HOLLYWOOD (CAP) - Audiences are reeling over the surprise ending of the new Sandra Bullock hit The Proposal, which some critics are calling "this year's summer shocker."
In the film, Bullock plays a ruthless publishing executive who convinces her beleaguered assistant, played by Ryan Reynolds, to marry her to avoid being deported to Canada. But even though the two can't stand each other at the start of the film [WARNING: SPOILER ALERT], by the end of the film, they've actually fallen in love.
"Dude, I did NOT see that coming," said Josh Carlisle, 20, of Freehold, N.J., who saw the movie with his girlfriend, Carolyn Spalding, 19. "I mean, they didn't get along at all. There were a couple of times when I thought it was gonna end with one of them beating the other one to death with a hammer."
Thousands of other moviegoers have reacted similarly to the surprise twist ending, expressing their shock on Internet message boards.
"OMG, they had nothing in common and she wuz even a jerk 2 him!" said CindEE27 on a message board at imdb.com. "Then they got together and I wuz like, WTF???"
Disney, which produced the movie, has already latched onto the audience reaction to promote the film, releasing ads that ask viewers "Don't give away the ending!" and "Don't spoil the surprise!"
"Clearly, anyone seeing the trailers would think that these two people could never possibly have anything but disdain for each other," said Disney spokesman Ron Frischling. "That's probably why in some theaters there's an audible gasp when they finally realize they're in love.
"We bet a lot of people will be freeze framing that scene on the DVD, just to make sure they're not crazy!" he said.
Of course, those in the know say that the Proposal surprise should come as no surprise to Bullock fans.
"Her movies are always unpredictable," notes Sarah Johnson of People magazine. "You can go all the way back to While You Were Sleeping (1995) - everybody thought she'd wind up with the self-absorbed comatose lawyer, but when she wound up with dreamy, down-to-earth Bill Pullman, I mean, wowsa!"
The Proposal is one of several hits this summer to execute a shocking plot device that's beguiling audiences. For instance, the Ben Stiller hit Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian features museum exhibits that actually come to life.
"Dude, I was like, holy crap!" said Carlisle.
Others have pointed to the surprise ending of Star Trek, in which the crew of the Enterprise survives despite clearly being in dire peril throughout most of the movie.
"Anyone who says there's no such thing as an original idea in Hollywood clearly hasn't been watching too closely," said People's Johnson. "Now if you'll excuse me I'm late for a screener of Land Of The Lost."
- CAP News Staff