BearCity 2: The Proposal Reviews
The movie was sexy, funny, a little naughty, and just a touch poignant at the right moments. I caught every burly guy in our row all wiping a tear during the wedding scene... even me. It's a great salute to the fun of Bear Week with a few inside jokes for the regulars with many non-actor bears cast as extras, including a gay fire chief as himself, complete with red suspenders.
Most of the largely newcomer cast returns with the comfort of favorite shoes, with Stephen Guarino (Big Gay Sketch Show) standing out as Brent, the comic soul of the movie, his quick wit with a cupcake just as light and tasty. Kathy Najimy had a much larger part than expected and is a delight as Brent's slightly-hippy mother, who conveniently owns a guesthouse that is somehow still available during Bear Week to host the group for the wedding, along with a background trio only referred to as "the Chicago bears". Har har. Of course, the parents of the groom (including famous face Richard Riehle) are invited to the wedding with more than a couple of hilarious culture-clash moments.
Groom-to-be Tyler has misgivings about marrying at 23, and those are only underscored by Big Dan a older romantic distraction subtly questioning his convictions. Theater veteran T. Doyle Leverett as Big Dan stole every scene with his calm sexy charm. I understand the part was originally intended for a 32 year old - praise the casting director for changing direction! Many other quick cameos (Kevin Smith, Frank DeCaro) help open the movie but I wish they were spread throughout the film, though a quick flash of Dan Choi at the end of the movie party was nice to see.
My only critiques are that there was no established "summer of love" or other grounding history for Tyler and Roger as couple, who finally got together at the end of the original movie only to be hemming and hawing about getting married at the start of the sequel. It's implied, but we don't quite believe it. It would have been nice to have a photo album montage of history of the last year or two showing their relationship as an intro to the movie, leading up to the opening scene (which itself was eye-candy homage to the opening scene of the first movie.) Also, a surprise breakup in the final moments seemed completely incongruous to the move and an awkward distraction.
Overall, this is a love-letter movie made by bears, for bears. Critics who say they've seen this wedding-jitter rom-com before don't quite get that not everyone has been part of that party. Good thing this movie wasn't made for them.