Dinner, a movie, and “semblance of a life”

30 07 2009


“THE PROPOSAL” had me at the mere mention of unsweetened cinnamon light soy latte.  “Christmas in a cup,” as it was succinctly described.

ATC - The Proposal Movie Ticket

"The Proposal" – well-worth the Php 150.00 movie ticket!

Any movie that uses food and / or drink to make a point – or establish a premise – has me all ears and eyes.  And in the particular case I had last night, it even had me re-examining my decision to get the Starbucks Coffee Company® Dark Mocha Raspberry Frappucino I was sipping.  Definitely not unsweetened.  Definitely not light.  But I snapped out of it in a jiffy – all ears and eyes to the movie, remember?

“The Proposal” stars Sandra Bullock as Margaret Tate, editor-in-chief of book publishing company Colden Books, who – in the opening scenes – could very well be Miranda Priestly incarnate.  For a moment, it felt like it was “The Devil Wears Prada” all over again.  From the walk to the office to the flurry of activity that results as the rank and file put on the token appearance of being hard at work as the big boss passes by…  to the executive assistant – with coffee in hand – that barely dodges a morning tongue-lashing by making it to the office literally a mere few steps ahead of the boss.  Margaret swipes the coffee off of her assistant’s hand in one clean motion and I knew the movie had finally started rolling.

Ryan Reynolds stars as Andrew Paxton, Margaret’s assistant.  So the parallel to “The Devil Wears Prada” could end there as the assistant here is a guy.  Besides, this movie has an Hermes Birkin, a Louis Vuitton luggage, a Louis Vuitton Speedy Carry-All, and killer Louboutins all over the place.  Not Prada.

Within the first few scenes – and showing she can really think well on her feet – Margaret forces Andrew to marry her to avert getting her well-toned heinie deported to her native Canada after her Visa application got denied.  Put on the spot, not to mention tormented for years (the movie established this well in just a few minutes), Andrew begudgingly accepts, but not without conditions of his own.  The “engagement” clearly has sham written all over it – and a fiancée visa that needed to be filed – that the government has to investigate and stay hot on the newly betrothed couple’s trails.

One personal appearance at the immigration office and Margaret and Andrew find themselves forced to visit with Andrew’s family in Alaska to make the charade believable.  Here, the uptight, control-freak editor-in-chief finds herself out of her comfort zone, and so not in command.  Unexpected episodes of comedic proportions ensue, culminating when Andrew’s family insisted on a weekend wedding to coincide with Andrew’s grandma’s 90th birthday.  Sticking to their plan – probably with a quick divorce waiting in the wings – Margaret and Andrew have laid out contigencies for any eventuality.

Except for genuinely falling in love.  (I’ll stop here lest I spoil it for you!)



I haven’t seen a lot of movies this year, but “The Proposal” is the first one to be worth the steep Php 150.00 free-seating ticket I paid for for it!  Sure, it’s not about to be remembered when Academy members fill out their nomination ballots come the 2010 awards season – though a Golden Globe for Sandra for Best Actress, Comedy is not far-fetched! – but I will remember “The Proposal” for heralding the return of Sandra Bullock as one of America’s real sweethearts.

Ringing true to the words of Ingrid in “Tayong Dalawa,” Sandra Bullock could very well declare:  “I’m back.  I’m sooooooo back!”

I find “The Proposal” to be a (romantic) comedy that appeals to the intellect.  It doesn’t rely on slapstick or special effects to draw out a chuckle or boisterous laughter.  I found myself to be laughing even at scenes that just involved dialogue.  And not even the shrilly or loud kind.  Sandra and Ryan had perfect comedic timing – on their own and as the on-screen couple.  They trade witticisms and quips like it’s nobody’s business.  Usually, I would sense even a nanosecond of pause or uncertainty in the way lesser actors would exchange lines.  But not with these two.  They could give Lorelei and Rory Gilmore a run for their money.

Long after the credits had rolled, I was still playing in my head the scenes in Margaret’s office when she put Andrew on the spot.  The scene when she fired one of her editors.  The one where she cut the line at the immigration and was later shown impatiently waiting for the officer who later launched to a no-nonsense discussion on what would take to get her fiancée visa approved.  And of course, the “proposals” that took place.

Credit has to be given to the excellent support cast that buoyed Sandra’s and Ryan’s performances.  Academy award-winning actress Mary Steenburgen was lovable as Andrew’s mother.  She gave the understated elegance her role needed.  But something has to be said about Emmy award-winning actress Betty White.  Not only did she deliver her punchlines perfectly – suspending the wit and then releasing it to elicit full laughter – but she also managed to almost steal the scenes she was in.  Somehow, she knew exactly when to dole them out one by one for “dramatic” effect and when to just lay them down one time.

Having said all these, “The Proposal” remains to be Sandra Bullock’s movie.  She gave the role of editor-in-chief the icy cold quality that demanded both hypnotic obedience and snickers.  But as the movie unravels you shall see that the warmth of human affection melts the ice and reveals a person who finally realizes she needs someone else – however scary the thought could be.

I said that with the reference to the unsweetened cinnamon light soy latte I became “all ears and all eyes” to the movie.  But with the one pivotal scene when Margaret and Andrew shared things about themselves – originally intended just to prepare for the immigration officer’s questioning – I found myself to be “all heart.”

Best Sound Bites.  I heard a lot of lines in the movie that may find use in my day-to-day existence.  Hahaha!  It was kind of hard to take down notes while in the dark that was the movie house.  But here are those that really stuck, culled from my memory.

I guess I’m alone because I’m comfortable that way.  It’s easy that way.

It’s hard to ruin someone’s life after you find out just how wonderful they are.

I started to see something.  I saw something when we kissed.



Dinner and then some.  Obviously – judging from the photo of the movie ticket above – I flew solo.  But I didn’t mind at all as I got to enjoy my Pepper Lunch dinner to myself!  I had The Double Beef Pepper Rice, Miso Soup, and Green Tea.  Super value for money at just Php 334.00 total damage!

ATC - Pepper Lunch 01 Double Beef Pepper Rice

Double Beef Pepper Rice


ATC - Pepper Lunch 03 Double Beef Pepper Rice

Close-up shot of the plump, fragrant Japanese rice


ATC - Pepper Lunch 04 Double Beef Pepper Rice

The black pepper at Pepper Lunch are just so addictive.

To the movie, I brought a grande Starbucks Coffee Company® Dark Mocha Raspberry Frappucino.

ATC - Starbucks Dark Mocha Raspberry Frappucino

That's my Dark Mocha Raspberry Frappucino! It tasted like Royce' chocolate I could drink! Seriously.

After dinner – before the movie – I did some serious window-shopping.  Hahaha!

ATC - Sale 00

S-A-L-E !!!


ATC - Sale 02 Polo Jeans Co.

On S-A-L-E: Polo Jeans Co.


ATC - Sale 03 Springfield

on S-A-L-E: Springfield


ATC - Sale 04 Armani Exchange

On S-A-L-E: Armani Exchange


ATC - Sale 04 Calvin Klein

On S-A-L-E: Clavin Klein



4 responses

30 07 2009

Agree. It’s the best movie I’ve seen so far this year. =)


30 07 2009

hi enteng, i watched this too with a friend and i have to agree this one had me looking through clips in the internet to watch scenes over and over again. it was so funny!

oh and btw nice food porn as usual in your site…


1 08 2009

Reading your food blogs makes my ho-hum packed lunch taste better.. now you know the power you wield with words.


2 08 2009

watched it also, yesterday after eating in PL Shang 😉
I really liked the movie and my beef with chicken curry rice…yum yum


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