Margaret is called to talk to two of the head honchos who run the company. One of them asks her if she remembers when they agreed she wouldn't go to the Frankfurt Book Fair because she wasn't "allowed out of the country while [her] visa application was being processed?" She did end up going because they were going to lose one of their authors to another publishing company and she managed to stop that from happening. Because of this, they spoke to her immigration attorney and her visa application has been denied and she hasn't filled out some paperwork in time and now she's being deported back to her home country of Canada. I did laugh when she says, "Come on! It's not like I'm even an immigrant! I'm from Canada!" They tell her she can reapply, but she'll have to leave the country for at least a year. She says it won't be too bad because she can work from Toronto, but they tell her she won't be able to work for an American company. Until this is resolved, they're going to "turn operations over to Bob Spaudling". (I guess it doesn't matter that she just fired him.) This makes her irate and even they'd rather have her stay and tell her if there was "any way at all they could make this thing work, they'd be doing it." (Boy, everyone must hate Bob!)
Now, I know nothing about the immigration process and obtaining visas and all that, but are they really that concerned about a woman from Canada who has a good job with a steady income and hasn't had any trouble with the law? It seems like someone like her wouldn't be their first priority. It seems like she's been in New York for a long time (she'd have to be to have the job she has!), but why was her visa application being processed? I get the sense that the Frankfurt Book Fair was recent, so why - oh, you know what? It really doesn't matter. I get that they need this as part of the plot. Like I said before, I couldn't remember why she and Ryan Reynolds were pretending to her engaged, but as soon as this scene came on, it all made sense (in a non-sensical way!)
I realize she just came up with this idea, but you would think she would talk to him about this BEFORE ambushing him, but I guess it's not as funny and maybe this way he feels like he's forced to go along with it. There is a funny moment when one of the men says to Margaret, "Isn't he your secretary?" (and Andrew is quick to respond "assistant", but that's not the funny part I'm talking about) and she replies, "It wouldn't be the first time one of us fell for our secretaries, Edwin" and the guy who's not Edwin looks at Edwin in surprise.
When Margaret and Andrew are back in her office, he tells her he's not going to marry her and she tells him that Bob is going to fire him once she's gone and all the time they spent together, "all the lattes, all the canceled dates, all the midnight Tampax runs, were all for nothing. All your dreams of being an editor are gone." She says the'll get a divorce after "the required allotment of time." Ryan has been Margaret's assistant for three years and his dream is to become an editor, so he agrees to help her. Of course, he's not thrilled about it, but a guy's gotta do what a guy's gotta do.
They meet with an immigration lawyer named Mr. Gilbertson and he starts the meeting by asking them "Are you both committing fraud to avoid her deportation so she can keep her position as editor in chief at Colden Books?" It's pretty funny that he hit the nail right on the head. He does admit he got a phone tip from a man named Bob and Margaret tells him that he "is nothing but a disgruntled former employee."
Mr. Gilbertson asks if their parents know about their relation and Margaret says hers are dead, but that they're going to tell Andrew's parents when the see them this weekend to celebrate Andrew's Gammy's 90th birthday. Honestly, I'm shocked she even remembered him talking about that because it seemed like she was barely paying attention to what he was saying. When asked where Andrew's parents live, she scoffs and asks "Why am I doing all the talking?" and tells Andrew that he should tell him where it is since it's his parents' house. This right here should have been major red flags to the immigration lawyer. But to be fair, he is pretty skeptical throughout the movie. He just doesn't seem to question it in this moment. When Andrew says his parents live in Sitka, Alaska, Margaret doesn't seem to be too thrilled. Okay, a couple of things:
1. I wouldn't be thrilled if I was going to Alaska either, especially for the weekend. (They go for a long weekend since they are there for four days, but still!) A long-ass flight to Alaska to only be there for four days is not worth it! They will fly first class from New York to Juneau, then take a jumper plane to Sitka. Now I'm not sure if there were any layovers on their way to Juneau, but a nonstop flight is about eight hours. You can fly to London from New York with one less hour. Actually, a flight from New York to London would be two hours less because I forgot to account for the one hour flight they take from Juneau to Sitka.
2. How the hell did Margaret not know that Andrew is from Alaska? They've known each other for three years and that never came up? Alaska is one of those places where I think you would remember if someone said they were from there.
