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12 Movies like The Proposal: Accidental Love

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Jane Howarth itcherLove triangles and pretend relationships turned real – yep, they’re all here! Good movies like ‘The Proposal’ (Anne Fletcher, 2009) set up the perfect conditions for awkward romance and comedy moments. ~ Jane Howarth

You can tell she’s a good dancer by the way she drinks her soda pop.

‘Addicted to Love’ (Griffin Dunne, 1997) shares a mismatched couple theme, with two remaining partners joining forces against their exes. But it takes too much of a black comedy turn to really remind me of ‘The Proposal’. Betty White’s woodland dance paired with a vengeance movie?  Maybe not.

The secretly scheming couple from How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (Donald Petrie, 2003) and the mismatched couple from ‘Forces of Nature’ (Bronwen Hughes, 1999) are closer.

But out of all the accidental romances out there, these are my favourite ‘The Proposal’-esque movies.

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`Green Card´ (Peter Weir, 1990)

We don’t have to like each other. We just have to get married…

In a truly international film, Gérard Depardieu and Andie MacDowell fix up the green card marriage in this movie, with Depardieu taking Sandra Bullock’s part as the immigrant and MacDowell as the helpful US citizen.

This movie used to be televised fairly regularly, so I’ll probably always consider it a modern classic, but I don’t think I’m the only one. If you haven’t found it yet, give it a try and see if you agree.

SIMILARITY MATCH: 80%
Fake marriages and couples learning about each other in rapid-fire fashion make ‘The Proposal’ and ‘Green Card’ two very similar films.

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`While You Were Sleeping´ (Jon Turteltaub, 1995)

Peter once asked me when I fell in love with Jack. And I told him, “It was while you were sleeping…”

Sandra Bullock again, with another love triangle. Imagine your secret commute crush falls in front of a train – he survives but he’s in a coma, and only family are admitted to his hospital ward.

The only logical solution is to let everyone think you’re his fiancée…

Well, maybe not. But it works for ‘Lucy’, until she falls for the unconscious guy’s younger brother.

SIMILARITY MATCH: 60%
Deliberate misunderstandings lead to potential love for Sandra Bullock in both these pretend-engagement movies

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`Picture Perfect´ (Glenn Gordon Caron, 1997)

…it’s like, even though you’re engaged, when you’re with me I really feel like you’re WITH me, you know? But the scary thing is I actually kinda like it…

Sorry, everyone. I don’t know how to tell you this, but I’m just not that into Jennifer Aniston beyond Rachel. I just feel like she comes across two-dimensionally, but I’ll make an exception for this earlier example.

Did I mention the long-haired Kevin Bacon scenes?  Yes, they happen.

SIMILARITY MATCH: 60%
Pretend relationship woes and inevitable emotions make ‘Picture Perfect’ a more romantic version of ‘The Proposal’.

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`Heartbreakers´ (David Mirkin, 2001)

There’s no love. It’s the trick of the brain. It’s the combination of chemicals and hormones…

Sigourney Weaver’s ‘Max’ and onscreen daughter ‘Page’, played by Jennifer Love Hewitt, make a living by getting involved with rich guys, conning them out of a small fortune, and moving on the next unfortunate target.

I’ve got to question the naming decisions that led to a con artist family going by the name of ‘Conners’. Really, guys?

But suspiciously apt naming aside, it’s a fun movie that shares a sense of humour with the Sitka-based comedy, while the scam set-up adds a different dimension.

SIMILARITY MATCH: 40%
Different plot, same mix of physical comedy and crossed wires.

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If You Like ‘The Proposal’, You Will Like…

You won’t need a green card for the next two movies, though! We’re off to the North of France and the English Home Counties for more crossed wires and unexpected love affairs.

`Hôtel Normandy´ (Charles Nemes, 2013)

A young Parisian’s friends secretly arrange a date for her. She meets a different guy, falls for him, and tells her friends. They think she’s talking about their arranged date, panic, and spill the story; she breaks things off with the (wrong) guy.

