed. That and the language will keep me from buying it or ever watching it again. I was glad my husband and I watched it without children present.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages
Kid, 10 years old February 17, 2011
everything is fine except the shower scene
What other families should know
Too much sex


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