Maggie’s Plan


Directed by Rebecca Miller, the daughter of famed playwright Arthur Miller and wife of Daniel Day-Lewis, Maggie’s Plan is the quintessential indie rom-com, reminiscent of a Woody Allen comedy. It stars Greta Gerwig as Maggie, an insecure control freak living in New York who decides to have a baby on her own in order to make up for her failed love life. As described by the film’s title, she wants her life to follow according to her exact plans. However, her set course in life is unexpectedly altered when she meets an anthropologist named John played by Ethan Hawke. Unhappily married to Julianne Moore’s character, a world-renowned Danish anthropologist at Columbia, John gets advice from Maggie about his new novel that he is struggling to write. Eventually, John, feeling underappreciated by his wife, and Maggie, grasping to a new love interest, begin a world wind romantic affair that ultimately leads to his divorce. Forced to take care of John and his children, Maggie does not feel in control of her life and so she develops a new plan. She confides in her close friends humorously played by Bill Hader and Maya Rudolph that she wants to reunite John with his ex-wife. Throughout the movie, the viewer is taken on an unusual journey marked by many elements of screwball comedy, including Maggie’s encounters with a “pickle entrepreneur.” A staple of independent comedies, Gerwig gives a nuanced and often very funny performance as a neurotic who absurdly tries to destroy her love life simply to completely control her life. Furthermore, Hawke and Moore help to round out the film with their witty depiction of academic intellectuals replete with occasional drama and charm. Evoking the movie’s screwball nature, many of the scenes are scored by the hallmarks of a Woody Allen comedy: the music sounds like old-time jazz that has a playful and energetic spirit. Overall, I would recommend the film to all fans of romantic comedies and those looking for a lively and smart independent comedy, making for an enjoyable time at the movies.

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