let's our freedom's to be free
Margaret Tate (Sandra Bullock) is the executive editor in chief of a book publishing company, Ruick & Hunt Publishing. Her workers strongly dislike her for her bossy, pushy and cold demeanor. After learning she is being deported to Canada as her visa has expired, she forces her much abused assistant, Andrew Paxton (Ryan Reynolds), to marry her. Andrew, reluctant at first, agrees to the deal after Margaret threatens him by saying that she’ll not publish his book and all his hard work for past three years will be wasted. Both visit the Immigration Department, where they are introduced to the immigration officer, Mr. Gilbertson (Denis O’Hare). He informs them that the department suspects that the couple are committing a fraud in order to avoid Margaret’s deportation after receiving tip off call from a former employee (Bob, Aasif Mandvi) whom Margaret fired earlier. After the couple denies the statement, the officer tells them about the process which will be carried in order to confirm that the relationship is not a sham. They are informed that they’ll be asked questions about each other separately, and that their families and co-workers will also be questioned. If the answers don’t match, both will be charged for a felony—Margaret will be deported to Canada and Andrew could face four years in prison. Andrew tells Margaret that he is risking prison time for this deal and demands that she make him the editor immediately after their marriage and also publish his book with 20,000 copies in first run or else he’ll quit. A desperate Margaret agrees to his demands.
In order to sell the lie, the couple travels to Sitka, Alaska, Andrew’s home town to meet his family. During the flight, Andrew goes through the list of questions that they’ll be asked and informs Margaret that he knows almost everything about her but that she has to learn everything about him in just four days. Upon arriving in Sitka, Margaret meets Andrew’s mother (Mary Steenburgen) and grandmother (Betty White), who welcomes her warmly. During the ride home, Margaret notices that nearly every shop in the town is named after Paxton and realizes that Paxton is Andrew’s surname and all the shops belong to his family. Soon Margaret realizes that Andrew’s family is among the richest and most prestigious in Alaska and the live in a fort-like house across the lake. Upon her arrival at their house, Margaret is welcomed by a huge party which consists of the neighbors and friends of the family. She also meets Gertude (Malin Akerman), Andrew’s ex-girlfriend. During the party, Andrew confronts his dad (Craig T Nelson), who is shocked by his decision of marrying his boss and thinks that he is using her to get ahead in his career. After his brief conflict with his father, Andrew announces the proposal to the party and the two quickly forge up a story about their relationship and are forced to kiss each other. After the party is over his mother shows Margaret their room which they’ll have to share.
The next morning Margaret loses her cellphone while saving Andrew’s family dog from an eagle. On hearing that, Andrew comforts Margaret by telling her that they could order the cellphone with the same number and go to the town and get it. Andrew’s mother and grandmother take Margaret out to a local bar to enjoy a strip dance show by a locally famous and funny dancer, Ramone (Oscar Nunez). During the show Margaret meets Gertude again and they have a quick chat in which she learns that Andrew never wanted to get in his family business and wanted to become an editor and make his own life (much to his father’s disappointment) and also learns that he and Gertude were quite serious about their relationship but Andrew wanted her to run with him to New York City and start a new life to which she refused as she didn’t believe in leaving her home town. On returning home, the trio finds Andrew angrily chopping a log with an axe after having an argument with his father over their family business. Next she overhears the conversation between Andrew’s parents and learns that he has dealings with his father as his father wants him to take over their family business while Andrew wants to make his own. Later Margaret goes to the shower but forgets the towels and does not sense Andrew coming in the room, Andrew too is not aware of her presence as his iPod is plugged in, takes his clothes off. As Margaret tries to reach to the towels kept in the cupboard, she is attacked by the family dog and she runs into Andrew naked. Later that night after their embarrassing encounter Andrew and Margaret have a personal chat in which Margaret describes her earlier life and also reveals that she hasn’t been with a man for almost two years. Surprised Andrew tells her that she is very beautiful to which she feels complimented and the two build a bond. The following day, the family suggests they could marry the same weekend, an idea they reluctantly accept. Andrew is stressed because the marriage is actually a sham, and Margaret tries to comfort and convince him, finding herself genuinely caring for him. To sort out her emotions, she goes for a bike ride into the woods, where she finds Grandma Annie “giving thanks” to mother nature in a ritual. Annie invites her to join her, and they end up dancing, while Andrew watches.
After getting her new phone, Margaret tries to catch up on her work through a computer while Andrew chats with Gertrude outside. On their way home, Andrew’s mother and grandmother steal Margaret away to fit her in the wedding dress she will be wearing (which once belonged to his Grandmother) and Grandmother gives Margaret a 150 year-old pendant which also belongs to her. After Margaret realizes how much trouble she is making for Andrew, she has a meltdown which results in her hijacking a boat (with a much confused Andrew). She tells him that she has been alone since she was 16 years old after her family died and she almost forgot what it feels like having people in her life but after coming there she realized her faults and that she doesn’t want to mess up his life as he has everything she never had. While releasing her frustration, she lets go of the helm and stumbles to the back of the boat while Andrew tries to calm her down. When he makes a sharp turn to avoid hitting a buoy, Margaret falls out of the boat. Andrew quickly turns the boat around and saves her.
The same day Mr. Gilbertson, the U.S. immigrations official who is investigating Margaret’s visa application, contacts Joe in hopes of verifying the marriage is a sham. Joe instead invites him to Sitka to see the “happy couple” interact, hoping that if the marriage fails Andrew will settle down, stay in Alaska and give up writing to take over the business. Mr. Gilbertson makes a deal with his father and states that Andrew won’t be criminally punished if he admits the marriage is a scam, but Margaret will be deported to Canada. Andrew, who now cares deeply about Margaret, vehemently denies that the relationship is a lie.
During the wedding ceremony, Margaret decides she cannot marry Andrew and confesses the business arrangement in front of everyone, including Mr. Gilbertson, who informs her she has twenty four hours to get back to Canada. Since Margaret admitted to the scam, Andrew does not get jail time. Margaret returns to New York to pack her things. Andrew rushes to their room only to find she has already left, leaving his manuscript with a note of praise from her on the bed. Gertrude attempts to comfort Andrew, and encourages him to pursue Margaret.
As he rushes out of the house to confront Margaret, another argument arises between Joe and Andrew. Annie has a heart attack while trying to stop them and while being airlifted to the hospital, she convinces Joe and Andrew to quit arguing before she “passes away”. Once they agree, Annie reveals she had faked it, just so they would stop fighting and try to make it to the plane to stop Margaret from going back to New York. Andrew attempts to stop Margaret’s flight, but cannot do so in time. Andrew then rushes to New York and shows up at the office where he confesses his love for Margaret in front of the entire office staff, proposing marriage all over again as he “wants to date Margaret.” The two go to Mr. Gilbertson once more to get engaged, this time “for real.”
As the end credits roll, Gilbertson interrogates not only Andrew and Margaret, but also Joe, Grace, Annie, Ramone (the exotic dancer from Margaret’s bachelorette party), and Kevin (Andrew’s family’s dog).