Score one for escapist romance: Bullock bests the competition

A funny thing happened on the way to the movies this weekend.

Theatergoers bypassed colorful "Up," "The Hangover," and "Year One" in favor of "The Proposal," the Disney romantic comedy starring Sandra Bullock that should have been the kind of film that makes a respectable third-place showing in its opening weekend. Instead, it ended the two-week streak of Hangover's Vegas victims and became the weekend's winner to the tune of $34 million.

Variety, in explanation for the film's unlikely victory, shrugged that "Proposal" "seemed to satisfy demand for a pent-up romantic comedy." America has been experiencing a bit of a rom-com drought this spring -- that's true. But just six weeks ago, "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past" -- the latest film to try to equate Matthew McConaughey's slurred drawl and oiled curls with desirability -- brought in a tepid $15 million in its debut weekend. So clearly, chick flick fans haven't been salivating for just any boy-meets-girl flavorpill.