The Proposal

Ryan Reynolds has been doing a great job of moving away from his crazier “Van Wilder” days into more leading man roles befitting his age and range.  Last year, he jumped in the romantic comedy waters with Definitely, Maybe; he does it again here with Sandra Bullock, an actress that does many of them with few home-run successes.

The plot revolves around a professional woman who needs a husband so that she can stay in the country.  Enter Reynolds, her executive assistant.  As a way to get to know him, she accompanies him to Alaska to meet the family and hijinx ensue.  The movie is cotton-candy fluff wrapped around predictability.

What saves this movie is the casting.  Craig T. Nelson playing the gruff father character he mastered while doing the show Coach; Mary Steenburgen as the mother trying to hold things together; and Betty White as the grandmother who almost steals the show.  I say almost because Oscar Nunez from The Office is the true show-stealer, hands down.

My advice:  dollar theater or matinee; full-price date movie if you need one – otherwise, DVD is fine…

State of Play

I missed seeing this movie when it first came out, but ended up catching it at the dollar theater one night when I was bored.

The movie is a political thriller starring Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck, and Rachel  McAdams.  The plot centers around a mysterious shooting the potential links to a “private security” firm being audited by Congress for suspicious activities (think Blackwater).  What follows is a decently-paced thriller that, while somewhat predictable, is enjoyable to watch.

What was of personal interest to me was one major scene taking place at an apartment building in DC.  I know, lots of buildings in DC people are familiar with – why this one?  Well, it was where I visited some old friends while on business in 2002 and of the two buildings, it was the exact one I was in.  So, Oscar and Julia, your building was in a movie.

My advice:  Catch this one on DVD – worth the couple of hours…