Proposal, The

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Not recommended under 8, PG to 13 (Lacks interest for young children, Sexual activity, Coarse language)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Proposal, The
  • a review of Proposal, The completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 18 June 2009.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Not recommended due to lack of interest, sexual activity and coarse language
Children aged 8-13 Lacks interest for younger children in this group. Parental Guidance recommended due to sexual activity and coarse language
Children over the age of 13 OK for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: Proposal, The
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild coarse language and sexual
Length: 107 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Margaret Tate (Sandra Bullock) is a high powered executive with a publishing firm. She has an executive assistant Andrew Paxton (Ryan Reynolds) whom she bullies and intimidates. Andrew is desperate to be an editor and puts up with all of her 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 now going to be deported. Her solution is to ‘marry’ Andrew. Suddenly the boot is on the other foot. Margaret has to agree to conditions which are set by Andrew so that he will 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 where both Andrew and Margaret learn something about themselves and each other.


Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Work place bullying; Loss of a parent

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is no violence of concern

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

Sandra talks briefly about losing her parents at 16. Some children may be disturbed by this.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

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

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

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

Thirteen and overinfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

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

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Starbucks coffee

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Margaret does some sexy rap dancing using the terms ‘bitch’ and ‘balls’.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Andrew and Margaret kiss
  • Margaret is taken to a girl’s lunch where she is put on stage with a male stripper who strips to his g-string and also makes obvious sexual actions whilst she is on stage with him.
  • Margaret walks out of the bathroom totally naked, while Andrew walks into the bathroom totally naked and they bump into each other and fall down. This is played for comedy

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • The adults drink alcohol at the party and also at a pre-wedding lunch.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:
‘shit’, ‘Jesus,’ ‘boobs’ ‘bitch’, ‘balls’

In a nutshell

The Proposal is a romantic comedy focusing on the developing relationship between two people who initially are antagonistic towards each other.
Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • loyalty
  • trust
  • the value of honesty
  • the importance of self-respect

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as

  • Margaret’s belief that the only way to get ahead was to bully intimidate and ultimately lie to get what she wanted and to achieve her goals. In the end this strategy didn’t work and she found that by being honest she got the best results.
  • the importance of a supportive and positive family in allowing you to reach your goals.
  • the need to let someone choose their own path and not that set out by a parent.