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    Screenplay Analysis – The Proposal Essay

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    There are several events that mark the end of the beginning of the movie, “The Proposal. ” A key event is the approaching expiration of Margaret’s Visa, which would lead to an immediate deportation back to Canada. Margaret thought the scheduled meeting was to discuss about her second promotion raise and is dumbfounded to be informed of the deportation plan back to Canada due to her expired Visa. As the meeting progresses, Andrew pops in the office to fetch Margaret for an interview that was awaiting her in an adjacent office.

    On the sight of Andrew, Margaret gets an idea of using him to remain legally in New York at least until her Visa issue is resolved. She calls Andrew and announces to her boss that they were indeed getting married (Pete 15). She enquires from her boss if getting married was not an adequate reason for her to stay alongside her future husband since soon they would be a married couple. Although Andrew is shocked by the unexpected happenings, he is in someway persuaded by the assurances made by Margaret. When the two return to their office, Andrew informs Margaret of his decision not to marry her and Margaret blackmails him with his job. The deal is sealed when Andrew is promised of a promotion and the publication of his manuscript.

    When they are refereed to the immigration offices to schedule their interview, they agree it would be at that weekend in Alaska at the ninetieth birthday party of Andrew’s grandmother. In my view, Pete Chiarelli set this scene in a comical way with a lot of anticipation to bring out the vagueness imagination of what would ensue to the audience (Walter 39). The Other event is the meeting with Andrew’s family in Alaska. Margaret is informed that her reservation at the local hotel had been cancelled as she was expected to stay with Andrew’s family. Typical for engaged couples, Margaret and Andrew are given a room to share and this is quite uncomfortable for Margaret. Andrew opts to sleep on the floor while Margaret sleeps on the Bed.

    Andrew’s grandmother decides to give them a surprise at breakfast and while knocking at their Room, Andrew rushes to join Margaret on the bed to pretend they slept together. Margaret likes Andrew’s family and realizes that she had missed a lot on family time since her mother passed on when was only sixteen years. She finds out that Andrews’s family was rich and Andrew had problems with his family after eavesdropping on his conversation with his father. At night, she enquires from Andrew why he was arguing with his father and Andrew decides to change the topic by informing her, his father had thought of her as attractive (Kevin 2010). Another notable event is the faking of a heart attack by Andrew’s grandmother after Margaret’s confession at the altar that the wedding was a sham.

    Andrew had predicted this scenario and he knew if Gammie discovered the wedding was fake she would die. An ambulance arrives to take Gammie to hospital while Andrew’s mother Grace and his father Joe, accompany her to the charter. Before the ambulance leaves, she opens her eyes and tells Andrew and Margaret to makeup. She lies back telling her ancestors to take her spirit and then sits upright saying her time was not yet over.

    Gammie then orders the pilot to take her to the airport to meet Margaret before she left. Though they could not catch up with Margaret, Gammie tells Andrew that Margaret indeed loved him and that was why she made the confession. Andrew also came to the realization that he was indeed in love with Margaret (The Hollywood Reporter 248). Question What are Margaret and Richard’s goals at the beginning of the script?Response As the chief editor at a New York Publishing firm, Margaret’s main goal is to be successful in her career and to get a huge promotional raise for her efforts. Margaret is a tough woman who after losing her parents at the tender age of sixteen grew up to become independent and determined. She does not allow anything to prevent her from achieving her goals and develops a very authoritarian character.

    For this reason, employees working under her hate her because they think she is too rigid on them and unnecessary strict (Lally 2009). Andrew, Margaret’s secretary’s goals is to become an editor. Margaret has refused to promote him even after his dedicated service for three years. Andrew who comes from a wealthy family abandoned his family’s wealth to chase after his dream of becoming an editor to publish his articles. At the beginning of the script, his dream appears bleak as his boss does not recognize his efforts.

    What obstacles, internal or external, prevent Margaret and Richard from reaching their goals during the script? The script highlights several obstacles that prevent Andrew and Margaret from reaching their goals. Margaret is faced with a deportation because her Visa is expired. She knows her departure would significantly affect her work. Andrews’s obstacles are mainly from his boss Margaret who is very strict and even fires an employee (Bob) for failing to secure an interview with a prominent client (Pete 8). Margaret is very tough on all employees in the office and for some reason she does not recognize Andrew’s dedicated service for the last three years. Thus, she does not see the need to promote him.

    By refusing to publish Andrew’s articles she derails his dream. The writer has used real characters that the audience identifies with, and this brings out the concept of the comedy in a sensible manner (Walter 311). Question How do their goals change as the script progresses? Response When Margaret is faced with an imminent deportation, her plans take another shift and she has no choice but to blackmail her secretary Andrew into marrying her in exchange for a promotion. Andrew turns down her request and only agrees to her request when she threatens him with his Job.

    Eventually, they strike a mutual deal that would see Andrew agree to the marriage and Margaret agree to the promotion and the publication of his book. It is only later in Alaska that Margaret confesses the truth about their proposal to the congregation that had turned up for their sham wedding. This changes their goals as they both realize they had fallen in love with each other. This is evident when Andrew shows up in Margaret’s office to officially propose to her (The Hollywood Reporter 249). Three examples of actions and dialogue employed by the screenwriter to convey either Margaret or Richard’s personality.

    Every screenwriter should be in a position to bring out certain events that reveal the personality of the actors in the script (Casinghino 11). In “The Proposal,” Pete Chiarelli revealed the character of Margaret in the following actions; Margaret has managed to become independent through her hard work despite losing her parents at a tender age. Employees alert each other as Margaret enters the office and they send each other messages to show how they hate her because of her strictness and tough laws (Pete 4-5). Margaret is determined to remain in New York to pursue her dreams while using Andrew as her solution to her deportation problem. She advances this idea until she has managed to convince the immigration officials (Pete 15).

    Chiarelli also portrays Margaret as truthful and sincere. This is because even after rejecting the sham wedding by making the confession and leaving Alaska she still fulfils her promise of promoting Andrew and publishing his manuscript (Pete 98). Question How supporting characters used help us better understand the main characters? Give three specific examples. Response Pete Chiarelli uses the employees to illustrate to the audience the character of Margaret and how she is feared and loathed because of her strictness. The employees’ enmity towards Margaret is also evident from how they behave whenever she is around. Chiarelli also uses Joe, Andrew’s father to bring out the character of Andrew to the Audience.

    Father and son are having a difficult relationship as the father can not understand why his son left a huge empire to chase after a dream in New York City. Andrews’s childhood sweetheart refused his marriage proposal because she did not want to accompany him to New York. Gammie’s request for Andrew to marry Margaret before she died was agreed upon because they were compassionate towards her, and they feared rejecting her proposal would send her to her grave.


    Casinghino, C. Moving Images: Making Movies, Understanding Media. Boston: Cengage Learning, 2010.

    PrintThe Hollywood Reporter, Volumes 409-410. Los Angeles: Hollywood Reporter Incorporated, 2009. PrintLarry, Kevin. The proposal: Film Review. 2009.

    Web. 8 July 2014. http://www1. hollywoodreporter.

    com/hr/film-reviews/the-proposal-film-review-1003984186. storyKevin. The proposal Film analysis. 2010. Web.

    8 July 2014: http://www. sexandgender. net/2010/06/30/the-proposal-film-analysis/Synopsis for the Proposal. 2009. Web.

    8 July 2014: http://www. imdb. com/title/tt1041829/synopsisPete Chiarelli, (2006), The Proposal. Walter, Richard.

    Essentials of Screenwriting: The Art, Craft, and Business of Film and Television Writing. New York, N. Y: Plume, 2010. Print.

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