Daily archives "June 17, 2016"

Maggie’s Plan ***

U.S./ Director Rebecca Miller/ 98mins

Synopsis: A young woman (Greta Gerwig) longing to start a family becomes involved in a complicated love triangle with a professor (Ethan Hawke) and his theorist wife (Julianne Moore). 

Writer Director Rebecca Miller has decided in a change of genres after making the dramas like “Personal Velocity” and “The Ballad of Jack and Rose”, she has made a light comedy with mixed results. 

Gerwig plays Maggie, who really wants a child. She has been unlucky in love and has decided to seeks a sperm donor. Maggie asks Guy (Travis Fimmel), a former college friend who is now a Pickle business owner. However she falls in love with John (Hawke), an anthropologist and aspiring writer. Unfortunately he is married to the egotistical Georgette (Moore), but he decides to leave her to be with Maggie. Three years later,  Maggie now has a  daughter with John but their love for each other is waning. She decides to reunite Georgette and  John.

The film has a Woody Allenesque feel not only due to the location being New York, but also due to the awkward situations the protagonist lets herself be involved in and light comedic moments.

Story wise the plot is over familiar and very predictable. For a comedy it is also light on laughs with only SNL alumni  Maya Rudolph and Bill Hader, who play Maggie’s best friends providing most of the laughs. 

Greta Gerwig usually has great screen presence as seen in her previous roles in “Mistress America” and “Francis Ha”. Here her performance feels flat and uninteresting, this may have something to do with role being mainly straight laced.

While Julianne Moore steals the show with her thick funny Danish accent and outlandish outfits. She chews every scene with relish. Even Hawke impresses with his sympathetic confused manchild who dotes on women’s affection.

Overall not a memorable piece of cinema, the story may be easy going but it is the performances from the supporting cast that make the film entertaining.

Reviewed by Paul Logan