Romance is difficult enough without worrying about how he (or she!) might pop the question. While a clumsy and comedic proposal could be the story you laugh about when you're older, a disastrous one has the power to destroy your relationship for good.
No proposal could be uglier than the one Sandra Bullock offers to Ryan Reynolds in this weekend's romantic comedy, "The Proposal." While you have to give props to a girl willing to take matters into her own hands and get down on one knee, I'm not sure that it's a good thing to wield power in order to secure a marriage license. I suspect that that Bullock's bitter road to citizenship leads to marital bliss, you might be in the mood for commitments that are a little less power hungry.
So here's five of my favorite movie marriage proposals — and while I wish I had one that was a girl-power counter to "The Proposal," I confess to thinking it's more fun to see the boys do all the ring-offering work.
The romance and chivalry of the Middle Ages may have been a total myth, but you wouldn't know it from the way William Wallace (Mel Gibson) proposes his childhood sweetheart, Murron (Catherine McCormick). While he does start off appallingly medieval with talk of needing sons for farm work, it turns out he's only joking, and he drops the 13th- century talk to confess his true feelings. "I love you. Always have. I want to marry you." Plus, can you really say no in a misty Scottish glen with a kilt-wearing hero? I didn't think so.
Grand gestures aren't always reserved for sweeping romance movies, and they aren't always performed by traditional Hollywood hunks. Robbie (Adam Sandler) pulls out all the stops to propose to Julia (Drew Barrymore). Not only does he fork over the money for a last-minute, first class ticket to Las Vegas, and recruit the help of Billy Idol, but he does it entirely through song. What girl wouldn't say yes to "I Wanna Grow Old With You"?
Sandra Bullock wasn't always doing the proposing in her romantic comedies, and "While You Were Sleeping" features a proposal so simple that you've probably forgotten it. Lucy works a rather bleak job as a token- taker on the Chicago L Train, and after the romantic misadventure with a comatose Peter (Peter Gallagher), she seems to have no future with his brother, Jack (Bill Pullman). Just when you think all hope is lost (well, not really — it is a romantic comedy after all), Jack shows up at her token booth, and casually drops a ring through the slot. Good thing she didn't call in sick that day.
4. "Pride and Prejudice"
If Jane Austen hadn't been restricted by 19th-century morals and manners, Mr. Darcy's proposal to Elizabeth Bennet might have looked more like the version offered by Joe Wright in 2005. Feeling rather sleepless, Elizabeth Bennet goes for an early morning walk and who does she encounter across a misty English meadow? Why, the equally sleepless Mr. Darcy, who hasn't bothered to dress, and who proposes to her in all his open-shirted glory. And what a speech! "You must know ... surely, you must know it was all for you. You are too generous to trifle with me. I believe you spoke with my aunt last night, and it has taught me to hope as I'd scarcely allowed myself before. If your feelings are still what they were last April, tell me so at once. My affections and wishes have not changed, but one word from you will silence me forever. If, however, your feelings have changed, I will have to tell you: you have bewitched me, body and soul, and I love, I love, I love you. I never wish to be parted from you from this day on."
5. "Ever After"
Now we've come full circle and gone back to the age of chivalry and fairy tales. Sometimes, a guy doesn't need a ring to propose, just a "rather remarkable shoe." After behaving quite badly to poor Danielle, and nearly marrying a Spanish princess, Prince Henry (Dougray Scott) really has to get down on bended knee to win over his Cinderella (Drew Barrymore, making her second appearance on our list). He humbles himself pretty well, and considering he showed up to find his lady fair had rescued herself, I think we know who will always have the upper hand in this relationship.
Readers, now you know my favorites. What are some of yours? Share them in the comments below!