Carroll County Times
Carroll County

Sam's Choices: Exploring Sandra Bullock's best

I was looking at the movies that come out Friday and noticed that Sandra Bullock is back in a comedy. This news excited me, because she has such great comedic timing and there is rarely a time when I dislike something she has done. I have recently watched a couple of her films, and even after seeing them a handful of times, I still love them. So with that thought, my topic for this week was chosen: Bullock's best.
"The Heat" reminds me a lot of "Miss Congeniality," which makes me nervous that it won't be any good or will seem stale. But then I heard Chelsea Handler talking about how hilarious the movie was, so I decided I won't have any expectations until I see it. Since I like Melissa McCarthy as well, I am sure that the movie won't disappoint. I know the first movie everyone expects me to say is "The Blind Side," and I have to admit that I haven't been able to get myself to sit down and watch that one as of yet, but I will work on that. So don't look for that one on this list, because you won't find it.

'The Proposal' 2009
I could watch this movie once a week. In fact for a while it was on TV a lot and I saw it about a hundred times. I love Ryan Reynolds and Bullock together; they have such great chemistry. She plays a workaholic who is mean to all of her employees. Then she forces Reynolds to marry her so she won't be deported to Canada, but immigration catches on and starts investigating the issue. So to look real, they go visit Reynold's family in Alaska. Of course, hilarity ensues, as she learns to be nice to people and accept help.
My favorite part is when Bullock and Betty White are chanting and dancing in the woods for the spirits. When it's Bullock's turn to chant, she starts singing the classic rap jam "Get Low" by Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz while dancing appropriately to the lyrics. Of course, if you have heard this song, it's probably the last thing you would expect to come out of Bullock's mouth. White is shocked when she finally figures out what the words are, and Reynolds appears as Bullock is dancing with her butt out. I laugh every time I see this scene. I can't imagine a funnier movie from Bullock, and make all of my friends and family see it if they haven't.


'Miss Congeniality' 2000
This movie is always on TV as well, but for good reason: Bullock is fabulous in it. My dad even likes this movie, but then again, how can you not? Bullock plays the frumpy federal agent with finesse, but then when she is transformed into a beauty queen she does that well too. It's amazing how versatile she can be.
Being a strong female stuck in a sea of prima donnas can be a nightmare, yet the movie managed to be hilarious, but also teach the viewer a lesson. Bullock's character learns that while beauty queens seem like airheads with no idea what's going on in the normal world, they are more than that. The movie was certainly great press for various beauty pageants.
Bullock manages to bring the different sides of the character together well, and she even gets the guy in the end, after she beats him up on national TV, of course. If you don't take anything else away from the movie, remember if you're ever attacked to just SING: hit the attacker in the solar plexus, instep, nose and groin.

'Divine Secrets of the


Ya-Ya Sisterhood' 2002
Based on a book I have regrettably never read, this movie tears at your heartstrings while exploring the history of a family. I first watched this film when I was working at a video store at age 15. The name intrigued my sister and me, so we picked it up as one of my three free rentals one week. We were slightly shocked by the plot. I remember laughing at the jokes, but we did enjoy the overall effect it has on the viewers.
Bullock plays a woman who was scarred by her childhood, and wants nothing to do with her family. But when she is forced to face her past and all of the things she had pushed into the back of her mind, she struggles to understand her mother's choices. The "Ya-Yas," her mother's childhood friends, help her to figure out her past and mother.
This movie is different from most of the films I have seen Bullock in and it is definitely less mainstream than the other ones on this list, which is probably one of the reasons I enjoy it so much. Another thing that gets me about this movie is a cliche, but it rings true. I love that one moment you're laughing and enjoying yourself and then the next the film sends you into a fit of tears; that's just great movie making. Bullock makes that all happen with her dedication to playing the character.

'Practical Magic' 1998
This is one of those movies that I watched with friends in college and can't believe it took me so long to see it. It's definitely one I love watching around Halloween for some reason or another, maybe because it's just creepy enough and ABC Family always plays it during the "13 Nights of Halloween" line-up they have.
Bullock and Nicole Kidman play witches who grew up with their aunts and are not used to having anything normal happen in their lives. They spend the movie struggling to come to terms with and fight the curse that they carry along with their powers. Strange things happen, as can be expected, and the men they fall in love with are doomed to death, which is unfortunate, and drives them both nuts.
Bullock plays the quiet sister, who tries to do everything logically. It's certainly interesting to see her in a more subdued role as opposed to her generally eccentric and fiery characters. Bullock brings a lot of passion to this movie, even though it was a relatively unnoticed one.

'Two Weeks Notice' 2002
Yet another movie where Bullock plays a frumpy, passionate do-gooder who falls for a guy she originally dislikes. In this movie she is a talented lawyer whose parents tend to get arrested for protesting all sorts of causes and have passed their love of those issues to their daughter. She ends up getting a job for Hugh Grant, a playboy who works for his brother in a company that is looking to tear down a community center Bullock supports keeping. Of course, the two fall in love and have to figure out how they can be together if he wants to knock down something she loves.
Bullock, in an underrated performance, is able to portray a forceful workaholic, yet again. It makes me wonder if she is passionate about some sort of cause in her personal life, because she plays the character so well. Or maybe she really is just that good at her job. I truly enjoy this movie, despite it flying under the radar for the most part, because the lines are witty and delivered well, and the story line is semi-believable. I just ignore that the character is so similar to several others she plays because Bullock does a great job showing off her acting skills.