When they leave the office, Margaret tells Andrew that him saying he was being promoted was "genius", but obviously he was being serious and told her that he would need some kind of incentive for him to go along as he could be sent to jail for doing this. Hell, I don't blame him! At first, she refuses to give him the promotion and he tells her he quits and starts walking away, but she quickly agrees that she'll make him editor if their little ploy works. He also says that he wants her to publish his manuscript and adds that he'll tell his family about the engagement when he wants and how he wants.
Their separate interviews are schedule for eleven on Monday, so on the l--o--n--g flight to Juneau they have plenty of time to study up on each other. Andrew already knows a fair amount about Margaret, but she hardly knows anything about him. They are looking at questions that will be asked and I'm surprised that they are able to study for their interview and will have plenty of time to make sure their answers match.
When they reach Sitka, they are greeted by Andrew's mom, Grace (Mary Steenburgen), and his Gammy, Annie (Betty White). Gammy asks Margaret if she prefers to be called Margaret or "Satan's Mistress". It seems this his family knows that he strongly dislikes his boss, but yet they don't really seem to question why he's all of a sudden dating her. I guess they're just happy that he's visiting because we'll later learn that he only visits about every three years. I just assumed because it was too far away, but it's because he has a strained relationship with his dad, Joe (Craig T. Nelson).
When they're driving from the tiny airport, this is when Margaret and the audience realize that Andrew comes from a wealthy family (he's "an Alaskan Kennedy" as Margaret will call him) because there's many shops and businesses with "Paxton" in the name.
Margaret and Andrew were originally going to stay in a hotel (most likely two separate rooms), but Grace tells them she cancelled their reservations because they want them to stay in their home. This makes sense since he is their son and he is visiting with his girlfriend. Not to mention, they have plenty of room in their house. Their house is on an island and they have to take a boat to reach it. They have to climb down a ladder to the dock where the boat is docked. One moment that genuinely made me laugh out loud is when Andrew throws Margaret's Louis Vuitton suitcase into the boat, but it bounces off the dock and lands in the water. He says "Five second rule" as he quickly fishes it out. (I thought it was three seconds!)
While this is going on, a waiter serving hors d'oeuvres had just put a bite of something (lobster maybe?) into Margaret's mouth (like physically puts it into her mouth even though she told him she didn't want one) and this is the exact moment she hears Andrew announce to everyone they're engaged and she ends up spitting it out. The waiter is named Ramone and there's a running gag where he has many jobs throughout this movie, so this is sighting and job #1.
Gertrude asks the newly engaged couple how Andrew proposed and both Grace and Gammy also want to hear this story. You would think Andrew and Margaret would realize there would be a good chance they would be asked this questions when they announced their engagement and they would have already come up with a story, duh. But I get it; it's funnier this way, and, besides, they were probably too busy going over the questions they would need to answer for their interview.
She starts by saying they they were about to celebrate their first anniversary together and she knew that he'd been "itching to ask [her] to marry him." According to her, he was scared (heh), so she started "leaving him little hints here and there because [she] knew he wouldn't have the guts to ask." So at this point, Andrew's not too happy that she's making him sound like a wuss, so he's quick to interrupt and tell them that's not exactly how it happened. He says he picked up on her hints, implying they weren't so subtle. As soon as he tells them he had a little box for her, Margaret interrupts and says it was a decoupage box he made and "had taken the time to cut out tiny, little pictures of himself." She opened it "and out fluttered these tiny, little hand-cut heart confettis." Now I would think this part would be a red flag to his own family because he doesn't strike me as being this intricate and artistic, but his mom and grandma seem to be believing every word of this story, She continues, saying she saw "the most beautiful, big..." and once again, Andrew interrupts and completes the sentence with "fat nothing." He says there was no ring and instead was a "handwritten note with the address to a hotel, date, and time." Margaret says she thought he was seeing someone else and went to the hotel and banged on the door which was unlocked and when she opened it, she saw him "kneeling on a bed of rose petals in a tuxedo" and he was "chocking back soft, soft sobs." Margaret doesn't have a chance to tell them what he said to her when he was finally able to talk because Andrew interrupts and tells them really quickly that he asked her to marry him and she said yes. I think he was ready to end that story!
The crowd clinks their glasses, wanting the newly engaged couple to kiss and he kisses her hand, bhah! They do eventually kiss on the lips but it's so awkward and obviously not real. I am shocked that nobody is suspicious of them at all. Well, I guess Joe is a little bit, but they don't really dwell on that.
