Actors Greta Gerwig, Ethan Hawke, and Julianne Moore star in the new romantic comedy called MAGGIE’S PLAN. The film is about a young woman who falls in love with another woman’s husband.
But after after a couple of years with this guy, she’s had enough and hatches a plan to get him back together with his ex.
It’s a silly plot that could have been turned into a very funny screwball comedy.
Instead, MAGGIE’S PLAN is thoughtful movie that takes the emotions of the characters so seriously it sometimes doesn’t feel like a comedy at all.
Greta Gerwig is Maggie, a single New York career counselor who’s decided she wants a baby even though she doesn’t have a partner. Gerwig is one of the darlings of independent films these days, specializing in playing smart, neurotic, idealistic young women whose lives are more than a little complicated.
Here, she falls for Ethan Hawke, as John Harding, an older low level college professor who’s married to Julianne Moore, a tenured professor at Columbia who dominates him.
Here’s are two examples of the film’s cerebral humor:
John: If you say she’s “like terrified,” it’s not nearly as strong as saying she’s terrified. “Like” is a language condom.
Maggie: What is ficto-critical anthropology, anyway?
John: Well, it is a way of writing about anthropology that blends ethnographic observation, story telling and theory.
If you find this kind of academic dialogue amusing, then MAGGIE’S PLAN is for you. If not, don’t expect to laugh much.
After John and Maggie get together, John sheds the submissive role he played in his marriage to Georgette. Now, he even expects Maggie to take most of the responsibility for his kids.
Maggie’s scheming begins when she goes to see Georgette.
Maggie: John and I are in trouble. There might be an opportunity to get the two of you back together.
Georgette: You want to make sure you don’t feel guilty so you’re going to manipulate us all. Leave. Leave.
Of course the story doesn’t end there, and even though it’s not as funny as I wanted it to be, I enjoyed watching MAGGIE’S PLAN. The actors are top notch and the movie itself reminds me a lot of Woody Allen films, because it’s set in a similar world of insecure, intellectual neurotics who think their way into all sorts of trouble.
Terry Hunter, Hawaii News Now. firstname.lastname@example.org