I’ve already talked about it and more fun movies like 27 Dresses, but I can’t help but link the two lighthearted comedies.

For more French romance, try ‘Beautiful Lies’ (Pierre Salvadori, 2010), another great film about unexpected love. You can read more about it right here.

Fun, easy to watch, full of crossed wires and hidden agendas – just like ‘The Proposal’ (with subtitles).

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`The Importance of Being Earnest´ (Oliver Parker, 2002)

Lady Bracknell, I hate to seem inquisitive, but would you kindly inform me who I am?

Judy Dench gets to say the immortal ‘handbag’ line in this jolly adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s play, while Rupert Everett and Colin Firth play ‘Jack’ and ‘Algernon’, two turn of the century chaps.

‘Jack’ get into all kinds of trouble in London, keeping it hidden from his country relations by giving himself the false name, ‘Ernest’. Thanks to various complications, ‘Algernon’ takes over the pseudonym and finds ‘Jack’’s ward, ‘Gwendolen’, falling for him thanks to her dreams of marrying an ‘Ernest’.

This play has always lent itself to elegant costumes. But gorgeous period settings, fabulous wardrobes, and romantic comedy, too? Yes, this is definitely one of my favourite accidental love stories.

With mistaken identities and tangled romances, ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ is a great alternative with a Victorian twist.


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The itcher Team Would Like to Propose Some More Films

I’ve asked around at itcher HQ and Ona, Editorial Assistant, came up with a couple more movies that I think match the criteria just perfectly.

`Leap Year´ (Anand Tucker, 2010)

I don’t want not to make plans with you. I want to make plans with you…

A girl can’t wait for her boyfriend to ask her to marry him, so she decides to propose to him instead.

Check out this link for more similar films.

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`The Ugly Truth´ (Robert Luketic, 2009)

You have to be two people. The saint and the sinner. The librarian and the stripper…

Unhappy single girl ‘Abby’ gets help from a single-by-choice guy to make the man she fancies fall in love with her.

Don’t forget to also check out these other films like ‘The Ugly Truth’.

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`My Fake Fiancé´ (Gil Junger, 2009)

Wow. Talk about commitment issues. You’re getting cold feet over our pretend wedding…

A man and a woman who are in need of cash fake an engagement to receive wedding gifts and money.

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`The Wedding Date´ (Clare Kilner, 2005)

I’d rather fight with you than make love with anyone else…

Kat hires a male escort to come with her to her younger sister’s wedding in order to show everyone – but especially her ex boyfriend – that she has a new man in her life.

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`What Happens in Vegas´ (Tom Vaughan, 2008)

…We got robbed. All they took was the door…

During a wild, drunken night in Las Vegas, strangers ‘Joy’ and ‘Jack’ get married. In order to get the money they won that same night, they have to make their marriage work for a specific amount of time.

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`Sweet Home Alabama´ (Andy Tennant, 2002)

You’re the first boy I ever kissed, Jake, and I want you to be the last…

‘Melanie’ is engaged to one of New York’s most eligible bachelors. The only problem is that she needs to get divorced from her high school love first, so she has to go back home to Alabama.

Have a look at this article if you want to watch some great movies like ‘Sweet Home Alabama’.

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Pretend Relationship Turned Real

Real life friends Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds epitomise accidental romance in ‘The Proposal’. Film characters get into unusual situations sometimes, but I’ve got to say, the ‘pretend relationship turned real’ has so much potential for disaster, unexpected love, and those awkward rom-com moments.

Add Your Favourites

What’s your favourite accidental romance movie?  Here’s your chance to add it to the list – pop down to the comments section and tell us all about it!

**For a video playlist of the recommendations, please click here.

Hi, I’m Jane, BA (Drama, Film and TV) and MA (Cultural and Creative Industries). When I’m not writing about creative things, I’m designing or planning them. If you’re brave enough to risk an avalanche, look behind the stacks of books and DVDs and you’ll find me balancing a cup of tea, a handful of knitting and a cupcake.
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