MAGGIE'S PLAN: an endearingly complex romcom
Here comes a comedy that is as much Hollywood as it is underground. Maggie's Plan will give you the cheap thrills of romantic comedies while also delivering a complex set of relationships and an intricate dialogue, reminiscent of Woody Allen's earlier jams. And if you're a New York City fan, like I am, you're in for decent treat when the camera and the characters walk your around the Washington Square Park.
The plot of the film revolves around three characters: Maggie (Greta Gerwig), Georgette (Julianne Moore) and John (Ethan Hawke). Throughout the film, they become this vicious-virtuous triangle that explores a variety of types of loves and ways of living. You don't bored by their ins and outs and you certainly won't feel that looming sense of ennui that usually hangs over the head of the viewer while Hollywood infused romcoms.
"Rebecca Miller’s wry, intellectually agile drama is the most overtly comic of her films so far, thanks largely to a wonderfully sly turn by Julianne Moore. She plays Georgette, the brilliant and self-obsessed academic who, at the start of the film, is married to John (Ethan Hawke). Also an academic (he’s described as "the bad boy of fictiocritical anthropology", John’s work, and his life, have been overshadowed by Georgette’s stellar career. Moore’s deadpan delivery is given a touch of absurdity by her Danish accent – she pontificates about “Pussy Wiot”." (The Guardian)
Maggie's Plan also stars Maya Rudolph and Bill Hader.
Check out the trailer below.
The word around town goes like this:
"One of the hallmarks of Rebecca Miller's films up until now has been a playful, sometimes willful disregard for storytelling conventions. Her heroines pass through familiar experiences — coming of age, falling in and out of love, pursuing creative ambitions — in unusual ways, generally indifferent to the rules of genre.
At the outset, Maggie's Plan, Ms. Miller’s fifth feature, seems to break this pattern and play by some of those rules, in particular the ones governing romantic comedy. Maggie, for one thing, looks like a recognizable type of modern comic character, a New York millennial with vague aspirations and a job at the margins of the city’s cultural and intellectual life. She is charmingly idiosyncratic. " (New York Times)
"In fact, the movie often plays like off-brand Baumbach—or, at the very least, like some generically genteel Manhattan yukfest, opening as it does with a blare of old-timey jazz and set as it is against a New York of bookstores, brownstones, and liberal-arts campuses. Maggie, an administrator at The New School, is ready for motherhood but not partnership; she has a donor lined up in “pickle entrepreneur” Guy (Travis Fimmel). But then Maggie meets and falls for Professor John Harding (Ethan Hawke, adding another wordsmith to his growing portfolio of them), a “ficto-critical anthropologist” trying to reinvent himself as a novelist. One divorce, second marriage, and newborn later, Maggie finds herself unhappily tending to the children (not just her own daughter but also her step-kids) as her husband labors endlessly on a book he might never finish. And so she begins to conspire with his ex-wife, the Danish academic Georgette (Julianne Moore in an Isabella Rossellini role), to restore the status quo." (A.V.Club)
"If you’ve loved Miller’s past films, like “Personal Velocity” and “The Ballad of Jack and Rose,” the featherweight, sometimes forcibly quirky tone of “Maggie’s Plan” comes as a pronounced departure, and not necessarily a welcome one. Stuffed with gags about self-aggrandizing academics and artisanal pickle entrepreneurs, the movie aims lower than Miller’s earlier work, and if it mostly hits its targets, that’s in part because they’re awfully broad. Like any artist, Miller has the right to reinvent herself, but we don’t need one more director of winsome, Sundance-ready rom-coms." (The Wrap)
"Hawke is one of those naturally generous performers who raises the calibre of everyone around him – while Gerwig, though denied a truly show-stopping moment like her crosstown gallop to David Bowie's Modern Love in Frances Ha, makes the comedy flare and glow like a slow-motion fireworks display.
This is a far more controlled, tightly crafted film than Miller’s last, The Private Lives of Pippa Lee – but still celebrates life in all its bewitching untidiness." (Telegraph)
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