Rebecca Miller’s Maggie’s Plan owes a debt to the New York romantic comedy. The twee infusions may be off-putting to some, but those who get onboard will find the film entertaining.
Maggie has a plan. She has worked out all the details of her plan to have a baby solo. A chance meeting with a colleague disrupts her careful planning. Whilst John is entrancing to Maggie, he is also married…
Writer-director Rebecca Miller delivers a brand of escapist cinema which has allusions of Woody Allen. Maggie’s Plan is heavy on the dialogue, some of which exudes the level of self-involvement of the characters. The film is removed in a sense. The world of academia that is comfortable to the point of affluent will be alien to many. Yet Maggie’s Plan offers characters which are interesting. Their dilemmas may be inconsequential, but the film is divertingly entertaining.
Miller’s film launches straight into the motivation of protagonist Maggie. Viewers are at once advised on the motivation of the title character and the minutiae of her plan. The character is well written; she knows what she wants and her flaws are convincing. The world inhabited by the characters is one of middle-class comfort. The academic angle is interesting; references to this, and to cultural anthropology are ripe for laughs. The lifestyles of the characters are enviable and New York is depicted in a romantic fashion.
Greta Gerwig delivers a convincing performance as Maggie. She is ably helped by Ethan Hawke, who also gives a believable performance. Julianne Moore has fun with her delivery, whilst Maya Rudolph and Bill Hader are relegated to supporting roles.
The coy twist at the end of the film can be spotted a mile away. Nevertheless, Maggie’s Plan works in a modern screwball fashion. Rebecca Miller creates enjoyment from what could have been a grating set up.