Margaret freaks out about her phone to Andrew and he tells her they'll just order a new phone with the same number and they can go into town tomorrow to pick it up. Duh.
Grace, Gammy, and Gertrude take Margaret out to a strip club where we get a very awkward and way too long scene of Ramone doing a strip tease for her. (I guess this is her unofficial bachelorette party). This is sighting and job #2 for Ramone.
When they return back to the house, Margaret goes upstairs to take a shower. It's only when she's done that she realizes she can't find a towel. Uh, wouldn't you make sure you had a towel before you took the shower? Also, Margaret must not have been paying attention that first night because Grace clearly told them there were towels in the cabinet outside the bathroom. The only thing she can find is a washcloth which she covers her bits up with and holds her other arm over her breasts. This is the scene I was talking about earlier when the little dog is blocking her way and barking at her when she opens the door. Now while she was in the shower, Andrew had come upstairs with his head phones on (I guess so he can't hear the shower even though the bathroom door is closed so you would think he would know that someone's in there) and he opens the cabinet to grab a towel, then heads outside on the deck, for some reason, to strip. When Margaret opens the door, she sees the cabinet door ajar and that there are towels. She tries to deter the dog by blowing a hair dryer at him, but, of course, he loves it. (I had a cat who hated going to the groomers, but he absolutely loved the warm air from the blow dryer.) Somehow, she makes it past this fearsome creature and while she's stepping her way around the dog, Andrew steps into the room and they both run into each other and she falls on top of him and it's the most awkward thing ever because they're both butt naked!
That night, when she's in the bed and he's on the floor, he brings it up again and she tells him let's never talk about this again and they agree. Or maybe it was the other way around where she brought it up and he said they should never talk about it again Margaret knows there's tension between him and his father and asks about it, but he refuses to tell her. She starts telling him little random bits of information about herself to open up to him and I guess this is supposed to bring them closer together. I guess they do seem a little friendlier after this.
The next morning Grace knocks on the door, announcing she's brought them breakfast in bed. Margaret quickly wakes Andrew by throwing a pillow at him and tells him to get into the bed with her. He does (and also hides the sheets so they're not on the floor anymore) and they accept their breakfast from his mother.
Joe comes in and tells them Grace thought of a great idea. Why are they telling them this now when they're in bed? Can't they wait until they're up and dressed? Even Gammy will come in a few minutes later. Anyway, Andrew's parents tell them that they want them to get married at their house tomorrow which is also the same day of Gammy's ninetieth birthday party (fun fact: Betty White was 86 when she filmed this). When they say they don't want to ruin Gammy's big day, this is when she barges in and tells them she's had 89 birthday parties and doesn't need another and that "it would be a dream come true for me to see my one grandchild's wedding. A dream come true!" When they're still hesitant about it, she plays the guilt card and asks them if they'll do it "before I'm dead." They sure aren't giving them much notice, but I guess they thought everything through. They already have a venue: it will be in the barn (I didn't even know they had a bar!) because it's "a Paxton family tradition." You can see that Margaret looks extra thrilled about that!
That afternoon, Margaret and Andrew go into town to pick up her new phone. This is when we get sighting and job #3 of Ramone who works at the store. She has 37 messages and needs to answer them so Andrew takes her to an Internet cafe and while she's in there, he's outside talking to Gertrude who he ran into and Margaret sees this. She looks a little jealous, but nothing comes out of it. Gertrude is not trying to get Andrew back and Andrew only sees her as a friend. There is absolutely no threat. I think the director just likes Malin Akerman because she had worked with her the previous year in 27 Dresses and wanted to give her a role in this movie.
Gammy gives Margaret a necklace that has been in the family "for more than 150 years". Her great grandfather gave it to her great grandmother when they got married. Margaret is starting to feel guilty because of this and earlier Grace had told her she'd love for them to come down and visit them. She freaks out to Andrew about it and tells him she "forgot what it was like to have a family" because she's been on her own since she was 16. She doesn't understand why he's "willing to put them through this" because his family loves him. He tells her they're not going to find to out (hmm, are you sure about that?) and when she asks "How do you know?" (which is a good point), he replies, "You said so yourself." Uh, that's not really a good argument.
