Opening 4 Aug 2016
New York City is a captivating backdrop for this romantic comedy. Maggie (Gerwig) is an independent, attractive, if cloddishly dressed, thirtyish-year-old woman with a plan. Since she has not found true love and desperately wants a child, she has arranged with an acquaintance, pickle entrepreneur Guy (Travis Fimmel), to help her on her quest. To Guy’s dismay, she has chosen the clinical turkey baster method to become impregnated. (There is one thing Maggie and Guy do have in common—he has an even worse sense of dress than she does!) Almost simultaneously she meets John (Hawke), a handsome, romantic, ficto-critical anthropologist, and, though definitely not part of her original plan, they fall in love. He leaves his brilliant wife Georgette, a Columbia University professor (played by Julianne Moore with a wickedly engaging Danish accent), and their two mega precocious children. Maggie and John marry, and along comes baby. So they live happily ever after.
Fast forward a couple of years. Maggie is feeling neglected by John and trapped in a being-taken-advantage-of marriage. However, being the resourceful and charmingly controlling woman she is, she concocts a new plan on the off chance there will be a happy ending after all.
All the actors in Maggie’s Plan embody their parts brilliantly from the moment they appear on the screen. This offbeat romantic comedy breaks a lot of molds; there are few clichés in this light hearted tale in which women rule. Much credit goes to director and author Rebecca Miller whose film presents us a deliberate, modern twist to the girl-meets-boy story. Seems like Ms. Miller may have picked up a few things along the way. Her father was the famous playwright Arthur Miller, and her husband is Daniel Day-Lewis. This is her fifth film and it proves she doesn’t have to be anyone’s daughter or wife to create a smashing success. (Pat Frickey)