Maggie's Plan

500 Days Of Film Reviews Romantic Comedy, Maggie’s Plan, Starring Greta Gerwig, Ethan Hawke And Julianne Moore

Maggie Hardin, a thirty-something single New Yorker, has decided that the time is now right to have a child on her own. 

 

Maggie’s plan goes awry when she meets and falls in love with John Harding (Ethan Hawke), a "ficto-critical anthropologist" and struggling novelist. John is in a strained marriage with Georgette Nørgaard (Julianne Moore), a brilliant Danish academic. 

 

Formulating a new plan, Maggie becomes part of a nervy love triangle with John and Georgette. However, destiny may be better left to its own devices.

Is It Any Good?

Director, Rebecca Miller, first came across Maggie when she was sent some chapters of an unfinished novel by Karen Rinaldi. Those chapters included the basic essence of the story and the central conflict between Maggie, John and Georgette.

 

Intrigued by this subversive romantic comedy and what it had to say about the twists and turns of modern life, Miller developed the plot and added some

additional key characters. 

 

Really, of course, this film should be called Maggie’s Plans. Throughout the story, she makes so many of them. However, the movie's title prompts us to consider what is the most important plan for Maggie - and if life can (or should) be planned at all.

 

 

 

I thoroughly enjoyed Maggie’s Plan. This screwball comedy made me laugh and I enjoyed all of the central performances and collection of flawed yet likeable characters.

 

Greta Gerwig is superb. She is both naive and yet also incredibly wise. Maggie exhibits the same vulnerability and pureness of heart as we have seen in Gerwig's previous work (think Frances in Frances Ha and Brooke in Mistress America).

 

Ethan Hawke is brilliant as John. I loved and also felt frustrated by his neediness and self absorption. In a fascinating interview with The Curzon Film Podcast, Miller explains that "part of the whole thing is that we are different with different people, you know, you watch John be different with Maggie than he is with Georgette. He is sort of "the rose and the gardener" depending on who he's with." 

 

Initially, I thought I would find Julianne Moore’s Georgette irritating (particularly when first encountering her accent) but, by the end of the movie, I loved her. Proof if it were needed (which it really isn’t) of Moore’s impressive range.

  

 

Outside of Maggie’s Plan’s eccentric love triangle, Miller introduces some brilliant characters - her Greek chorus. Maggie’s friends, Tony and Felicia (played with relish by Bill Hader and Maya Rudolph) are just hilarious.

 

Meanwhile, Travis Flimmel’s pickle entrepreneur, Guy, who Maggie initially targets as a potential sperm donor steals every scene. The moment when he suggests that it “behooves me to offer to do this the old-fashioned way considering your extreme state of beauty and my totally free afternoon” had me crying with laughter.

 

Maggie’s Plan is an entertaining and enjoyable comedy. Do watch it - but don’t mess with destiny.

Random Observations

Have you seen Maggie’s Plan? 

 

If you have, what did you think of this movie? Let me know by leaving me a comment in the box below.

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