When they get back to the house, Joe is there to meet them and he looks serious. Right away I knew that he had found out their engagement was a sham. This was confirmed when he tells them he needs to talk to them and that Andrew's mother "is never to hear any of this." They go into the barn (oh, there's the barn!) where Mr. Gilbertson, the immigration lawyer, is waiting for them and tells them, "I told you I'd check up on you." At first, I thought he had flown all the way from New York to Sitka on his own accord and was confused by this and thought it was totally pointless since Andrew and Margaret had an appointment with him for their interviews on Monday, but it was Joe who flew him up there. He had received a phone call from Mr. Gilbertson who told him if Andrew was lying, he would be sent to prison for five years. It is a little surprising that neither Andrew nor Margaret thought that the immigration lawyer wouldn't check in with Andrew's parents about this because he did tell them at their first meeting that he would be doing just that. I guess they did consider he might do it and would just deny it which is what Andrew will do. Mr. Gilbertson tells Andrew that his dad "negotiated a deal on your behalf" and he's going to make a statement "admitting this marriage is a sham or you're gonna go to prison". If he tells the truth, nothing will happen to him, but she'll be sent back to Canada. Andrew's statement is that he's been working for Margaret for three years and six months ago they started dating, fell in love, and are now getting married.
While Ramone is doing the whole wedding spiel, Margaret interrupts him and says she need to say something. Now I thought she was going to confess everything, but then tell Andrew (and everyone else) that she did fall in love with him over the course of these last couple of days and truly does want to get married to him. We-ell, that's not exactly how it happened. She does confess the reason they're getting married, apologizes to Andrew's family, and on her way out of the barn tells Mr. Gilberston (who has a smug look on his face) that he's giving her a ride back to the airport. I guess Margaret's conscience just caught up with her and she couldn't go through with this ruse anymore.
Of course, Grace and Gammy are confused and want Andrew to tell them what's going on, but he's too preoccupied to tell them anything right now. On their way to the airport, Mr. Gilbertson tells Margaret that once they land in New York, she'll have twenty-four hours to go to Canada. Well, at least that flight will be a lot shorter at a little under two hours (assuming she's going to Toronto).
Even though the wedding has been called off, there's still a wedding reception outside (well, they might as well use all the food and supplies they already paid for!) and Andrew wants to go after Margaret and talk to her, but his dad tells him he can't let him do that and they start fighting. Gammy yells at them to stop fighting, then looks panicked and grabs her chest to look like she was having a heart attack which I knew she was faking. A sea plane is called to take her to the hospital and Andrew and his parents go with her. You know this has to be the most exciting wedding these guests have ever attended! First, the bride walks out, and now the grandmother of the groom is being taken away a small plane because of a supposed heart attack.
In the plane Gammy takes off her oxygen mask and tells Andrew and Joe that they need to stop fighting. She tells her son to promise her that he'll stand by Andrew even if he doesn't agree with him and she makes her grandson promise her that he'll "work harder to be a part of this family." They both promise. She replies, "Well, then, the spirits can take me" and closes her eyes. A moment later, she opens them and takes off her oxygen mask (which the EMT had put back on) and says, "I guess they're not ready for me" and tells the pilot she's "felling much better" and there's "no need to take us to the hospital." She asks him to take them to the airport instead. I called it because she admits she was faking the heart attack because "it was the only way I could get you two to make up and get us to the airport." Uh, wouldn't you get a fine for that? They probably didn't because she's the matricach of the richest family on the island.
They get to the airport, but it's too late and Margaret has already left. Andrew gets on the next plane to New York. He runs to the office where Margaret is cleaning out her desk and professes his love for her in front of everybody. All the women are clutching their hands to their hears and oohing and aahing. At first, she's a little resistant, but then decides that she loves him too. He proposes to her, this time for real and wants her to marry him "because [he'd] like to date [her]." Everybody claps when they kiss, something that only happens in movies, let's be real. I don't buy that these two would become romantically involved, if anything, I can find them having more of a respect for each other.
I know I called this movie mediocre, but it's not the worst thing to watch when you need something to do. There are some funny moments (although they are few and far between) and it's only an hour and a half. Also, if you do watch it and you're charmed by the town of Sitka, don't book your flight to Alaska just yet! The movie was actually filmed in Rockport, Massachusetts, which is in the northeast part of the state. The mountains that you see were CGIed in.